They Might Be Giants, Lincoln

On the back of the CD is a hand-drawn diagram of, um, "something" that if you sit down for a moment and compare the dimensions would yield something slanted, silly and slightly unstable if anyone actually tried to build it. It's a good analogy for the album, in fact: eighteen tracks of quickly tossed-off off-kilter word play ("life is a placebo/masquerading as a simile") set to a bunch of styles thrown into a hat and shaken around a bit, with no particular reason other than fun and no dwelling on them for very long. If you tried to take a serious seat on that, you'd slide off and hurt yourself, so don't. Like much of their output the babble for its own sake means they miss the chance to matter, but the spare production is clean and appealing, and they still get in some witty social commentary now and then (particularly the terminally snarky closer "Kiss Me, Son of God," but also to a lesser extent the unapologetically nonsense "Shoehorn With Teeth") and even some warped musical references ("Where Your Eyes Don't Go" interpolating bizarro snippets of Bach). Best pun on the album: "Everyone looks naked when you know the world's a dress." With such platitudes on offer, who can resist? (Content: no concerns.)