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, industrial rock, hip hop soul, experimental rock, ambient, trip hop
Length 38:35
Label ViK.
Producer Greg Wells[1]
Crash Test Dummies chronology
A Worm's Life
(1996)A Worm's Life1996
Give Yourself a Hand
I Don't Care That You Don't Mind
(2001)I Don't Care That You Don't Mind2001
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 album of rare wit and vitality."[citation needed]


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.[2] 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 influenced by the urban music he heard in the area. As a result, he began 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.[3][4]

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]

All tracks written by Brad Roberts & Greg Wells except as noted.

1."Keep a Lid on Things" 2:45
2."A Cigarette Is All You Get" 2:27
3."Just Chillin'" 3:32
4."I Want to Par-tay!" 2:29
5."Give Yourself a Hand" 3:00
6."Get You in the Morning" 2:57
7."Pissed With Me" 3:09
8."Just Shoot Me, Baby" 3:34
9."A Little Something"Ellen Reid, Roberts, Wells4:36
10."I Love Your Goo" 3:31
11."Aching to Sneeze" 3:23
12."Playing Dead" 3:15



Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[5]
Entertainment WeeklyC−[6]

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."[5]


  1. ^ James H. Marsh (1999). The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Canadian Encyclopedia. pp. 583–. ISBN 978-0-7710-2099-5. 
  2. ^ "Phillyist Interviews... Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies". Phillyist. 2010. 
  3. ^ "Crash Test Dummies goes hip-hop on next album". Jam Music. 
  4. ^ Larry LeBlanc (27 February 1999). "Dummies Hand In their Latest Set". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 18–21. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ a b Pearson, Paul. "Crash Test Dummies: Give Yourself a Hand > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Brunner, Rob (26 March 1999). "Give Yourself a Hand Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 

External links[edit]