The Else

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 3 out of 19

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  1. ScottJ
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    Anyone who thought this was bad must not know TMBG at all! They want to listen to their other punk-rock-what-have-you-bands. TMBG is the most unique and inventive bands out there. Completely different. Anyway, this is one of there best albums yet!
  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 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 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. Collapse
  3. RyanR
    Jul 17, 2007
    7
    For a TMBG album, it's pretty good - not quite as polished and high quality from top to bottom like "John Henry", and nothing's quite as catchy as "Flood" or "Apollo 18", or individual tracks from "Mink Car" or "The Spine", but it's more consistently listenable than either of the latter two.
  4. MattD.
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    A perfect 10! The power pop songs and the more psychedelic 60s-influenced songs are both brilliant.
  5. JoshT
    Jul 17, 2007
    1
    Half these songs are just Ridiculous....Horrible lyrics and just plain boring at times. No great beats or riffs at all. I was hoping for so much more. I got rid of cd as soon as I finished listening to it
  6. funkmasterPaulpalmer
    Jul 26, 2007
    10
    haven't even heard this album yet. hmm i wonder what it will sound like.
  7. 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 trying to be quirky and relevant. its just kind of sad that they have fallen off.
  8. Scott
    Jul 11, 2007
    8
    Their most cohesive and best album since Factory Showroom.
  9. GabeH.
    Jul 14, 2007
    9
    With the 5.3 that Pitchfork gave this album on their site, I've lost complete respect for their editorial staff. They put too much stock in whether the Johns' material is mature enough? We're talking about TMBG! Nonsense is in their nature! As far as a first listen, "With the Dark" hit me hardest the first time around. TMBG put their distinct stamp on the miniature pop With the 5.3 that Pitchfork gave this album on their site, I've lost complete respect for their editorial staff. They put too much stock in whether the Johns' material is mature enough? We're talking about TMBG! Nonsense is in their nature! As far as a first listen, "With the Dark" hit me hardest the first time around. TMBG put their distinct stamp on the miniature pop suite form pioneered by Brian Wilson. The Dust Brothers' production job delivers some of their trademark in your face sound, but they behave as true collaborators with the Johns. The bass and synth sounds they shove right up to the front of the soundscape pleasantly disorient you, and end up being the making a few of the songs ("Bee of the Bird", "Take Out The Trash") more memorable. This album is no more childish-seeming than any of their best albums, of which this one easily is. Expand
  10. Afton
    Jul 15, 2007
    7
    A solid but uninspired follow-up to 2004's "The Spine." There are a few gems, especially on the second half and especially "Mesopotamians," and the Johns haven't lost their flair for songwriting, but there's really nothing new or particularly kooky here. The bonus CD of podcast-released material is what makes buying this album really worthwhile.
  11. MattS
    Jul 18, 2007
    8
    Prior to hearing this album, I read as many reviews as I could find. The consensus was lukewarm, so I kept my expectations low. I shouldn't have worried. This is a fantastic album. "I'm Impressed" just might be TMBG's most infectious track ever. I've only listened to the album all the way through a couple of times, but I can honestly say that there is not a bad track Prior to hearing this album, I read as many reviews as I could find. The consensus was lukewarm, so I kept my expectations low. I shouldn't have worried. This is a fantastic album. "I'm Impressed" just might be TMBG's most infectious track ever. I've only listened to the album all the way through a couple of times, but I can honestly say that there is not a bad track on it. To me, this is a double album because the bonus disc is full of great stuff, as well, and it's longer than the album itself! TMBG are back and stronger than ever. Expand
  12. 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 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). 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 Expand
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, another collection that ranks with any in their memorable discography.
  2. The Else is their best whole album since, because it’s also the most melodic.
  3. They Might Be Giants' 12th full-length record is arguably their best since 1994's "John Henry."