Warning! Warning! Geek joke storm imminent! Jonathan Coulton is one of that new breed of laptop rockers who embraces geek culture, troubleshoots his own network connections, and may even have something hip in the App Store. He opens with the light pop ditty “Je Suis Rick Springfield” which stretches my limited French, but quickly enough we transition back to clear, well punctuated English with “Alone at Home.” Here Mr. C promises to hold his girlfriend’s purse and visit the candle shop, assuming she really exists. “Good Morning Tucson” picks up the relentlessly positive beat of an early morning Wake Up show, and backs it up with the genuinely insincere dialog that America needs along with that first cup o’ Joe.
This collection drips with happy, intriguing pop tunes, and there’s no real reason that these songs might not have come from the pen of They Might Be Giants. Heck, they tour together, share guest artists, and they probably even borrow each other’s wireless passwords. These 18 tracks are all pop classics: none of them clock in over three minutes, all offer silly yet profound lyrics, and you can probably pick out the tunes on your recorder in music class without having to practice too hard. Guest starts like Sara Quin (Tegan and Sara) and John Roderick (Long Winters, Harvey Danger) help Mr. Coulton along, and there’s even a theremin riff on “Still Alive.” What’s not to love?
Jonathan Coulton: www.jonathancoulton.com