They Might Be Giants targeted a select number of singles from their first few albums and disseminated them in EP format, adding three or four non-album B-side selections to each. This is the first of these releases and one of the most enjoyable. The title track, one of their best songs from this period, is an eccentric and nervous, yet amazingly memorable and great pure pop number that sports killer clever lyrics ("No one in the world ever gets what they want/And that is beautiful/Everybody dies frustrated and sad/And that is beautiful" is the true artist's credo). The other songs on this release are typically odd, but well worth hearing. "When It Rains It Snows" is an accordion-dominated waltz number with delightfully lopsided phrase structure and surreal lyrics; the song perversely quits halfway through and then restarts after a lengthy silence. Predictably enough, "We're the Replacements" sounds nothing like that band, being instead a rocked-up 1960s garage-pop number with squealing ? and the Mysterians-style organ; the lyrics are blandly innocuous, one suspects deliberately so. And "The Famous Polka" is true on the latter aspect of its title, a perfectly cheezy fast-tempo oompah selection that exhibits some fancy accordion fingerwork.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Cleary