Impressions[edit | edit source]
Without a doubt, my favorite DAS so far. So much awesome instrumentation, clever chord progressions, and that section at 2:12 is mind-bendingly awesome. Not enough songs have both Flansy and Linnell on them, it usually works really well! --Yomoneyboat (talk) 09:33, 17 March 2015 (EDT)
- Agreed, a really strong track. Classic Linnell-ish lyrics, great chord sequence in the chorus and I love that distortion effect too. I think we've had three really strong Linnell tracks so far in Erase, Answer and now Unpronounceable and Flans been on top form. Glean is shaping up to be an excellent album. (PurpleToupee37)
- I'm getting the vinyl from being in the IFC, but I'm also going to buy the CD in a record store, because a) I'm a collector and b) I want to support TMBG. I would think a fair number of DASD subscribers are in either or both of those camps, and as for the casual fans, having an album seems a hell of a lot easier than having to go to Youtube every time you want to hear a song. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 15:54, 19 March 2015 (EDT)
Disappointing Show[edit | edit source]
The song is classic late period Linnell in the sense that one guesses that it's been pretty much written, demoed and presented to the band in a more or less finished form. The up close production style was perfected in the mid 90s on Factory Showroom and honed on the State Songs Solo album. The song is largely horizontal, dancing around one note for much of the song, and it doesn't have much of a bridge to talk about. So lets start with the song, from the top. The Intro with the echo on the vocal is quite interesting and the only bit I like. However Linnell is forced to keep changing and overloading the listener with musical effects to try and disguise the lack of melodic change/progression/interest in the verse and chorus. This reaches the climax at about 2.12 with all the fade in fade out jiggery pokery. Like similar effects on many dance and R+B songs, it's designed to hide musical and melodic failings and we listeners are supposed to coo instead at such special effects.
The rest of the band are reduced to what they always do on Linnell songs such as this: metronome "signature" chopped guitar chords. Lyrically it's incredibly elusive and mysterious (the Interpretation wickias page will love it!) and is yet another recent example of Linnell at his most emotionally detached. This is reinforced by his almost mechanical way of singing. Flansburgh's vocals on what passes for the bridge are the only organic bit and serve as a brief human respite from the robot lead vocal. Listening to music is an emotional experience and if it's too detached the song risks almost alienating the listener, so often a song needs to emotionally hook us. Linnell has emotionally engaged us scores of time - when he wrote a direct lyric, starting way back on Don't Lets Start. Lyrically it's just not happening here, as he delights in retreating behind obscurity.
They Might Be Giants rarely make a racket, but would be a rare example of them doing so. On Glean thus far Flansburgh is (Erase apart) is having to carry the band. However, we're also still waiting for anything that's top drawer as well. It could be a long year. (Mr Tuck)
PS. Originally when I posted on this page, someone had chosen to mock me. Amusingly their impersonation of me pre-empted some of my comments! I just wanted to stress that I did not delete their comment. I'm guessing it was done because the moderators don't want things to get personal, which is probably for the best, but I did not complain to them. I actually found it funny and I also took it as a compliment in a way. I hope we can all agree to disagree and be nice to each other. Likewise, although I'm not keen on the recent Linnell songs, I do still adore him as my most favourite singer/writer! So all those who say I usually prefer him to Flans are spot on! Plus, I'm sure I'll be raving about a new Linnell song in the future! (Mr Tuck)
- Hiya. I removed the anonymous comment signed with your name, only because we don't want our users being impersonated. The removed comment (which was pretty funny) can be seen here. -CapitalQ ♫ talk ♪ 14:26, 17 March 2015 (EDT)
Oh good. I defend my right to be mocked! :-) (Mr Tuck)
- Hey guys! I posted the joke comment as Tuck, and I only meant it in the spirit of fun and light-hearted satire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 23:16, March 17, 2015
Clip and loop the unpronounceable for as long as you can[edit | edit source]
