They Might Be Giants has set out to release one new song per week for one whole year.  They call this their “Dial-A-Song” service, which posts a new track every Monday night.  Each song with its own different feel and vibe to it.  They took some of these songs and created Glean, which came out earlier this month.  With these songs, the band, currently consisting of John Flansburgh, John Linnell, Dan Miller, Danny Weinkauf, and Marty Beller, creates a cohesive, yet diverse record full of tracks that exemplify why They Might Be Giants are so beloved by their dedicated fanbase.

The lead single for Glean was the first track on the record, the power pop-ish “Erase” which has a pretty catchy riff.  As the record rolls on, it’s impressive to hear all the different styles They Might Be Giants channel, the acoustic-led “Good To Be Alive” features a little vocoder at the end, before going into the strange vibe of “Underwater Woman”.  They even do it within one track, the two-part “Music Jail” that starts out almost middle-eastern feeling with some strings before turning into a pop-rocker about halfway through. They turn up the funk with the bass line to “I Can Help The Next In Line”.

A lot of casual fans of They Might Be Giants fans tend to know them for their quirky personalities, and that’s all here on Glean. The piano led ballad “Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel” features some very quirky lyrics, and the fact it’s a piano ballad, and its name just adds to the charm of this track.  We get back into the diverse “Dial-A-Songs” with “All The Lazy Boyfriends”, an electronic track. That’s followed up with the pop rocking “Unpronounceable”, one of the strongest tracks on Glean, and don’t adjust your speakers or headphones, that CD skip is intentional. They even have a swingin’ jazz track, “Let Me Tell You About My Operation”, about an operation to remove memory.  Glean comes to close with the track “Glean”, a surprisingly fitting Vaudevillian-esque instrumental track.

Glean is a great, diverse record from a band with a great, diverse catalog. 17 albums in, They Might Be Giants still create some interesting, thought-provoking, and fun music.  Dial-A-Song is a really fun concept, and they took most of last year off to work on it. In addition to this, They Might Be Giants have been playing a series of shows in Brooklyn, the last Sunday of each month, playing albums and hits from their huge catalog.

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