Talk:Good To Be Alive

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My favorite DAS track in a few weeks. It feels like a classic Flansburgh track, and it avoided some of the more cringeworthy lyrics that we've been seeing in a lot of these Dial-A-Song releases. Seriously, not sure what the Giants are doing with lyrics lately, but a lot of the tracks have felt like parodies of TMBG songs rather than TMBG songs. This one is great though! I've also noticed, at least for me, that DAS releases have gone in a pattern: 1 high-quality, well-thought out song and 2 songs that feel more like throwaways or experimental pieces. Erase, Music Jail, Answer, and Good to be Alive are the only DAS pieces that haven't felt kind of half-baked so far, in my opinion. But if that pattern continues, we'll still end up with 18 great songs... which is an album's worth... hmmm. --Yomoneyboat (talk) 11:47, 10 March 2015 (EDT)

I must agree with the comment on parody of some of the recent songs. I'm trying to think of who this sounds like, as it's not the Giants. It will come to me. Flans in his old age does like a ballad on the album, and this is pretty conventional (and something you just wouldn't really have found on early releases). I prefer it to Tesla but I'm not mad keen on these kind of MOR songs. It lacks a proper middle eight and from a melodic point of view it kinds of chugs along. If you're going to do this, you have to have interesting lyrics and although Flans conveys waking up from an injury fairly well there is no real emotional connection for the listener. I've written about this elsewhere but the modern Giants insistence on hiding behind unreliable narrators or smothering lyrics in metaphor, or, in this case, an autistic machine like reaction to waking up from serious injury doesn't always resonate.
The accordion is nice enough, but the keyboard fills are designed to obscure just how horizontal the melody is. Might have worked better with more emotive lyrics and or/with a different arrangement perhaps a sea shanty. One of the problems the Giants have with new releases is that I don't think they play them live before they record them (as they did in the early to mid-period) and the production can perhaps dictate the arrangement rather than the other way around. Two things: 1) I'm lukewarm on this 2) It's still better than anything everything Linnell's done bar Erase. Really interested to see what Linnell manages next week. (Mr Tuck).
Interesting take on the musical aspect of the song. I wouldn't be so harsh on it in that respect, but I don't think it's as un-TMBG as you suggest. By the way, I always appreciate your comments on these new tracks, Tuck. It seems like too many fans on this site are quick to fawn over any new TMBG track without giving it any form of critical analysis at all. We have no obligation to love or even like a song just because we love the band that recorded it. While I often disagree with you, I think you do a lot for the discourse here. --Yomoneyboat (talk) 14:37, 10 March 2015 (EDT)
For what it's worth, I like the song. It might be a bit of a grower, but I generally like Flansburgh's ballads (i.e., "Memo To Human Resources"). I don't know that it was ever meant to be much more than "horizontal", and I get a kick out of the little synthesizer that bops along. It's always a matter of opinion, of course; I may be slightly more "fawning" than other fans but I think I can tell when a song is no good. Not here! This one is a soothing track that feels surprisingly un-ironic, and is rather refreshing in that regard. Plus...accordion! Accordion! Surely that's worth a solid nod of the head. :-) --MisterMe (talk) 15:58, 10 March 2015 (EDT)
Machine-like. I don't know. They'll Need a Crane also has a pretty neutral stance, a baffling one considering the song's subject matter, which might be why the song is considered funny (?) but I think that's counted as an emotionally engaging number? This song seems kind of emotional to me. -- Sonderling (talk) 00:35, 12 March 2015 (EDT)

They'll Need Crane is in no way neutral. (Mr Tuck)

You are spot on about the Accordion. It's such an organic instrument and I wish Linnell would play it a lot more. (Mr Tuck)

Different Versions?[edit]

Anybody notice that the mix on the video is slightly different from the download? Most noticeable difference is an extra bit of drums in the beginning.

Woman Survives Earworm Attack[edit]

I didn't expect to like this as much as I do. When the lyrics were posted I was a little disappointed; they just seemed abrupt and...pedestrian, maybe? GTBA is another example of how TMBG songs are more than the sum of their parts, I suppose. A mellow groove with understated much Flans. It's been stuck in my head since Tuesday, but I'm not complaining. FallenOutWithMyHead (talk)

I'm with her! This song has wormed its way in and won't get out - not that I'm annoyed (it ain't The Piña Colada Song). I'm cracking up about the lyrics also, especially the references to the motivational speaker and the "mega-church-style preacher". The vocoder accents some of the lyrics in a fun way and isn't overdone. --Nehushtan (talk) 13:19, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
And it just hits different since Flans' car crash. It _is_ good to be alive, and I'm glad he is. --Apostrophe T (talk) 11:00, 6 August 2022 (EDT)


I wish the Wiki had support for discussing the videos separately but I suppose the song page will have to do. 😐

In short, the video is wonderful! I wish they could afford to do more like this but hey the biz is what it is. Still, I'm willing to bet that the director & actor agreed to work at scale because of TMBG's reputation. Joey Slotnick is high-tier like Nick Offerman, and he brings the good stuff to this one! The direction, editing, lighting, and makeup are fully engaged with the song. The pace is perfect. When I imagine the planning, design, retakes and post-production, my bank account weeps. --Nehushtan (talk) 21:57, 29 August 2019 (EDT)