There are many insults that can be hurled at a band. “Novelty act”. “Oddball pop”.
The Massachusetts duo have heard it all, but probably aren’t too bothered. As two-time Grammy-winners, the two Johns, Flansburgh and Linnell, have long since ploughed their own furrow following their 1990 UK top 10 single ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’. Their 17th long-player reprises their Dial-A-Song service, where they’d post tunes to an answering machine. Moving with the times, the 15 tunes gathered here originally appeared, one per week, on the web.
Glean is perhaps more relaxed than 2013’s Nanobots, but there’s still top songwriting craft on display, from the Balkan fiddle-fest of ‘Music Jail’ to the sinister electropop of ‘Unpronounceable’. Could be it’s time for these one-hit wonders to trouble the charts once again? HHHHH
(This review originally appeared in the Bucks Advertiser)