They Say it Gets Lonely on the Top
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 1 Comment
I have so many great memories with the guys from The Lonely Island over the years. I still remember the first time I watched “The Backseatsman,” following each episode of “The ‘Bu” religiously, and trying to explain to my friends how whitening your teeth would bring up the real estate value of your mouth. Naturally, when news got out that a follow-up to 2009’s colossal hit Incredibad was coming out, I was pretty stoked. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer return with Turtleneck & Chain, released last week, and though this album took a few listens to really grow on me, it’s definitely a solid fake-rap comedy album that you need to have.
Now I’ll be up front with you, it’s a little odd to review a comedy album. Since comedy is so subjective, I can’t really sit here and tell you if this album is truly funny or not, but there are so many great moments on this record that everyone can enjoy. Both old school Lonely Island fans and newcomers alike will find a lot of laughs on this album.
I’ve got to get this out of the way first though: the biggest problem I have with Turtleneck & Chain is the song selection. With so many great songs in the group’s past, I’m genuinely surprised to see a few didn’t make the album, when weaker songs did. “Shy Ronnie 2,” in my opinion, makes a MUCH better video than a song, and I feel those who haven’t seen the SNL video already will feel like the song isn’t much more than “Sax Man” (from Incredibad) all over again. I also felt that “Jack Sparrow”, featuring Michael Bolton, didn’t quite click until I saw the video. But hearing Bolton belt “This whole town’s a pussy, just waiting to get fucked” more than makes up for it.
I’m a huge fan of the “We Like Sportz” series of skits, and I was devastated to find out that “We’ll Kill You,” the new tough-guy anthem from Guy #1 and Guy #2, didn’t make the album (and is somehow noticeably absent from the internet). You’ll find the video on the bonus DVD that comes with the CD, but not being able to take it with you just sucks. I was also a big fan of the 2007 SNL digital short “Iran So Far,” and I am sad to see it didn’t make the cut.
The second half of Turtleneck & Chain is what really grabbed my attention, with the incredible “No Homo,” where the group pokes fun at guys that use the same phrase to dodge their closeted gay feelings. “Threw it on the Ground” was another one of my favorites, and probably one of the most quotable songs on the album, and “Japan” was a hilarious surprise favorite of mine; I can’t wait to see if they ever end up making a video for that song.
“Motherlover,” featuring the return of the awesome duo between Samberg and Justin Timberlake is definitely one the most laugh-out-loud tracks on the album. It’s odd to see someone actually outperform Andy Samberg for the first time, and that’s really saying something. That’s not where the maternal love stops of the album, as the motherly-tribute “Mama,” is also hilarious, especially towards the end of the song where everything just gets bat shit crazy.
Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson are ten times more awesome for doing this video.
The non-musical skits on the album, though only a few, were great, and I can’t help but crack up every time I hear “Falcor vs. Atreyu.”
Even without “Iran So Far” and “We’ll Kill You,” Turtleneck & Chain is an incredibly hilarious album that every Lonely Island fan needs to have. Though I doubt the guys will ever get back to making the fantastic shorts of yesteryear, the SNL digital shorts and these awesome albums will still hold me over as a fan. I can’t say Turtleneck & Chain is stronger than Incredibad, however, only time will tell if this album holds up as well as their debut record has. One thing I do know for sure after listening to Turtleneck & Chain: This shit is murder music.
Standout tracks: “Threw it on the Ground,” “The Creep,” “Motherlover,” and “No Homo.”
What was your favorite moment on this album? Were there any tracks you though should have made it on the record that didn’t? Let us know in the comments section below!