Join Us

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For the documentary film about cults in America, see Ondi Timoner.
Join Us
Studio album by They Might Be Giants
Released July 19, 2011
Recorded 2010-2011
Genre Indie pop[1]
Length 47:07
Label Idlewild
Producer They Might Be Giants, Pat Dillett
They Might Be Giants chronology
Kids Go!
(2009)
Join Us
(2011)
Album Raises New And Troubling Questions
(2011)
TMBG studio album chronology
Here Comes Science
(2009)
Join Us
(2011)
Nanobots
(2013)

Join Us is the 15th studio album from the rock band They Might Be Giants, released on July 19, 2011. It is the first non-children's album from the band since The Else in 2007. Hot off the success of Here Comes Science, the band focused once again on their adult audience to deliver a collection of 18 short songs of widely varying genres.[2][3]

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Flansburgh commented, "We probably recorded 30 songs for this album, and the songs that are on album are basically the last 15 or so. There were so many strange misfires at the beginning, just the most mutant songs."[4] Some of the songs that were left off Join Us were later completed and released on the rarities compilation Album Raises New And Troubling Questions.

Background[edit]

Recording began in March 2009, according to a July 2009 interview with Billboard, wherein John Flansburgh also mentioned that eight songs had already been recorded. An incomplete track listing composed of fourteen songs was revealed on Pitchfork.com on April 5. The track list was updated to include four more songs ("Canajoharie," "Celebration," "Dog Walker," and "Spoiler Alert") on the band's Facebook page on April 26.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (70/100)[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club B[7]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[8]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[2]
No Ripcord 7/10 stars[9]
Paste (8/10)[10]
The Phoenix 3/4 stars[11]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
Spin (8/10)[13]

Join Us has garnered fairly positive reviews from critics. It debuted at No. 32 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and No. 8 on both the Billboard Rock Albums and Billboard Alternative Albums charts.[14] Join Us also debuted at No. 8 on both the Billboard Rock and Billboard Alternative charts. It disappeared from the charts the following week. Join Us appeared at No. 20 on the CMJ Radio 200 on July 25, 2011. It climbed to No. 11 on August 2 and continued its ascension, reaching No. 5 on August 23. It spent 20 weeks that chart.

Two de facto singles emerged: "Can't Keep Johnny Down", which was released as a free MP3 on Pitchfork's website on April 5, as well as a promotional CD, and "You Probably Get That A Lot", which was promotionally issued in the UK. Music videos were produced for both songs, the former starring Rip Torn, although both tracks failed to chart. Music videos featuring the band were also produced for "Spoiler Alert" and "Cloisonné". The music video for "When Will You Die", which featured the construction of a life-size monster hearse by the Office of Paul Sahre, went viral and achieved over 100,000 views total—more than 25,000 in just one month. The artwork for Join Us was also very well-received, and Sahre was nominated for a 2012 Design of the Year Award from the Design Museum.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by They Might Be Giants. 

No. Title Length
1. "Can't Keep Johnny Down"   2:23
2. "You Probably Get That a Lot"   2:57
3. "Old Pine Box"   1:53
4. "Canajoharie"   3:39
5. "Cloisonné"   2:40
6. "Let Your Hair Hang Down"   2:31
7. "Celebration"   3:48
8. "In Fact"   2:20
9. "When Will You Die"   2:32
10. "Protagonist"   2:49
11. "Judy Is Your Viet Nam"   1:26
12. "Never Knew Love"   2:54
13. "The Lady and the Tiger"   2:53
14. "Spoiler Alert"   2:39
15. "Dog Walker"   2:32
16. "2082"   1:55
17. "Three Might Be Duende"   2:25
18. "You Don't Like Me"   2:57

Personnel[edit]

They Might Be Giants[15]
Additional musicians[15]
  • Stan Harrison – horn arrangement on track 5; saxophones on tracks 5, 9 and 17; bass flute on track 14
  • Curt Ramm – trumpet on tracks 8, 9, 10, 13 and 17
  • Dan Levine – trombone on tracks 9, 13 and 17
  • Mauro Refosco – percussion on tracks 13 and 15
  • David Driver – lead vocal on track 17
  • Michael Cerveris – lead vocal on track 17
Production[15]
  • Pat Dillett – producer, engineer
  • Jon Altschuler – engineer
  • Greg Thompson – engineer
  • UE Nastasi – mastering
  • Paul Sahre – cover art

Chart performance[edit]

Charts Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 32
U.S. Billboard Rock Albums 8
U.S. Billboard Digital Albums 9
U.S. Billboard Alternative Albums 8
U.S. Billboard Tastemaker Albums 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gale, Nick (August 9, 2011). "They Might Be Giants - Join Us Album Review". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Diehl, Matt (18 July 2011). "Album Review: They Might Be Giants' 'Join Us'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  3. ^ a b Houle, Zachary (18 July 2011). "They Might Be Giants: Join Us". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  4. ^ http://www.avclub.com/article/they-might-be-giants-john-flansburgh-59461
  5. ^ "Critic Reviews for Join Us". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  6. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Join Us - They Might Be Giants". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  7. ^ Wild, Matt (19 July 2011). "They Might Be Giants: Join Us". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  8. ^ Trunick, Austin (15 July 2011). "Album Review: They Might Be Giants – Join Us". Consequence of Sound. 
  9. ^ Davison, Mark (21 July 2011). "They Might Be Giants: Join Us - Music Review". No Ripcord. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  10. ^ Gonick, Jeff (18 July 2011). "They Might Be Giants: Join Us :: Music :: Reviews". Paste. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  11. ^ Lundy, Zeth (3 August 2011). "They Might Be Giants: Join Us". The Phoenix. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  12. ^ Nagy, Evie (19 July 2011). "Join Us". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  13. ^ Walters, Barry (19 July 2011). "They Might Be Giants, 'Join Us' (Idlewild/Rounder)". Spin. 
  14. ^ "Join Us - They Might Be Giants". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  15. ^ a b c Join Us liner notes.

External links[edit]