November 10th, 2008

tmbg

Factory Direct to You

I think it's about time we got to the sixth studio album by They Might Be Giants, Factory Showroom. This was released in 1996, and I started buying their albums in 1997, so it was the newest album at that point. Most of the reviews I'd heard from other fans were less than positive, but it wasn't like I was just going to skip over it. I do think it's probably the weakest of the first six studio albums, but it still includes some classic TMBG songs. It's also bethje's favorite, and the first TMBG album she obtained, so the negative reviews are hardly universal. It's definitely a change for TMBG, in that it has much longer songs and less of them. While all of the previous albums had at least eighteen tracks, this one has only thirteen, plus a hidden track on the CD version. The Johns apparently wanted to include some more songs, but the record company wouldn't have it, and a fair number of the outtakes showed up on Long Tall Weekend. Some of those are better than the songs that actually made the cut, but I'll get to that when I review LTW. I'll also get to the hidden track, "Token Back to Brooklyn," in that review, since it reappears there within the album sequence.

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After FS, it's a bit difficult to discern what counts as an official album. If I have the time, however, I'll be covering both Severe Tire Damage and LTW next week.