Flight of the Conchords (2008)
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Foux du Fafa A
I had watched the show a few months before this CD release came out, and so I didn’t know what they were going to do with it. I was delighted that they decided to begin the album with my favorite segment from the show. This is an entertaining parody of old ‘50s and ‘60s French music (that I haven’t listened to a whole lot). The duo plays the role of two foreigners who pretend to speak French (often rattling off random vocabulary words ... that reminds me of what was going through my head when I was taking French about five years ago) who pick up two French girls for a G-rated romp through town. This play-acting is hilarious. And the melody is catchy as well.
Inner City Pressure A-
And here’s a really amusing parody of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls.” Just the deadpan nature of the lyrics makes this much more likable to me than those parody songs from Weird Al. Although those are good sometimes, too. The song itself manages to be an obvious parody of that song without sounding annoyingly too close to it. (The Rutles had that problem.) The song itself is catchy and makes some hilarious though good-natured uses of old ‘80s instruments. They use various old synthesizers and a vocoder.
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros A
“I’m the Hiphopotamus, and my lyrics are bottomless.” Yeah, it’s either “Foux du Fafa” or this song that I like the most from the TV show. The lyrics are just about as funny as it gets; it’s a parody of those hip-hop competitions except these guys are hilariously lame at it.
Think About it B+
This is a good composition in its own right, but it’s not nearly as distinctive as the previous three tunes. It’s not a parody of anything in particular that I know of other than 1970s pop music. Perhaps something along the lines of Earth, Wind & Fire. It makes use of a quasi-disco groove, electric piano and a goofy diva-style duet between the two. The lyrics also give us a few good snarky laughs.
Ladies in the World A
This also has that 1970s pop vibe along the lines of Earth, Wind & Fire, except there’s a small early ‘80s-style rapping section in the middle. “Think About It” probably has funnier lyrics, but this has a catchier and more memorable tune. And hearing these guys ramble on about all the laaaadies is really fun, anyway. I think they were listening to I Am, because right after it has a nice ending, they fade the freaking thing back in again. (If you read my review of that album, I ranted a bit too much about that.)
You know, most of these songs wouldn’t go very far if they weren’t so catchy. That fuzz-bass line is incredibly awesome. This is a parody of those hip-hop songs that have such vulgar lyrics that practically every other word is blanked out when they’re played on the radio. Of course, there was no reason at all for the vulgarities because the song, I believe, is about going to the grocery store to get ingredients for a smoothie.
The Prince of Parties B+
Ha! This is more up my alley. This is a parody of the sort of music they used to make back when people thought sitars were cool. And another tribute to the era is they even insert some backward tapes of the sitar. Their vocals to sound like those fruity old Brits used to sound like, also, which is the endearing quality of this. Where it falls short, however, is the melody just falls a *tad* short. It’s also very cluttered, but I guess that’s forgivable since the music they’re making fun of was very cluttered, too.
Leggy Blonde B
They let Rhys Darby sing lead on this one, who played the character Murray on the show. He’s lamenting on a temporary tech repair woman leaving the office for good. Some of the lyrics are clever, but they’re not funny exactly. The office supply symphony in the middle is unique although I don’t enjoy listening to it. (And there’s a really odd, five-second club-dance bit inserted in the middle.)
Ah yes... here’s their sci-fi tale about the distant future, the year 2000, when robots took over the planet and killed all the humans. This song only appeared in splintered form in the show, probably because it was difficult to work this into a plot. But it’s great that they included it here in revamped form, because these are incredibly hysterical lyrics! They seem to take the form of various robots talking to each other about the demise of the humans... and each of them has various opinions of the effects. It all ends in a bianary solo and the “Robo Boogie,” which is one of the two forms of dances.
According to Wikipedia, this is a parody of something called reggaeton. I don’t know what that is, but I’ve heard songs similar to this before... It’s nothing I listen to on purpose. This song is notable for inspiring them to bring out the synthar, set to mandolin. The rhythm section is pounding, and they deliver some over-confident, growling vocals.
