Anyone familiar with cultish comedy series Flight of the Conchords
will be aware of the wonderful songs that the hapless New Zealand duo Bret and Jemaine concoct for each episode. Tackling all genres, from hip hop and soul to glam rock, the duo create highly original and well-produced tracks that typically satirise the very genre theyre imitating. This album collects together many of the shows best musical moments, many of them subtly revamped. "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" and "Boom" illustrate the pairs hilarious 'rap' skills. "Think About It" parodies socially minded soul visionaries such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, "Bowie" satirises the 70s icon (especially his prodigious drug use), while "Inner City Pressure" mimics the Pet Shop Boys. Two of the most memorable songs from the series--"The Prince of Parties" and "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)"--are also both present, making this the definitive FOTC compilation. The humour ranges from offbeat to downright daft, but there's nothing laughable about the production, which is mostly first class. It's true they could have given us a few new songs, but then how many comedy albums can you repeatedly rewind and find yourself not only laughing, but dancing too?--Paul Sullivan
New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords are seriously funny - Grammy nominated and single-handedly (can a duo be single handed?) keeping the Christmas stocking filler market afloat, they've been well and truly welcomed to the collective bosom of the country.
There's an honourable and long-lived tradition of comedy songs getting under the British public's skin. Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, and Charlie Drake had a post-war nation rolling in the aisles with their mix of cheeky chappie, FX-appended novelty noises.
A few years on and it was the slap-and-tickle innuendo of Ernie by Benny Hil(one of Tory leader David Cameron's Desert Island Discs!) that had this sceptered isle all a-twitter. Ditto the albums of sketches and songs by Monty Python, The Goodies' chart-climbing Funky Gibbon, and others too numerous and possibly not so humorous to mention.
Of course, with any laugh-a-minute ditty we inevitably enter into the diminishing returns of an all-too-brief infatuation that ultimately sours as the joke wears thin and the smile wears off.
It's difficult to be churlish about the musical heart that beats at the centre of the Flight of The Conchords' schtick. Yet as plausible as the targets are for these post-modern Barron Knights - The Pet Shop Boys (Inner City Pressure), Hip-Hop (Hiphopatamus Vs Rhymenoceros) socially conscious Marvin Gaye soul (Think About It), David Bowie (er, Bowie) et al, how often these studio-polished versions of the live act would be cracking you up is open to debate. This material probably works best when you can see their whites of their geeky eyes and their witty quips are well to the fore. --Sid Smith
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