They Might Be Giants

Here Come the 123's

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Here Come the 123's Review

by Heather Phares

Here Come the 123's, the numerically inclined sequel to They Might Be Giants' winning CD/DVD set Here Come the ABC's, presents more fun and unexpected ways to learn from John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The album begins in mathematically precise fashion, starting with the bouncy bossa nova of "Zeroes" before hitting one through ten and then onto fancier numbers like 12 and infinity. "One Everything"'s funky rock is one of TMBG's typical brain-twisters, a little bit zen ("there's only one everything") and a little bit urgent ("please clean your room/we share the same omniverse"). Many of the other songs are just as fun, but feel more like standard kid's fare than Here Come the ABC's did, and need to be experienced on the DVD for their full, quirky impact. That said, story songs like "Triops Has Three Eyes" and "One Dozen Monkeys," and movement songs such as "Ooh La! Ooh La!" are never less than adorable. However, as Here Come the 123's' numbers get higher, the album builds momentum. After getting basics like "Ten Mississippi" out of the way, on songs like "Nonagon," the Johns get down to the kind of smart kookiness and purposeful silliness that fans of all ages have come to expect. Seven gets two songs: "Seven Days a Week" is an anti-reveille full of laziness and trumpets, and is a singalong favorite in the making. "Seven," meanwhile, imagines a world where number sevens can ring the doorbell and hang out for awhile eating cake. "Nine Bowls of Soup"'s bowl-balancing ichthyosaur makes that song a standout too, and things get literally loopy on "Figure Eight"'s action-packed, figure-skating rock, and on "Infinity," a tribute to eight's sideways sibling. Even if it's not quite as brilliantly clever as Here Come the ABC's, Here Come the 123's never talks, or sings, down to its audience.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 They Might Be Giants 00:08 SpotifyAmazon
2 They Might Be Giants 01:06 SpotifyAmazon
3 They Might Be Giants 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
4 They Might Be Giants 02:19 SpotifyAmazon
5 They Might Be Giants 02:35 SpotifyAmazon
6 They Might Be Giants 01:21 SpotifyAmazon
7 They Might Be Giants 02:23 SpotifyAmazon
8 They Might Be Giants 02:01 SpotifyAmazon
9 They Might Be Giants 02:09 SpotifyAmazon
10 They Might Be Giants 01:54 SpotifyAmazon
11 They Might Be Giants 02:36 SpotifyAmazon
12 They Might Be Giants 01:21 SpotifyAmazon
13 They Might Be Giants 02:12 SpotifyAmazon
14 They Might Be Giants 00:51 SpotifyAmazon
15 They Might Be Giants 01:34 SpotifyAmazon
16 They Might Be Giants 00:57 SpotifyAmazon
17
They Might Be Giants 03:13
18 They Might Be Giants 02:04 SpotifyAmazon
19 They Might Be Giants 01:23 SpotifyAmazon
20 They Might Be Giants 02:35 SpotifyAmazon
21 They Might Be Giants 01:56 SpotifyAmazon
22 They Might Be Giants 01:39 SpotifyAmazon
23 They Might Be Giants 02:29 SpotifyAmazon
24 They Might Be Giants 03:27 SpotifyAmazon
25
They Might Be Giants

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
2 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
3 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
4 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
5 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
6 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
7 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
8 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
9 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
10 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
11 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
12 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
13 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
14 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
15 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
16 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
17 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
18 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
19 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
20 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
21 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
22 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
23 They Might Be Giants SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick