If there is another band or artist out there that releases more upbeat, kooky and fun albums than TMBG then I’m yet to hear them.
'I Like Fun' is the prolific NYC band’s 20th (!) album, and of course features the 2 Johns : Flansburgh on vocals and guitars, and Linnell on vocals, keyboards and woodwind. Trumpets and mellotron also appear on the album from the talented cast of supporting players.
The album by and large sticks to the same format of the previous releases - bright and breezy music sung over by narrative worthy lyrics, of various subjects sometimes darker than the music suggests.
The band can still rock out as demonstrated on 'An Insult To The Fact Checkers', then immediately change tack and direction by running into the piano led 'Mrs Bluebeard'.
Everything is there for the existing fan - and after a 30 year career, there are plenty of those and lets face it, if they hadn’t got the fanbase they have, they wouldn’t still be releasing music. On the downside, perhaps this release would do little to attract new fans, and title track 'I Like Fun' is perhaps the least fun track on the album. I assume it’s their little joke.
If you are one of the aforementioned fans, you’ll lap up this release with the same gusto as everything else, and even if you’re not, there’s plenty to admire and enjoy.
Let’s rejoice that bands like TMBG are still around, live and kicking and yes, having fun.