First release: Here Comes Science, 2009
(This is an ongoing countdown that will be updated through April. Click here for the full list.)
An album of science songs was a natural choice for They Might Be Giants, especially after they partnered with Disney to release educational albums for kids. But of course this is the 21st century, and there was always the potential, especially in light of Disney’s commercial ambition, that “science” would be softened in the interest of marketability–which would be an especially egregious sellout for this band.
Instead, the album (which is a masterpiece as a whole) kicks off with this bold and unapologetic declaration of its thesis:
I like those stories about angels, unicorns, and elves
I like those stories as much as anybody else
But when I’m seeking knowledge, either simple or abstract
The facts are with science, the facts are with science
If you’re wondering whether some conservative parents were outraged by the equating of angels with unicorns and elves…well, take a look at the album’s Amazon page, and the helpful one-star reviews with titles like “Against Our Beliefs” and “Catchy for Atheists of All Ages.” (“here are not one, but two, definitive declarations that we humans are products of evolution”).
I don’t have kids, but if I did I’d be looking forward to the day they were old enough to enjoy this album.
Alex says: Thumbing their noses at willful ignorance is something that TMBG do better than most. This song is fantastic, but it sets a tone that really makes me wish the rest of the Here Comes Science album was written in a more similar voice.