Join Us - They Might Be Giants
Join Us Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: After releasing three children's albums in five years, the alt-rock band from Brooklyn releases its 15th full-length album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jul 21, 2011
    80
    Overall, there's less headbanging potential here than on their finest moment – 2001's Grammy-winning song Boss of Me from Malcolm in the Middle – but it doesn't matter. This is still a brilliant summer listen.
  2. Jul 15, 2011
    80
    Their wit keeps maturing, but TMBG's gentle weirdness is forever young.
  3. Jul 18, 2011
    80
    The songs are novel in both conception and execution, and the band seems aware of the novelty, aware that two to three minutes is just the right length, that quirky and irreverent work best when the song ends before you want it to.
  4. 70
    Besides the band's signature quirky lyrics, Join Us also retains its well-known staccato guitar and keyboard interplay as well as a tendency for crazy-quilt arrangements.
  5. Jul 21, 2011
    70
    It's a solid, summery album that more than delivers on the tunes, and the LOLs, and you can't really ask for more than that.
  6. Jul 21, 2011
    70
    It's this quality that makes the album not just an easy recommendation for listeners old and new, but one of their most fun, accessible, and solid albums since Factory Showroom.
  7. Aug 16, 2011
    40
    The trouble is, for all its inventive wordplay and expert pastiches, Join Us swiftly becomes the musical equivalent of that witty, but rather-too-clever male party guest who always ends up going home alone. [Sept. 2011, p. 119]

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Feb 20, 2013
    8
    This album from TMBG for me, is the perfect mixture in the 2 johns creativity style. the perfect balance of quirky, and great songs. This album had some lousy songs on it, but its completely outweighed by the good songs, like: cant keep johnny down, you probobly get that alot, old pin box, canahjore, celebration, never knew love, let your hair hang down, when will you die, judy is your vietnam, and the awesome duet, spoiler alert. Like i mentioned before, theres a few songs that are duds, but songs like lady and the tiger, and cloisonne, are quirky and fun, and dont feel forced. This is a good return for TMBG, i honestly really dont like the childrens albums, ofcourse im not a child either, but they just sound so... weird. This is by far TMBG best album in the last decade, its one of my favorite tmbg abums, and hopefully their new albums in the future will have the same innovation and polish as this one. A great return to form for the johns. Expand
  2. Aug 4, 2011
    8
    I've really enjoyed listening to this album. I'm a long time fan who took a break a few albums back, only to return. A "9" or "10" would be reserved for TMBG's seminal albums -- the ones that stumbled their way into pop culture ... like "Flood" or some of their children's album work. For me this album was a "7.5" -- fun, well-made, though not at the top of their best album list.

    Of course, no band can make every album their "best album." U2 only has one Achtung Baby, and even Bono acknowledges this. I liked "Join Us," and I'm glad I bought it. And I'm glad TMBG is still making music.
    Expand
  3. Sep 10, 2012
    8
    I feel like this is a return to form for TMBG. I have not purchased every albums as much as collected them because I've been a fan since they hit the scene in the mid-80's. After a few off years and one previous album that only had two songs worth listening to (which is painful to say about The Else being such a fan - but honesty here...), Join Us got the band back on track with a full album of music that is all worth listening to. Voices sound a little strained at times, but not to detrimental effect with a band that creates so many strange and humorous voices. The presence of dark lyrics among the weird and bouncy music is always welcome and something TMGB has been good at many times over many albums. "When Will You Die" may be the most directly dark song lyrically they have ever produced and the bitter streak in me loves it. Fans who may have strayed can come back and "Join Us" without worry. TMBG are definitely back in form. Expand
  4. May 21, 2013
    7
    It's fun. Some are calling this a 'return to form' and for the most part I can see why. 'Can't keep Jonny Down', the album's opener, is my favourite TMBG tune. For me, however, rather than run out of energy the album tries to be too weird by the end. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination though. Expand
  5. Jul 26, 2011
    6
    Meh. Just another attempt to make real music. This was a pretty boring album overall. With way too many songs (who has 18 songs on an album nowadays?!) and the same sound for every song, you can skip this album... it's not going to make any "best of the year" lists. Expand