By: Scott Caffrey
Bah! I shoulda known better. In my heart of hearts, I thought Flight of the Conchords' self-titled full-length was going to give me more than a partial soundtrack to the show. So fine, maybe I wasn't paying attention. But did they really have to go and mine most of their Grammy-winning EP, The Distant Future, to fill it out? Especially when they left off a solid handful of gems? Maybe I'm misguided, but I think they're better than this and capable of an album's worth of new material.
They could be New Zealand's answer to Ween. But to their credit, Jemaine Clement (bass) and Bret McKenzie (guitar) are comedians first, talented songwriters second. And, ho ho, they are deadly funny, and the music is all really good. It's relatively simple, homemade pop set to some crucially funny lyrics about these not-so-rockstars living the dream in their head. A listener not hipped to the show won't get all the jokes; i.e. just hearing "Bowie" isn't even getting half the humor. But Flight of the Conchords will prove a worthy addition to good-humored summer deck dwelling. "Robots" is absurdly funny, even without their cardboard costumes, and Clement's Prince-ly falsetto in "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" will make any Purple fan chuckle.
Being that this is a partial soundtrack to their show's first season, therein lies the second bummer – notable omissions. Rather than bore you with a wish list, I'll just say the omission of "Who Likes to Rock the Party" is completely disheartening.
However, it was my own expectations for their potential that ultimately soured my attitude on this record. For the uninitiated who like a laugh, this is my lock of the summer – you're bound to love it. For the diehard, you can look elsewhere, unless you just can't live without the sweet pullout illustrated poster of the boys. A second season has been confirmed, details of which are nil at the moment. So, here's to hoping the Conchords can get back to work with some fresh material.
JamBase | Down Under And Then Up A Bit
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