Join Us - They Might Be Giants
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic 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 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.
  3. Jul 15, 2011
    80
    Their wit keeps maturing, but TMBG's gentle weirdness is forever young.
  4. 75
    Cautiously, I submit that Join Us, their 15th album and first non-children's release in four years, has that old-school TMBG feel, as if the Unlikely Rock Band ditched the self-conscious weirdo-geek shtick for a more genuine weirdo-geek non-shtick shtick.
  5. Jul 19, 2011
    75
    The weird, eclectic Join Us serves as a refreshing corrective to years of kiddie albums and so-so grown-up discs, and reestablishes Linnell and John Flansburgh as geek-rock explorers of the highest order.
  6. Jul 19, 2011
    75
    Every song teems with surprisingly memorable choruses, melodies, and, well, quirks that prove hard to forget; after such a deluge of stealthy and refined charms, resistance to the TMBG formula becomes futile.
  7. Jul 29, 2011
    70
    The band's latest album, Join Us, expresses the group's signature nerd pride with a combination of simplicity and fantasy fit for ex-losers, children and those weird kids in high school.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jul 19, 2011
    70
    while Join Us is lighter on lyrical surrealism than earlier TMBG, it delivers on their well-known gleeful morbidity
  12. 70
    Join Us is a throwback to the style of music They Might Be Giants built the first two decades of their career around. At long last, the duo has returned to making geeky adult music for geeky adults.
  13. Jul 22, 2011
    60
    Join Us, the band's first non-children's record since 2007, presents standard rock topics in unconventional packages.
  14. Jul 18, 2011
    60
    The curious should still probably go back in the catalogue to Flood, but for the rest, Join Us is a serviceable, albeit inconsistent, stab at shooting for the moon in sheer zaniness.
  15. 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]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. 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. Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  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. Full Review »