Give Yourself a Hand

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Give Yourself a Hand
Studio album by Crash Test Dummies
Released March 23, 1999
Recorded 1998 at Rocket Carousel Studios, One on One South and David Abell Piano Studio, Los Angeles
Genre

Alternative rock, electronic rock, hip hop soul, experimental rock, ambient, minimal music

Length = 38:35
Label ViK.
Producer Greg Wells
Crash Test Dummies chronology
A Worm's Life
(1996)
Give Yourself a Hand
(1998)
I Don't Care That You Don't Mind
(2001)
Singles from Give Yourself a Hand
  1. "Keep a Lid on Things"
    Released: January 1999
  2. "Get You in the Morning"
    Released: June 1999
  3. "Give Yourself a Hand (Promotional Only)"
    Released: June 1999

Give Yourself a Hand is the fourth album by the Crash Test Dummies, released in 1999 through ViK. Records. It is their final album for BMG. The album spawned a quirky hit "Keep a Lid on Things". The Times review of the album described it as "the best music of their career...an album of rare wit and vitality."[citation needed]

Background[edit]

For their third album A Worm's Life, Crash Test Dummies were given a lot of creative freedom, thanks to the success of God Shuffled His Feet. However, the album was considered a disappointment and, the band's label, BMG pressured the band into immediately writing a follow-up. During the initial song-writing process, the band wrote and recorded 35 demos, all of which were rejected by BMG.[1] The demos from these sessions would be shelved until 2011, when a selection of them were released on the compilation album Demo-litions.

In 1998, the band would then proceed to write and record the album that became Give Yourself a Hand. At the time, Brad Roberts had moved to Harlem and was greatly inspired by the urban music he heard in the area. As a result, he began the writing an album that was full of soul and hip-hop beats, including Roberts singing in Falsetto for the first time. The sound of the album can also be attributed to the contributions from co-writer/producer Greg Wells.[2]

The band's keyboardist Ellen Reid is featured singing lead vocals on several tracks, including the album's second single "Get You in the Morning".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Keep a Lid on Things"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 2:45
2. "A Cigarette Is All You Get"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 2:27
3. "Just Chillin'"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 3:32
4. "I Want to Par-tay!"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 2:29
5. "Give Yourself a Hand"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 3:00
6. "Get You in the Morning"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 2:57
7. "Pissed With Me"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 3:09
8. "Just Shoot Me, Baby"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 3:34
9. "A Little Something"   Ellen Reid, Brad Roberts, Greg Wells 4:36
10. "I Love Your Goo"   Brad Roberts 3:31
11. "Aching to Sneeze"   Brad Roberts 3:23
12. "Playing Dead"   Brad Roberts & Greg Wells 3:15

Personnel[edit]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly C−[4]

The album received mixed reviews. Allmusic writer Paul Pearson gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and states that Give Yourself a Hand redefines the Dummies sound with lightly applied techno strokes, not far off from Everything but the Girl's classic Walking Wounded. Some textures here are stunning, with electric piano flourishes and hip-hop drumbeat samples that sound tunefully great. The Dummies exhibit an unexpected knack for drum'n'bass shadings in "Pissed with Me" and "A Little Something." Unfortunately, the beauty of the surroundings can't compensate for Roberts' singularly strange lyrical talents." However, he goes on to state that "the songs sung by Ellen Reid fare much better, especially the beautiful "A Little Something," which at least gives voice to vulnerability."[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Phillyist Interviews... Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies". Phillyist. 2010. 
  2. ^ "Crash Test Dummies goes hip-hop on next album". Jam Music. 
  3. ^ a b Pearson, Paul. "Crash Test Dummies: Give Yourself a Hand > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Brunner, Rob (26 March 1999). "Give Yourself a Hand Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 July 2012.