Talk:End Of The Rope

From This Might Be A Wiki

Feeling Good[edit]

1. This is my favourite TMBG song for literally years. 2. To those commenting on the unusual style of this song, to me this sounds like Linnell writing a TMBG song in the mode of 'Feeling Good' by Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse (popularized by Nina Simone, but covered by a million, million people). Specifically that big sassy riff crashing the last syllable of the first line of the chorus. Whether deliberate or subconscious, it must have been in his head. And in a way, it's all I need to know that John Linnell is attempting to share a musical headspace with the writers of the Oompa Loompa song. ~ SirDarrell

They Might Be Morrissey?[edit]

Linnell sounds as near to Morrissey on one of the ex-Smiths frontman's (weaker) solo albums as is possible. Quite a melodramatic piano/organ riff, it's pleasing to hear Linnell write a more direct lyric with an emotional resonance. However, I don't like the arrangement. Linnell, bellows in places and it sounds like Captain Nemo is playing keyboards so any subtly gets lost in the theatre. The effect quickly outstays it's welcome and like a number of Linnell efforts on Glean I really struggled to get to the end of this one. A bit of a racket. (Mr Tuck)

Linnell really can't win with you in terms of vocals, can he? You've criticised himself for sounding "bored" on previous efforts, then when he contributes a dramatic vocal he "bellows". There's being critical, and then there's being contrarian for the sake of it. (PurpleToupee37).

I take on board what you are saying. Linnell is usually so very very good and I am often criticised for being far too pro-Linnell. However, Glean is easily his worst album since they started. Even with better vocal arrangements he'd struggle to salvage much from these songs. Only Aaa, Erase and Glean are worth repeat listens...and not too many at that. All of the high points on Glean are from Flans. Even with them, it's not enough and it wouldn't make my top 10 albums by the band. That they've been talking it up as their best has baffled me. (Mr Tuck)

I'll have to lean down and say, my sentiments exactly. (I'm so funny, ain't I?) Even down to the point where I agree with Mr Tuck on the only Linnell songs I like on this album. Well, Unpronounceable, that one too, maybe. I don't like End of the Rope too much though, and I really tried to give it a chance. But I have to compare it unfavorably to Operation, which is another jazzy kind of song off the album and far better than this one, to me. Perhaps I'll write a longer, track-by-track review of Glean in the next days to back up my criticism. It is indeed strange that the Johns like this album so much, as it pales in comparison to their last two, Join Us and Nanobots, let alone Flood or Lincoln. Sorry, TMBG... --Freakiosis (talk) 07:44, 10 May 2015 (EDT)

Freakisois is right. Nothing on Glean even approaches the highpoints of Join Us and Nanobots, yet, it's interesting in the Spin review of the albums, and also in Gigantic DVD: the Giants are not really big on self-criticism, at least in public. Grunge, and Electra's lack of faith played a part in their decline in the 90s (very much the Giants party line) but there is a reluctance to acknowledge that all their post-Birdhouse singles were considerably weaker than the likes of Don't Lets Start, They'll Need a Crane, Ana Ng. I think part of the problem they've got now is it's all far too comfortable, same band, same producer for far too long. Essentially they've found a niche where they can pretty much do what they want. In some ways they kind of remind me of where Paul McCartney's been for much of his solo career. They lack a critical voice. I think they need a new producer who just says: right, we're going back to basics, just the two of you. They also need someone to tell them that some of the songs just aren't up to it. I don't know (and I'd love someone who does to put me right, perhaps DUKE who runs the wiki) but I always felt that Bill Krauss, used to fulfil that function. Maybe they should do the next album with Steve Albini! Or maybe, being a bit more sensible, someone like Black Francis, who I don't think would be afraid to lay it on a bit. As it is at the moment, They Might Be Giants seem to be two entities: Flans and the backing band doing his songs and Linnell on his own doing his. They both also seem pretty clueless on what they want to write about. Lyrically it's one of their poorest efforts. (Mr Tuck)

Are They'll Need a Crane, Ana Ng and Don't Let's Start *really* that great or do we just romanticize them? I don't really love any of those songs. I accept through gritted teeth when fans go on about any of them being the best song ever but honestly I don't get it. Ana Ng is the only one that sounds nice, in my very unpopular opinion, but it's also kind of childish and unappealing. Don't Let's Start is so childish too. I accept those songs as an inescapable part of the catalog but I'll always be much happier to hear classics like 32 Footsteps or Hide Away Folk Family. Well, I suppose I'll be tarred and feathered now. Sonderling (talk) 18:45, 12 May 2015 (EDT)

