Despite the title, Dial-a-Song is not a collection of highlights from They Might Be Giants' famed Dial-a-Song service (call a toll-free number, get a new song from They Might Be Giants every day), although that is a collection that would be welcome. Instead, this Rhino/Elektra set is two discs and 52 songs of highlights from They Might Be Giants' absurdly prolific two-decade career. Throwing chronology out the window, this set cheerfully zig-zags through the Bar/None and Elektra records alike, hitting most of the highlights while adding just a couple of rarities (and those are primarily live tracks). Certainly, some listeners may have preferred a straight-up chronological approach, but there are advantages to this method, since it reveals that instead of peaking early, They Might Be Giants have produced a remarkably consistently smart, tuneful, clever body of work that holds together well, and those who, say, think they just like the first album and Lincoln may be surprised how good John Flansburgh and John Linnell were throughout the '90s. Given the size of their catalog, it's perhaps inevitable that fans may find a few favorites missing (personally, I would have made room for "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" and "The World's Address"), but all the truly necessary songs are here, and while its size may seem intimidating to listeners just wanting "Boss of Me" or "Birdhouse in Your Soul," it's worth the journey -- there's plenty of wonderful pop music here.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2