SOUNDTRACK: LONELY ISLAND-Turtleneck & Chain (2011).
I liked “Lazy Sunday” quite a lot, but I didn’t feel compelled to get the album. Then, when I heard Samberg on NPR, it made quite a compelling case for this second album. So I decided to check it out.
Most comedy albums are juvenile, so let’s get that out of the way. This is juvenile. And, as with most SNL-derived humor, it’s a one note joke that gets stretched out. The good news is that very few of the songs stretch too long (only one is more than three minutes) and the music itself is quite good–which allows for repeatedly listens.
The opening, “We’re Back!” is really quite funny. It’s all about how the three guys have really tiny penises. Ha ha, but it’s delivered with such great gangsta rap style that it is very, very funny. “Mama” is a wonderful tribute to the singers’ Moms. The song is interrupted by said mother over and over. On this one, the joke might go on too much, but overall, it’s very funny.
The longest song is “Jack Sparrow” and it is one of the best ones on the disc. It features Michael Bolton (!) singing his heart out about his love for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies–which is funny enough, but the guys are rapping behind him about something else entirely. They keep trying to stop Bolton from hijacking the song. It’s very well done (and man, say what you will, Bolton can belt out a song).
“Attracted to Us” goes on a bit too long (and at less than 2 minutes that’s a bad sign) and “Rocky” in which one of the dorky guys talks about fighting Rocky (ala The Fresh Prince) is a super long SNL skit (which is not a compliment).
“Turtleneck & Chain” features Snoop Dog and is just fantastic–I love hearing Snoop Dog rap this geek shit. “Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde” also works very well with Rihanna on vocals. The song itself is catchy and the joke, when it finally comes, is really good.
“Motherlover” is a sequel to “Dick in a Box” (“this is the second best idea we ever had”) and Justin Timberlake continues to impress me in his new role as a funny guy. This is a gross song but it’s really crazy catchy (Timberlake must have written the chorus).
One of my favorite songs on the disc is “Threw It on the Ground.” Musically, I think it’s fantastic and lyrically it is pretty funny. I wish that they had had some better examples of things to throw on the ground (the cell phone joke is lame and they get kind of lazy by the end), but I get this song stuck in my head a lot. Another song guaranteed to stay in your head forever is “I Just Had Sex,” a childish and silly song that is outrageously catchy. And if it’s in your head it won’t leave. (And yes it’s funny).
“Japan” is a crazy and funny look at Japanese culture while “After Party” is a bit one note. “No Homo” on the other hand brings in a full circle hardcore joke that is at once offensive and hilarious.
“The Creep” is pretty unsuccessful even with the help of Nicki Minaj–the video helps a little, but not enough. As with most rap albums, the skits are the weakest link. Without a song behind them the skits are good for one or two listens and some not even that (“Falcor vs Atreyu”? “My Mic”? these wouldn’t even be funny if they were improvised, and yet they seem very deliberately planned–boy I hope there wasn’t more than one take).
Overall, this is a funny rap parody/tribute album. It’s obvious that the guys love rap and they are quite successful in their stylings. None of it works as well as “Weird Al”‘s “White and Nerdy” but honestly whatever could? But “Weird Al” is PG, and Lonely Island fills in as the adult pranksters.
[READ: October 28, 2011] Chew: Volume One
Sarah gave me this book after reading the recommendation on The Hub. She said it was really good but it was really gross. And that’s quite an accurate assessment.
One thing that I liked about this book was that it had not one but two really cool ideas that run through the series. Either one would be a compelling-enough premise, but putting them together makes for an excellent story with lots of possibilities.
The story is about Tony Chu, who is a policeman. He is also cibopathic, which means that when he eats anything (except beets for some reason), he instantly knows the history of that food: eating fruits and vegetables shows him the tree it grew on and how it was harvested; eating meat, well, just let your imagination go on that one. That’s a pretty great premise. But when he gets a murderer’s blood on his lips and he instantly knows the names and locations of all of his victims, well, that ups the intensity (and the grossness).
The second great premise is that the government has outlawed chicken because of the avian flu. Millions of people died from the flu and now only chicken-substitutes are used. There is now a black market for real chicken, including speakeasys, and the FDA is hot on the heels of all traffickers. And yet, there is a small group of rebels who believe that the whole avian flu thing is a sham (including Tony’s brother Chow). They don’t postulate why the sham was created, but they are out to set the record straight.
Put these two ideas together and you get a hell of a story. (more…)
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