on 30 July 2011
I have been into TMBG since 1990s Birdhouse In Your Soul. I was 12 at the time - I joined their fan club (membership #8516), bought cassette singles and vinyl....and then I got a CD player.
Then the fan club literature said that TMBG were to become a band instead of a duo. In 1994 when this album came out, I went to Florida on a family holiday and purchased the first release of the "new band", 'Why Does The Sun Shine' at one of the big malls. This was a strange introduction to the "new band" and it was with some apprehension that I awaited John Henry.
I ordered it from HMV in Bradford and I remember listening to it at home on the day it came out. I was 16, and most of my mates were into Indie and Britpop, but TMBG were doing it for me.
There are so many strong tracks on this album, and in true TMBG style, lots of variety, from the barbershop-quartet "O Do Not Forsake Me", to the heavy "Stomp Box", to the swaying "Extra Savoir Faire", to the jolly "Desination Moon".
You can sing along and tap your foot to most of the 20 track here - yes 20 tracks! There's bound to be a couple of weak ones out of 20 (yes 20) tracks (eg "Window"), but on the whole, out of all the TMBG albums I own, this is up there with the best of the many albums they have released. There may be some uneasiness when seeing the track list includes titles such as "Thermostat" and "Snail Shell" but these are tunes, and I mean TUNES that will have you singing along. You won't be disappointed.
on 2 October 2000
Hmmmmmmm. I'm really just writing to support the boys and agree with the guy who wrote review number 1. This really is some of their best work ever. As good as Flood and with (in my op) even better production and a more mature music sound/song style. I'm a ten year TMBG fan, and after not listening to them (a break, you might say) for a year or so, this is the record that brought me back. Ohhhhh it's nice, and has some of the best moments I'll ever know.
on 5 September 2000
This is, if not the best TMBG album of all time, it parallels with flood all the way.Some of the tracks on here are in my top ten ever! After listening to them for 12 years and only being 19 i really hope anyone reading this will buy it coz its a top top album and deserves to be rated in the all-time greats so click on the BUY BUTTON!
on 17 August 2001
There are certain bands in existence that are so unique that they provide a kind of entertainment that cannot be found outside of their records. This is one of them - perfect unpopular pop - imaginative, fun, somehow precious and disposable at the same time. Brilliant musically, intriguing lyrically, and as diverse as you could ever wish. How many bands are influenced by country and western, indie rock, barber-shop quartet harmonising, nursery rhymes and random everyday absurdities. Less egotistical than Zappa, catchier than Monty Python and more memorable, inventive and energetic than any number of so-called serious bands. Yes - their nerdy nasal whiney voices and strange puns and themes are an aquired taste - but aquire them anyway. Buy this album or Flood or Apollo18 ( not Factory Showroom - their only semi-disapointment )and find depth in their lightness. This band are fresh air in a stuffy room.
on 23 April 2003
While less experimental tracks are included on John Henry, this album has to be their most poetic work since their first self titled album.
I knew most of the tracks pretty well before I purchased the album from friend's CD and mp3 collections. And it's just shocking when I realised how many "favourite" tracks there were on this album when I looked through it.
John Henry's strength definitely lies in the lyrics and tunes, though it lacks the performance they had on Factory Showroom or Severe Tire Damage (live album). But then you probably won't notice a thing when you take the tour of the minds of the Giants as you listen to the album.
The track order (which I feel very strongly could make or break some albums) was very well mixed as well in my opinion as it gently changes themes and pace allowing you to breathe in between tunes. But then if you listen to each track on it's own, they're probably as strong as each other individually anyway.
If you don't know the giants, buy this first to get a taste of their more "pop" works. If you know the giants, buy this to get a glimpse of their poetic genius. If you got the album, buy this for a friend who hasn't gotten into the giants.
on 19 February 2001
Wow, this is a great album. Definitely more mature than Apollo 18 and Flood, which doesn't necessarily make it a good thing. In this case, however, it is. The sound is unmistakeably TMBG, but you just sense that they've moved on lyrically and musically, with no tracks being particularly wayward, as was often the case in the past. They still retain a great sense of humour, but with The End Of The Tour they add a new dimension - is this the first track to display real depth to their lyrics? It certainly is the standout track of the album. In short; a must buy CD.
on 19 May 2001
Their best album so far. Still mad,and inspired, but more musically accessable for those whose musical taste doesn't stretch beyond the top 40. It has a bit of everything. Their last great album.
on 7 April 2013
another fine album by they might be giants, quite a serious album for they might be giants, again another must have for any tmbg collecter
seller was fast and recommended
on 17 October 2010
Immaculate in every way - this album is a work of art; best of the lot - get it and then get the rest.
on 29 March 2004
This was the first album They Might Be Giants did using a backing band as opposed to the usual tape recoder, and to me it really shows. i was really dissapointed when I first listend to it, cos i wasn't expecting the full band sound, and alot of it ends up losing the creativity and igenuity that I love the band for. It does have some really great tunes on it, ones that come to mind are "noone knows my plan" and the moving "the end of the tour". Though overall it does seem to be lacking some of the exciting experimentation of the earlier albums, almost like they're writing and playing like they feel they should do if they've got a proper backing band. Still worth getting mind:)