Universal Republic Records
Made famous by their music videos on Saturday Night Live, The Lonely Island is a musical comedy trio made up of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg. Incredibad, the group’s debut album, includes all the hits from SNL and adds a bunch of new songs to the mix. Even though TLI have yet to release a dud on SNL, the album’s 18 tracks are, quite frankly, hit or miss.
TLI are at their best when parodying popular rap. Songs like “Lazy Sunday” – a perfect Beastie Boys impersonation – and “I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain)” work not just because the lyrics are funny, but also because TLI understand the structure of pop music. In the same way a joke is funnier when it’s true, TLI’s parodies draw laughs by recreating the specific atmosphere that chart-topping pop hits work so hard to create. Since “I’m On A Boat” could be a legitimate T-Pain song, it’s near impossible not to laugh when T-Pain croons “Believe me when I say / I fucked a mermaid.“
“Like a Boss” – a Rick Ross parody – in which Samberg lists all the things absurd things he’ll do “like a boss” works wonders as well. The best lines are the most ridiculous: “Suck a dude’s dick / like a boss / chop my balls off / like a boss / meet a giant fish / like a boss / fuck his brains out / like a boss.” If Rick Ross had any swagger left, I’m pretty sure “Like a Boss” destroyed it.
It’s surprising, but “Dick In A Box (ft. Justin Timberlake),” suffers without the popular SNL video. It’s just not that funny. The reggae parody “Dub Trent” falls flat on its face as the joke wears thin too early. “We Like Sportz” never moves beyond its inane description of sports. The worst song is “Space Olympics,” an Aerosmith-inspired track drenched in reverb that never even tries to be funny – it’s heinous.
But what comedy band has ever released the perfect album? Even Weird Al isn’t perfect all the time. It’s hard to be overly critical of Incredibad just because there are a few bad tracks. Besides, the duds can never overshadow the comedic magic of “Jizz In My Pants” or the vulgar Natalie Portman rap “Natalie’s Rap.” I think TLI knew what they were up to when they named the album. A few of the tracks are incredible. Some are good. A couple are just bad. The end result: Incredibad.
– Zack Frederick
For Fans Of …
Flight of the Conchords
Give these tracks a listen:
“I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain)”
“Jizz In My Pants“