Sunday, May 15, 2011

Marooned on a less funny island

The Lonely Island, known previously for mostly amusing SNL "Digital Shorts" recently released their 2nd disc "Turtleneck and Chain".

For those not familiar, they have settled into a comfortable niche as a "fake rap" act, lampooning stereotypes of the genre, with usually hilarious results.  This time around though, they are very hit and miss.  "We're Back" opens with an old tripe flipped upside down.  We all know how boasting about sexual prowess is played out and over-done in rap music - so it is only fitting they open with a speedy posse cut with...yes, you're reading this right...aggressively-voiced verses about how they can't get it up.  Yep, they hit the perfect "skewer the genre" tune right out of the gate.  From there they dabble in Sandler-ish skit-interrupted tracks "Mama" as a segue into the equally punchy "I Just Had Sex"...and then they enter a "Rocky" period, no pun intended.

Putting Michael Bolton on a rap track about drinking in the club with completely out of place random verses about Pirates of the Caribbean reads like a head scratcher on paper - you may love it or you may hate it.  "Rocky" is a fun story track about one of them challenging Rocky to a match and getting creamed in the ring.  These are the good ones.  The Beck-assisted too-goofy-and-not-really-funny "Attracted to Us" is one of the very bad ones.  The momentum picks up again with one of the hit the nail on the head tracks "Turtleneck & Chain" - where we take it from the stereotype (expensive cars, champagne, and giant over-sized diamond necklaces) light beer, thin chains, and turtleneck sweaters.  Yes, the braggadocio-flipped-on-head trick works exceptionally well here.

The skits on the album are largely forgettable and mostly not all that funny - it also suffers from a case of too many of the tracks coming out via youtube prior the albums' release - much like a movie where all the good parts show up in the trailer and nothing else is left.  Thankfully, they pick back up from a rocky 3/4 of the way through to close off with "No Homo" - a somewhat predictable, yet thoroughly enjoyable spitball flicked right into the eye of one of the most idiotic add-on-catchphrases to emerge into the pop-culture lexicon in a long time.

Bottom line, the lonely island is still a funny group - just not as consistent this time around.

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