Holy Girg[edit]

Holy Girg, this does NOT sound like TMBG, even thought it obviously is. It's like an ebony pit of jazz on frosting with little bits of piano and jelly dropping off the sides into a rock hard pool of volcanic obsidian...IFYOUKNOWWHATIMEAN. Is this a new direction being charted by our beloved Johns? Somebody has to know the truth but I can't tell it. I doubt any body can. But this is not a standard Linnelli song or a standard Flansburgh song. So did they find it some where? No obviously it came out of a pocket or something. Something that they forgot they lost. And I think (PARDONMEIFI'MNOTALLOWEDTOSAYTHIS) that they will probably never find [WHATEVERITWAS] again.--WhatTheHeckLinnell (talk) 15:40, 7 April 2015 (EDT) P.S. - Mr. Tuck is an idiot.

Sweet that you tried so hard. (Mr Tuck)

Aside from holding opinions that differ from yours, what has Mr Tuck done to display any sort of idiocy? I enjoy reading his contributions despite liking the many of the songs he criticizes, including this one. Barrieau (talk) 10:41, 8 April 2015 (EDT)

Many thanks. As I always say: It's just one opinion and I'm glad that others are enjoying the songs. Likewise, I've always loved Cage and Aquarium and You will miss me which are probably two of the most disliked and criticised of the Giants songs if you look at their ratings. It's all just opinion and I try and explain in my little reviews just why I like and dislike the songs. Ironically, of the new songs this year the one I really like is No Cops and it's not even making the album! (Mr Tuck)

You know that new sound you're looking for?[edit]

I'm so happy with this song because of how different it is. It reminds me of Now I Know in that I also felt that one was a huge sonic departure from anything else Linnell's done but still with the very distinct lyrics I like him for. Yay. -- Sonderling (talk) 16:41, 7 April 2015 (EDT)

I'm impressed[edit]

I've been going out of my way to not read lyrics or anything before I hear the songs (and I'm not hearing the songs until they go up over the phone), but I broke my rule and read these ones. Based on just the lyrics I expected the music to be probably his standard “I’m going to combine these heartbreaking lyrics with something really upbeat” thing, or possibly one of his rare cases of making the music more understated (e.g. “Answer”).

I certainly did not expect--god, what would you even call that style? I’m not sure, but it’s certainly unlike anything he’s ever done before. Whatever it is, he makes it work.

And I’m actually really impressed that he did manage to try something new and make it work so well. Someone I know said something on Facebook recently like “Flans is always playing with different genres but Linnell is always being Linnell.” Most of the examples I can think of of him doing big musical departures are entirely intentional and usually to be silly, e.g. the Battle of the Bands stuff for TMBG Unlimited. He doesn’t usually do something so different--which isn’t a bad thing! because what he does normally he does so so so well!--but I’m just impressed.

And that vocal delivery! GEEZ. It’s crazy to hear him--emote, I guess you’d say, like that. Again, obviously I think his normal way of doing things is completely amazing, but it was just so startlingly different and impressive to hear him sound so...into it, for once.

But the main thing that gets me about songs is the lyrics, and I really do love those as well. They’re so vague and non-specific but I think that makes them really intriguing, and “doing joyless cartwheels in the void” has to go down as one of his best lines ever. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 20:13, 7 April 2015 (EDT)

This song, to me, actually sounds like it was taken from the John Henry sessions, which wasn't afraid to be angsty and depressing (for TMBG's standard at least). 01:15, 5 June 2015 (EDT)


The synth solo reminds me of Keith Emerson's Moog jam on ELP's Lucky Man. --Nehushtan (talk) 01:22, 28 August 2019 (EDT)

Scales and modes[edit]

I am lost when it comes to music theory, but it seems to me that this song is in a scale or mode normally associated with eastern European music. A quick Google search for that phrase turns up terminology to distinguish varieties like Ukranian, gypsy, Hungarian, klezmer, Jewish, Greek, Phrygian, etc. A number of other TMBG songs come to mind which (to my ears) have a similar flavor, including but not limited to Feast Of Lights, Hate The Villanelle, I'll Sink Manhattan, Mrs. Bluebeard, and maybe What Did I Do To You. (Istanbul and Mosh Momken Abadon also, but those are covers.) I suppose that the Johns consciously select an unusual mode to either support the special mood of a song or to shake the bag of inspiration. No idea how to (or whether the wiki should) categorize them. --Nehushtan (talk) 00:45, 23 December 2019 (EST)