Andy Samberg and company have finally released a full-length album- and it is just as funny, absurd, and car-shaking, rim-rocking, and pulse-pounding as you expected. So pop a cold Santana Lite and enter the world of Incredibad.
Let’s start off discussing the “greatest hits,” which comprise about half of the album. They are many- “Dick in A Box,” “Jizz in My Pants,” “Space Olympics,” “We Like Sportz” (recently released on YouTube, a sequel to “Just 2 Guyz”) and “Natalie’s Rap” to name a few. Of course, we then have the original SNL classic (“Lazy Sunday”) along with the newest hit (the T-Pain-boosted “I’m On A Boat”). Since all of these have corresponding music videos, you may be wondering what’s so fantastic about hearing them again in song form. You’ll be surprised- without the studio audience laughing, it’s easier to hear the slick production value, awesome beats, and more of the lyrics. “Sunday” sounds particularly impressive. All of the tracks that have previously aired on SNL or YouTube are funny, making Incredibad already a great album. Does the new material meet the challenge?
In a word, kind of. Album opener “Who Said We’re Wack” is a definitive highlight, an anthem that finds our rappers questioning who called them wack and why they would say such a terrible thing (“I think it’s wack, to call a person wack!”). It’s very funny, involving a lot of lame rhymes that end with -ack (“You’re gonna get smacked, you must be smoking crack,” etc).
More new material finds Jack Black, Norah Jones, and Julian Casablancas all sucked into the world of Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaeefer. Black sings on yet another album highlight- a song hyping up a “Sax Man” who isn’t quite the saxophonist we think he is. Big laughs out of that one. Jones’ track, “Dreamgirl,” is a little more mellow, and the laughs come a little cheaper. It basically describes the Lonely Island’s “dream girl,” a squirrel-eating, asphalt-lipped woman who just doesn’t sound too dreamy. But the song saves its lame joke by taking The Lonely Island’s trademark left-field turn (think the zombie-dance ending of “Andy Punches“), becoming an ode to Chex Mix midway through.
Casablancas (lead singer of The Strokes) chimes in on one of the best-sounding songs on the album, but also one of the least funny. The track, “Boombox,” follows a man who brings his massive, you guessed it, boombox around to parties with old, blue-collar people and gets them to dance. The song’s funniest moments are the constant references to “boiled goose.”
The rest of the album is meh, but still decent. The recurring joke throughout Incredibad about the band’s favorite champagne, Santana DVX (“that’s my joint!”) is very funny. “Punch You In The Jeans” takes an old-school, low-fi hip-hop vibe and works with it well, contemplating the best place to punch someone (in the jeans).
Overall, Incredibad just works. But I’m biased- I’m a big Samberg fan. I can definitely see this album coming across as lame (think Weird Al) or unfunny to a random listener. But if you listen to the lyrics, if you respect the beats and cameos, and if you don’t try to think too much into the joke (There IS no point to “I’m On A Boat”- they’re just on a boat), I think you’ll love it.
What do you guys think about Incredibad?