The Else

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. The Else is good, surprisingly and simply so. It’s also frustratingly focused.
  2. A well-rounded and passable product, both old fans and newcomers to They Might Be Giants will like this release.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The Else is their best whole album since, because it’s also the most melodic.
  7. They Might Be Giants' 12th full-length record is arguably their best since 1994's "John Henry."
  8. 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.
  9. The Else, is as tuneful and rockin' as all the rest.
  10. The Else, another collection that ranks with any in their memorable discography.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Under The Radar
    80
    The wit is furiously sharp, almost dizzying, the hooks memorable, [and] the flow exquisite. [Summer 2007, p.85]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. BrianV
    Jul 14, 2008
    9
    I think this is TMBG's best overall album since Apollo 18, perhaps John Henry. I think every song is a winner, and there are multiple I think this is TMBG's best overall album since Apollo 18, perhaps John Henry. I think every song is a winner, and there are multiple songs to add to the "classics" list (Bee of the Bird of the Moth, Contrecoup, The Mesopotamians). It has as many great songs as I'd expect, and they're as good as I expected (that is to say, I wasn't expecting Birdhouse In Your Soul). The Else is consistent, good, and a fine addition to the TMBG catalogue. It also has the merit of being the TMBG album that my non-TMBG fan friends like. I agree with that. A lot of people think TMBG is just knocking out mediocre albums and coasting on their popularity (hah... what popularity), but I do think that since the Rebirth (Mink Car, The Spine, The Else), they've been on par with most popular alt rock bands in terms of quality. (the only album I consider a disappointment is the only-ok Factory Showroom, which just didn't feel like TMBG on too many songs) Woot for the else Full Review »
  2. BrianS.
    Sep 28, 2007
    1
    I've loved this band since I was a kid. Heck, I even liked John Henry, despite the fact that no one else seemed to, and, well... even I I've loved this band since I was a kid. Heck, I even liked John Henry, despite the fact that no one else seemed to, and, well... even I can't like this album. Unlike their earlier stuff, the "quirky" things about the band come off as forced jokes, most of the songwriting feels lazy, and the album just has an overall phoned-in vibe. It sounds like a band trying really hard to sound like They Might Be Giants, but without the wit or charm that made their earlier output so undeniably good. Full Review »
  3. SeanD.
    Jul 29, 2007
    2
    Don't get me wrong I love tmbg but this album shows their ages, 40+ it sounds like 2 forty year olds who used to be quirky and relevant Don't get me wrong I love tmbg but this album shows their ages, 40+ it sounds like 2 forty year olds who used to be quirky and relevant trying to be quirky and relevant. its just kind of sad that they have fallen off. Full Review »