The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain – Review

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It’s not very often that comedy lightning strikes twice. Most of the time comedy has one good strike, then retires quietly into mediocrity, spawning cringe-worthy sequels and imitations that never seem to end. Such were my fears for the insanely funny, self-proclaimed “fake-rap” trio The Lonely Island. Born from hilarious SNL skits, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, not only made one of the best comedy albums with their break out 2009 effort, “Incredibad,” but it also wasn’t a half bad rap record to boot — featuring unforgettable songs turned SNL shorts such as “Dick In A Box,” “I’m On A Boat,” and “Like A Boss.” After a two year break, the group is back with their sophomore record “Turtleneck & Chain,” and unlike most artists out today, this effort doesn’t disappoint.

The first thing you will noticeable about “Turtleneck & Chain” is that its production and presentation have been shot in the arm with creativity and a whole lot of Universal Records‘ money. Beats and samples sound like the top-shelf product of todays best producers, and every song has its own style. Take the album opener “We’re Back,” which echoes a hyped up Jay-Z track, and “Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde” which has Rihanna written all over it (of course she’s featured on it, but anyways), as well as the dubstep-influenced tail-end song “Threw It On The Ground,” and you’ll see how much ground this new album covers. Of course The Lonely Island has also brought with them a slew of memorable songs that will make as much commotion as “Dick In A Box” and “I’m On A Boat” did. The Akon backed track “I Just Had Sex,” the Milf-worthy Mother’s Day tribute “Motherlover,” and the John Waters’ approved “The Creep” continue the groups legacy of attention grabbing tracks that are both hilarious and catchy.

Applause must go out for who ever wrote most of the lyrics on “Turtleneck & Chain,” may it be Andy, Akiva, and, Jorma or just an over-worked set of Saturday Night Live writers, because all nineteen tracks (ok, maybe not including the short, waste-of-time interludes) have more cohesive and thought out lyrics than about 80% of all rap and hip-hop. Verses like “I shit the bed cause my dick played a prank on my butt. Straight crept when I slept and stuck a laxative up. Suppository music! Whatchy’all know about incontinence?” from the hype-man song “We’re Back,” and “We be braggin’ ’bout who’s chain be the thinnest, turtleneck thicker than delta burke swimmin’ in a Guinness” from the record’s title track, may sound stupid when read out loud, but the trio’s delivery makes all the corny inside-jokes and talk of penises sound like comedy gold.

The album’s DVD, which has many of the shorts on it, really pumps up the lasting quality of The Lonely Island; as a music video is far more funny than a simple song in their case. The skits (aka the 30 second songs) just didn’t do it for me this time around — the harmless “My Mic,” the deathly boring “Falcor vs. Atreyu,” and the dull “Watch Me Do Me,” go from set up to punchline in 5 seconds flat and should have been bounced as b-sides. My favorite track on the other hand is the album’s duo closing songs “No Homo” and “No Homo Outro,” the first of which sports the catch-phrase in every lyrical bar with exchanges going from, “When you wanna complement a friend, no homo. But you don’t want that friendship to end, no homo,” to the increasingly bizarre “Yo, I’ve been thinking ’bout posing nude, no homo. Yo, I’ve been thinking ’bout fucking a dude, no homo,” just has me laughing every time.

Honestly “Turtleneck & Chain” has more of a repertoire then their previous album, hosting more renown musical artists such as Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, and even Michael Bolton (who has never been this funny before, I’m sure of it), as well as having some of the most addictive beats and hooks featured on a rap album recently. They say art imitates life — well apparently superb rap occurs while imitating or spoofing dull, boring rap. Lightning has strike twice for The Lonely Island and there’s really nothing that can slow these Grammy-nominated guys down. There’s just too much stuff to intelligently make fun of through goofy rhymes, they could go on forever. [Staff]

Score: 4 (out of 5)

Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Record Label: Universal Republic Records
Genre: Comedy

RIYL: Flight Of The Conchords, Tenacious D

Track Listing:
1. We’re Back!
2. Mama
3. I Just Had Sex
4. Jack Sparrow
5. Attracted to Us
6. Rocky
7. My Mic
8. Turtleneck & Chain
9. Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde
10. Trouble on Dookie Island
11. Falcor vs. Atreyu – Classy Skit #1
12. Motherlover
13. The Creep
14. Watch Me Do Me
15. Threw It on the Ground
16. Japan
17. After Party
18. No Homo
19. No Homo Outro

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