First release: The Else, 2007
(This is an ongoing countdown that will be updated through April. Click here for the full list.)
TMBG’s 2007 album The Else was a bit unusual for the band, due in large part to their collaboration with the Dust Brothers. The record gets mixed reviews from TMBG fans–partly, no doubt, because it is their first album to feature no accordion. I am overall a fan of The Else, and actually think it might be one of their more consistent and interesting albums–and “Withered Hope” is one of my favorite cuts.
Built over a sample from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, “Withered Hope” is another lyrical contortion act, but it’s also a really fun dance track with a great horn riff. I had the pleasure to see the band perform at the Beacon Theatre in 2008, and this song was a highlight of the show–the moment when the horns hit, as a spotlight simultaneously hit the disco ball, was the moment that defined that show for me–which may be why this song made number 18 in this countdown.