I just wanted to say I'm tickled by how much I can relate to some of this song, "rewind the tape, review the blur", as I've done countless times trying to figure out the little blips and tongue slips on certain demos and live recordings by this very band. ~ magbatz 22:17, 17 March 2015 (EDT)
Love it[edit | edit source]
I LOVE IT. I think it's my #2 DAS song so far (#1 is "Erase"). I think the general concept (being hung up on something so minor) is interesting (and very Linnellian), and I thought a lot of the lyrics were clever, like the idea of the clock breathing to end the feeling of time stopping (which I've definitely experienced) and depression/depressed. "If that were even a real thing, which it isn't" amuses me a lot for some reason. Also when the first weird part started I thought my phone connection was fucked up, haha. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 22:22, 17 March 2015 (EDT)
Essay[edit | edit source]
This is rather tangential, but it's something this song reminded me of. I was thinking how there are some other songs of John's about getting really hung up on a thing that's actually quite minor (e.g. "Bastard Wants to Hit Me" or "Miniature Sidewalk Whirlwind"), and I was wondering if he actually does that in his real life, and it made me think of this essay he wrote, and I just wanted to share it here because it's beautiful. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 10:20, 19 March 2015 (EDT)
- Wow, that is beautiful! I do very much enjoy Linnell's writing style, and pieces like that make me wish he would do a novel...or at least a series of short stories, perhaps to suit his need to divide things up into manageable chunks (i.e., the highway marker signs in his writeup). --MisterMe (talk) 10:36, 19 March 2015 (EDT)
- Both of the problems he poses here are actually nice little mathematics exercises, suitable for classroom use (whether he realizes it or not). The first does indeed involve basic calculus (the properties of the exponential function). I've seen a variant of the second one posed as an algebra problem. Both are also very much in the spirit of Zeno's motion paradoxes. --18.104.22.168 21:28, 6 September 2015 (EDT)
Patti Smith Homage?[edit | edit source]
Despite not being that keen on the song I found myself humming it on the way to work, and then I started singing along, but not to unpronounceable but to "Because the Night" by Patti Smith. Big similarities! What do others reckon? (Mr Tuck)
- By Jove, you're onto something! I think Patti should sue Linnell, a la the "Blurred Lines" controversy. :-P
- But seriously, I think it's just a coincidence. As more and more music gets made throughout time, people will find out there are only so many usable chord sequences for pop songs, and similarities will start popping up all over the place. I wouldn't put too much stock into it. --MisterMe (talk) 08:15, 9 April 2015 (EDT)
Good, Not Great[edit | edit source]
So, since I've been seeing Mr Tuck doing his reviews for each song, I've decided to start writing reviews of these Dial-A-Songs as well, giving some alternate opinions. Love his reviews, but I disagreed with his opinion so much I had to voice my own.
Enough introductions. This song starts off strong with an echoing effect on Linnell's voice, and this keeps the rather flat lyrics interesting. We then reach the chorus, and this just disappoints. The jumps between each word just sort of hurt the ears... it's just not great to begin with. However, we then reach the second part of the chorus, "Rewind the tape" forward the song enters full swing, and saves the entire song for me.
On first listen, the emotional detachment bothered me a bit, but on further listens it started to grow on me. The emotional detachment, unlike Tuck suggests, does not make the song a "metronome," instead it gives the song an eerie element. Unfortunately, all the Linnell tracks up to this point have had this, most successfully on Erase. I wish his songs were as wild and innovative as Flans (Music Jail and Operation, for example), but they still make for a nice listen. --User:Sureliant
Well played, Linnell[edit | edit source]
I had the dial-a-songs I've missed playing in the background on my laptop as I worked (Trying to get caught up before the Pittsburgh show next week!). When the choppy part of this started I switched over to see if my MP3 player was skipping. Ya got me, Linnell. Ya got me.--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 05:08, 9 April 2015 (EDT)