Phoning It In: “To A Forest,” “It Said Something” And “Elephants”

TMBG

They Might Be Giants have resurrected their ingenious Dial-A-Song concept by streaming a new song each week of 2015 at www.dialasong.com. MAGNET’s Matthew Fritch reviews them all.

No Apologies World Tour 2015: Yes, we skipped a couple weeks. We are in Month 11 of Dial-A-Song.

“To A Forest”
Pleasant acoustic strum and cool solo. You know what band did awesome guitar solos? Silkworm. There are tracks on Firewater that absolutely stink until the guitar solo comes around, and then it’s like rags to riches. America. Back to “To A Forest”: zoned out every time I listened to this song.
Which Celebrity Is “To A Forest”? Wesley Snipes!
File-A-Song: 4/10

“It Said Something”
Who among us has not thought, “I am only truly understood by dogs”? Cat people: Your pet, too, can penetrate your thoughts but they are not doing so to understand you. Cats are vicious killers. The sentience of nonverbal living and non-living things has always been a creepy national obsession, from Kitt to Christine. Overthink the lyric “set the monkeys free” and you can wonder if the “It” of the song is: a) a monkey itself, or b) not a monkey, but a predator of monkeys who wishes to have its source of food available in the wild. This song is very identifiably TMBG, with its vintage organ/oompah style and paranoia-to-the-chorus structure.
Which Celebrity Is “It Said Something”? Alicia Silverstone!
File-A-Song: 7/10

“Elephants”
Just as a cover song cannot earn higher than a 5/10 in the Dial-A-Song rating system, children’s songs can score no lower than a 2/10. This is the equivalent of bowling-alley bumper systems that prevent endless child-induced gutterballs. What? No, it’s not like a booster seat at all. The bowling-alley-bumpers analogy is the one we’re going with, and that’s final. This is an informative and winsome song about elephants. The children speaking in the song bother me; not for the usual reasons, but rather because the children sound too bright and composed. I’d prefer the Bad News Bears version of these kids.
Which Celebrity Is “Elephants”? Carroll O’Connor!
File-A-Song: 6/10

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