Talk:I Haven't Seen You In Forever

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This isn't going well. ~SirDarrell

This could have been very good.'

They'd better not put this one on the kids album. It'll scare the hell of them! After some of the recent middle of road offerings this takes us back to the experimental stuff of the early years. Lyrically a dark cousin of "I'm your boyfriend Now", "I'm all that you can think about" and "Ecsquisite Dead Guy". Linnell has never sounded so creepy and unhinged in one of his unreliable narrator songs. One senses that in the song's conclusion he's killed the person he hasn't seen forever? One for the interpretation boys to work out! There is a good song in here (I love the hook of I haven't seen you forever) somewhere but there are problems with the arrangement and structure that if fixed could transform it:

1) Linnell's vocal: Is too much and it's too harsh. And again, he's singing flat in parts of the tune and he's shouty when he needs to be seductive. Plus, there's too much Linnell, there needs to be a contrast on the back up vocal, was Flans not available? I'm guessing not. This sounds like a solo song worked out in Linnell's home studio with minimum input from the rest of the band apart from Marty on the drums? I'd kill for a version with Mrs Flansburgh singing lead as she has the range to sing this. Linnell isn't a good enough singer (and not many people are) to sing this forcefully unaccompanied for so much of the song.

2) The song gets into a real cul-de-sac. The "I haven't seen you forever" verse which varies only slightly is getting painful by the third repeat and then really bores on the fourth time around. The "No You" section, is a clumsy way of shifting gears that also goes onto long (maybe it is for a kids album as this is the kind of exchange children have) and the "Since we've been apart" section sounds like a cannibalisation of "I'm all you can think about" before it's back into the "I haven't seen you in forever" bit. It needs more work before presented as a finished article. In its current form, just under two minutes, you are kind of happy that it ends as it become exhausting listening to Linnell fall down the musical equivalent of a flight of stairs as he grapples with finishing the song.

This is where the producer/arranger earns their corn: but who is doing the Producer/Arranger Role? I'm guessing it's Linnell, and this is the problem when you don't have someone offering you a constructive voice. With a neutral producer there would have been a discussion where the vocal was reconsidered. If Linnell wanted to continue with lead vocal he really needs to take a softer approach and also add a bit of accordion to the song. His voice can't carry the song unaccompanied. That's why I think Mrs Flans would make a good choice if Linnell was determined to pursue the current sparse arrangement as I think she could carry it. I am surprised that no one noticed the parts where he's flat and not in tune though? Were they rushing? The second point, is more problematic, but not a biggie for some of Linnell's talent. He should have finished re-writing the song, to work out the structural problems to it. In it current form, it's really only a demo. There is a great song in there, but it feels unfinished which is a shame as it could have been really good. (Mr Tuck)

I really like this song and its arrangement! However, the melody of the first half is reminiscent of Older and the second half is reminiscent of About Me. Nonetheless, it's really unlike anything they've done before. ~ april 22:52, 4 August 2015 (EDT)

...except Older and I Am Not Your Broom, which it is an almost exact child of. It seems that Why? is being envisioned as an exact sequel to the No! album, which I've always thought stank and largely consisted of lazy, tossed-off filler. It sounds like they're trying to do it as quickly and cheaply as possible, and I'm slightly offended by the recurrent idea that kids music doesn't require as much putting into it. Here Comes Science is the only kids album of theirs I'd say is a fully-powered, consistently good record with no cheap padding on it (123s is a mixture of great and junk, ABCs always sounds like it was written and recorded in a day), but they're clearly going back to 2001, when they were desperately trying to siphon the dragged-out, clearly over-budget Mink Car sessions into other records by using "kids music" as an excuse to bunk off (I mean, come on, 'I Am Invisible' sounds like a rehearsal!).
Personally I still think there have been only four non-Glean tracks worthy of a real, great adult TMBG album so far - Starry Eyes, ECNALUBMA, Rock Club and The Velvet Ape (and one's a cover, and one's ancient!). Out of 17 or 18 (depends what bonus tracks are 'canon'), that's incredibly poor. It doesn't look like there's going to be a second LP's worth of A+ tracks by 2016 (not even an Album Raises... 'best of the bottom drawer' standard) and I'm certainly not remotely interested in buying the CDs of all this stuff. I just don't get it. Glean is amazing, it's my favourite TMBG for years. And the stuff around it is creating a vacuum which is swallowing it whole. I'm not trying to be negative - I just genuinely think that TMBG's output since the LP has been perhaps the worst they have ever been in 30 years. And that on current form this new kids album looks likely to be their worst ever record.
So, then... I Haven't Seen You In Forever would probably work only as the very last track on an exceptionally good album (for any audience), as a little wind-down. As a piece in itself it's just zero. Nothing. And my interest is fading and fading and fading. Again. This band, man... ~SirDarrell

This may not be a pop gem, but in a way this is the sort of unpolished material I had hoped the Dial-A-Song revival project might harbor. Even the "lopsided, both-eyes-in-one-socket" recording seems appropriate, as a painfully self-aware acknowledgment of the song's marginal existence. It plays like a little skit, Scenes from an Amorphous Relationship, taking us in cold, childishly blunt steps through relationship tropes (not unlike in I Am A Human Head). You could call the song some kind of ironic vaudevillian inversion, a masterpiece deconstruction of all relationship songs and romcoms, but after my first few listens this just sounds to my ears like an less-than-brilliant idea carried out tepidly. And yet I still kind of like it.

And to continue the "this song sounds like" game, I think it recalls I Find It Hard To Believe, which contains a few of the same ideas in "IHSYIF" (but is a much more successful, tuneful, likeable song), from its a capella "round" form to its painful, self-indulgent theater. Both songs definitely fall in the category of songs whose existence on the musical landscape would be practically indefensible except in a project like Dial-A-Song, or in a project like They Might Be Giants, and that's worth something, even if this time around it might not be something we'd want to show up on a studio album... and over time I might even come around on that. ~ magbatz 14:17, 10 August 2015 (EDT)


Love this sort of thing from Linnell. Todd Goldstein's video for it is perfect, and appears to be the direct descendant of the classic Chuck Jones cartoon The Dot and the Line. --Nehushtan (talk) 08:42, 3 October 2019 (EDT)