A Kiss is Not a Contract B
This is a straight folk song with just the acoustic guitars, which is probably the closest thing to their original acoustic only style. But the lyrics aren’t particularly memorable here. The melody is nice and has a number of good hooks in it, but it’s also not that notable.
The Most Beautiful Girl [In the Room] A
This is a parody of the Prince song “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” although I never would have picked up on that if it wasn’t for Wikipedia. I just thought it was a sweet though too-honest love song. (“Looking at the room, I can tell that you/Are the most beautiful girl in the...room/(In the whole wide room)/And when you're on the street, depending on the street/I bet you are definitely in the top three.”) There if you didn’t think that was funny, then your sense of humor is broken! The rest of the song is filled with treats similar as that. The melody is really nice, too, and it actually might have been a hit in its own right. There’s some Prince-style falsetto singing in this, which of course, they don’t take very seriously... but at least it sounds nice.
Business Time A
This is the reward I get for reviewing all those Barry White albums. Jermaine Clement has a very deep voice, which gives him the power to mimic White’s style of mumbling dirty bedroom talk for about a minute before the song pipes up. Once again, his mumbling is FUNNY. Instead of White’s ultra idealistic come-ons, these are much more hilariously realistic. (For example, they say Wednesday night is the time to make love because there’s nothing good on TV.) Making it better is that the song has a really catchy hook, and an ultra-rubbery synthesizer keeping it bubbly and the comedy factor pretty high.
They’re making fun of my favorite musician now! Ha! This starts out like a “Space Oddity” parody, but they also work in parodies of “Jean Genie” and “Let’s Dance.” Well, the parody is great, and their goof on Bowie’s is hilarious. The only complaint I have is that they probably should have just targeted one song instead of so many of them.
This is just twenty seconds long, and I assume it resulted from a warm up section. You can hear Jermaine mumbling, and then saying “Au Revior.” The instrumentals are very scattered. ... OK, goodbye, you freaky weirdoes.
I Told You I Was Freaky (2009)
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Hurt Feelings A+
Did you say that these songs weren't as funny as the ones from their debut album? I let out chortles all throughout this song. I would quote the lyrics, but the humor lies more in the vocal delivery than the words themselves, so I wouldn't be doing them justice by posting quotes... Just like their first album, their dry hip-hop delivery of silly lyrics are extremely fun. Also just like their first album, this song isn't only about the lyrics; it actually has hooks. HOOKS! This is fun to listen to on all possible facets. Should I also mention that the rhythm is toe-tapping?
I thought most ladies weren't very interested in staring at “sugalumps,” but maybe I was mistaken. I should start wearing socks in my pants! I'll even put actual sugar lumps in the socks as long as I can avoid falling into ant hills. Anyway, this is another song in a hip-hop flavor, and it continues to have HOOKS and be a lot of fun to listen to. They even bring in a whole new tune at the very end, which probably could have been expanded into its own song. As a whole, I don't find this nearly as likable as “Hurt Feelings,” though. This is about testicles, after all.
We're Both In Love With a Sexy Lady C+
The only song I don't like. Its groove is way too slow for my taste, and I don't even find the hooks that good. They were goofing on the sort of fake R&B stuff that Alicia Keys and the like have capitalized upon... It could have been fun, but this just doesn't have it. I don't even find anything particularly great about the lyrics, apart from that silly Barbara/Brabra argument they undergo toward the end. ...Although that loses a bit without the context of the video, and perhaps even the overall episode.
I Told You I Was Freaky A
Maybe one reason a lot of people don't think their follow-up work didn't measure up to the first is they seem to be concentrating mainly on hip-hop and R&B whereas their first album was all over the map. I'm also a bit dismayed by that since I am assuredly not a hip-hop fan, but I don't actually care a whole lot about that in the end as long as they continue to deliver the hooks and their dryly humorous vocal delivery. This one has a particularly fun, low-down dance groove to it, and nicely programmed drum beats. Just to show us how good they are at hooks, they close this song once again with a completely different groove that could have been developed into a great song by itself!
