The Else - They Might Be Giants

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. A well-rounded and passable product, both old fans and newcomers to They Might Be Giants will like this release.
  2. The Else is their best whole album since, because it’s also the most melodic.
  3. The wit is furiously sharp, almost dizzying, the hooks memorable, [and] the flow exquisite. [Summer 2007, p.85]
  4. While this album might not be their most mind-bending, its hooks and idiosyncrasies prove that after more than two decades, TMBG still know how to have fun.
  5. They Might Be Giants' 12th full-length record is arguably their best since 1994's "John Henry."
  6. The Else is lined up with catchy, solid songs that I can’t help but sing along to. So though it’s not the best Giants album - it’s good, and it’s kept me entertained.
  7. The Else, is as tuneful and rockin' as all the rest.
  8. The Else, another collection that ranks with any in their memorable discography.
  9. 76
    The Else finds the band still firmly grounded in their tongue-and-cheek eclecticism, combining humorous tracks about shadow governments invading public libraries, a “cap’m” that doesn’t actually drive a boat, and numerous off-center topics into a mish-mash of musical absurdity.
  10. The Else initially sounds more cohesive (and samey) than the Johns' usual kitchen-sink approach, but multiple listens reveal the many melodic subtleties underneath the catchy, upbeat alt-rock tone and the unusually processed, beat-driven sound.
  11. The second half of The Else is so good that it's a little frustrating that the entire album isn't this solid. Still, there are more than enough good moments to keep longtime fans happy.
  12. It may not be full of surprises - the pleasures here are no less satisfying for their familiarity - but for a band looking at two and a half decades of continuous output, The Else is far more sprightly than it has any right to be.
  13. The Else is good, surprisingly and simply so. It’s also frustratingly focused.
  14. 60
    While yet another geography gimmick song ("The Mesopotamians") might try the patience of anyone older than 8, goofiness also inspires them. [August 2007, p.118]
  15. 60
    The album is their most straightforward yet. Fortunately it's not short on the witty lyrics and solid songwriting that always kept them from being a novelty act. [Aug 2007, p. 109]
  16. Perhaps TMBG are just happier making kid's music - even when they try to grapple with adult situations on "Upside Down Frown" or "Climbing Up the Walls" it still comes out G-rated.
  17. Most of these songs are only pleasant for thirty seconds or so.

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