Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.


Tom Tom Club
(Sire Records)

GUYS! I'm so excited to write this! Serious breakthroughs have occurred. First things first: Damn, it is embarrassing to have to keep saying sentences like this, but... holy shit, Tom Tom Club are amazing! (Previous editions of Anna "Captain Obvious" Minard: "Neutral Milk Hotel made me feel feelings!" and "Kate Bush is really fun!") Tom Tom Club are a renegade funsplosion that sounds exactly like the album cover looks, and when I'm riding the bus listening to it, I want to magically transform my iPod into a boom box, and then the whole bus would start dancing, and then we'd POOF! turn into a cartoon, and...

Emily Nokes warned me that I was going to recognize a song on this album that Mariah Carey sampled, so I braced for the embarrassing feeling I get whenever I realize that I just can't help liking a shitty song that sampled/covered an older song better than the original. I have Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" on my iPod (on a playlist that also has Real McCoy's "Another Night," duh). "I get kinda hectic inside" is among the best lyrics of all time. So brain preparations were made to stanch the shame ("It's okay, c'mon, you just like what you like, you can't help it"). THEN IT HAPPENED. Dear sweet lord, "Genius of Love" is so fucking good! Orders of magnitude better than "Fantasy." Of course I know that, objectively, a song by the rhythm section of Talking Heads is "better" than a pop song by an American Idol judge. But what I mean is: My ears like it better, and it makes me happier. I truly like it more. What's happening?!?

Then, as if that wasn't scary enough, I was listening to one of my favorite friend-made mixtapes this week, and on came "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" by Talking Heads. And my brain went, "Hmmm, why does this sound so familiar? Like you've been lis—" And then there was the terrible, crashing noise of all the gears in my brain grinding to a halt. I made a connection. Right there! By accident!

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My excitement doesn't mean I have no criticism. Like hey, you know what's not a good enough word to be basically the only lyric in a whole song? The name Lorelei. Really, guys. Also: "Wordy Rappinghood," the screwy raplike opening track, should not be six minutes long. Too much. But you know what's even better than "Genius of Love"? "On, On, On, On..." which makes me feel like I'm running down a street with a pack of my best friends toward something awesome, just out of sight. Like I'm living in a movie preview. Swoon.

I give this a "I am feeling pretty hectic inside, y'all" out of 10. recommended