Demon Woman A
Finally! Out of that R&B/hip-hop stuff. I've enjoyed it, of course, but I like hearing their other stuff, too. This is a fast-paced pop rock song with a tight and infectious groove, and a catchy main melody. Jermaine's deep, evil laughs throughout are pretty funny as well!
Rambling Through the Avenues of Time B+
Aren't these guys supposed to be a folk duo? It isn't until now that we get an actual folk song, and I don't get a whole lot of pleasure out of it. The melody is nice, but it reminds me too much of the beginning of Don McLean's “American Pie.” They might have been goofing on that song, but I somehow doubt it. There are some pretty funny interchanges between Bret and Jermaine at the end, but that's another moment where you should see the series to get the full effect. (At least you'll remember how it went on screen when you listen to it!)
Fashion is Danger A+
Oh, leave it to me to give an excessively high rating to the goof on early '80s synth-pop. But not only is this a lot of fun for those of us who actually like this sort of music from the early '80s, but it's just as good as any of them! Play this next to anything by Human League, and you'll know what I'm talking about. This is even better than their Pet Shop Boys parody on their first album. (I like how they read off those random big cities in the middle of this... Sounds exactly like “Pop Muzik.”)
Petrov, Yelyena, and Me A
According to my extremely limited research on the matter (which I spent about 55 seconds doing to prepare for this review), this is the only song they had written in their original repertoire, but they couldn't find a place for it on their first season, I guess! That might also explain why this is the only goofy, old-fashioned song of the whole album. It's a sea shanty played with a waltzing organ with the silliest lyrics ever pertaining to cannibalism. (“Hey Petrov? / What? / What are you eating? / Nothing / It looks like meat / Oh, this? It's um, one of those, um... fish. / How come it looks so much like my arm? / It's an... arm fish / What about the fingers? / Fish fingers.”) There's that silly humor!
Too Many Dicks (On the Dancefloor) A
This is a dance-pop song like Britney Spears or something. I suppose Britney Spears could be entertaining if she wrote fun songs like this with strong hooks and interesting lyrics. (Could you imagine Britney going on stage and singing a song about dicks, dancing elaborate choreography with a bunch of gay guys?) Anyway, this is entertaining. It's got the hooks. Can't say anything less about it. Pop songs with great hooks get an A.
You Don't Have to Be a Prostitute A
This is obviously goofing on The Police's “Roxanne.” Interestingly, Flight of the Conchords made it a reggae-pop number, which is what everyone thinks the Police song was. But “Roxanne” was not reggae, it was tango. Were Jermaine and Bret correcting the mistake? ...To be honest, I hated this song the first time I heard it. I'm not sure why it took me so long to warm up to it, but I did eventually. Maybe the lyrics aren't as hilarious and irrelevant as the others, or maybe I wasn't appreciating the Police parody? I don't find a Police parody as intrinsically funny as a Barry White parody, I guess!
They put the more happy-go-lucky songs at the end of the album... I'm not too sure why they did that, since they evened everything out at the beginning. (Don't you remember how they started off their first album with that silly French pop ditty?) Anyway, here we're getting some cute a cappella with cheeky lyrics about the meaning of friendship.
Carol Brown A
This is just a good song. It sounds a lot like The Kinks with its bouncy melody and bubbly vocal delivery. Of course Ray Davies was known for putting plenty of cheeky humor in his songs as well, so that style was a perfect fit for them! Maybe finger snaps would have been too much for Ray, but Flight of the Conchords aren't afraid to cheesify everything up! The melody is fantastic. Listen to it once, and you'll want to whistle it.
The angels are doing it, doing it, doing it, doing it in the clouds? This was one of the more head-scratching moments of the show, and I still don't quite get it. (I just happened to get DVDs of the television series in the mail today courtesy of my brother, so I get another chance to “understand it” soon... But chances are, they were just doing it to be silly and irrelevant, but I just didn't happen to find it that silly.) Anyway, this is an acoustic guitar-led number, and they go to town with those goofy angelic vocals at the end. Until that moment, however, I find this to be a little flat.
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