They Might Be Giants

Birdhouse in Your Soul [EP]

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They Might Be Giants sailed nearly to the top of the charts with their 1990 breakthrough "Birdhouse in Your Soul." It wasn't in their homeland, though, and even while British publications like NME and Q were proclaiming them band of the year, the band couldn't seem to rally enough popular support home in the U.S. to crack the charts. That's a shame, because "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is a sublime single; arguably the best the band ever recorded. On precious few other songs did Linnell and Flansburgh manage to capture so vividly, within three minutes, their statement of purpose. Their trademark lyrical Dadaism, matched with an incredibly intricate song structure, soaring keyboards, and pulsing synth sounds all help to elevate the tune to heights they would try again and again to reach, but would never quite achieve. Cheers to producers to Langer and Winstanley, also, for helping streamline the band's sound into something far more pop-accessible than the first two LPs provided. Perhaps without their guiding hands, there wouldn't be scads of people today humming, "I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend...." "Hot Cha," the B-side, is a fun song, too.

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