Album Reviews, Culture, Hip Hop, Pop — June 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

REVIEW: The Lonely Island – The Wack Album

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The_Lonely_Island_-_The_Wack_Album

Artist Name: The Lonely Island
Title Name: The Wack Album
Label: Universal Republic
Reviewed by: Jarrod Macartney

There will always be arguments on whether or not Saturday Night Live is gradually getting worse by the year but all those disputes aside, we could always count on The Lonely Island for providing laughter on Saturday nights.

America’s funniest comedy trio have returned with a brand new release and are once again bringing along an entourage of celebrities including Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake and many others. Starting out with Saturday Night Live, the late-night variety show was the platform that grabbed the public eye to The Lonely Island which brought many ‘WTF’ moments including “Dick in a Box“, “Motherlover” and dressing Michael Bolton up as a pirate in “Jack Sparrow“. Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone departed the long-running sketch show recently and have had the spare time to bring out their latest offering, The Wack Album.

The Lonely Island are over-dramatic in everything they do, so it is very fitting to have their album opener titled “Dramatic Intro”. It’s a perfect start to the release and stays true to the epic-ness of the hip-hoppers. It sounds like an introduction montage of Marlon Brando being given a lifetime achievement award at the Academy Awards, but eventually flows into the edgy comedy style that The Lonely Island are known for. The intro combines voiceovers over a simple piano piece and includes various media personnel reporting with quotes such as “The first men to become President” and the band being “beaten to death by their own d*cks”.

The album kicks into full gear with the random and ridiculous “Go Kindergarten” which features Robyn’s superb vocals. Although like most things Lonely Island, it is better consumed in the form of a music video. Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar join in for “YOLO” as The Lonely Island take an alternative view on the motto “You Only Live Once”. Levine’s catchy chorus compliments the verse punch lines dropped by Samberg.

“Spell It Out” would have sounded like a good idea at the writing table, though it requires too much brain work for the listener with spelling out the song in letters. Thankfully the album’s highlight track follows it up with a solid tune featuring a smooth pop chorus from Solange which flows well with the hip hop verses. “Semicolon” provides comical examples of how to use semicolons and the collaboration ticks both the comedy and melody boxes.

And what is a Lonely Island album without an annoying interlude? This is where “Where Brooklyn At?”delivers and plays its part. Billie Joe Armstrong’s featured song “I Run NY” dives even further and gives confirmation that the Green Day front man’s vocals simply does not work within a Hip Hop song.

The Lonely Island bring in their unofficial fourth member, Justin Timberlake, along with Lady Gaga for the follow-up to 2011’s “Motherlover” and “3-Way (The Golden Rule)”. The song explores the scenario of a threesome and provides comedy gold. As for the other tracks on the 20-track long album, some are just plain wrong (“I F****d My Aunt” & “Perfect Saturday”) – and because they are so wrong, they receive a few chuckles while others are just catchy tunes with no real point to them (“We Are a Crowd”).

The Wack Album provides a great balance of song writing and jokes. The trio’s best work comes to life when a guest performer is featuring as it gives a unique dimension to the song and injects a pop hook which outlasts the jokes’ humour. This release proves that The Lonely Island can still deliver the comedy classics and to their credit, have remained consistent since their debut. 

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