Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

They Might Be Giants: Severe Tire Damage [Restless, 1998]
Billed as greatest hits but actually just live, and not especially well-chosen by my no-more-or-less-idiosyncratic-than-theirs lights--where's "How Can I Sing Like a Girl?"? And of course there are bait cuts, new songs their wee fan base presumably can't live without. What I wouldn't have figured is that "Doctor Worm" ("I'm not a real doctor but I am a real worm") and "They Got Lost" (trying to find a radio station so low-watt it fades out no matter which way they turn), are my favorite things on a record that includes "XTC Vs. Adam Ant" and "Meet James Ensor," reflexively clever titles I include as a guarantee that the songs live up to them. "Meet They Might Be Giants/Brooklyn's cultish songmen/Set on random, skim our book/Watch out for falling hooks." B+