As you more than likely know by now, The Lonely Island has returned. If you thought “The Wack Album” would contain anything but amazing beats, incredible production, impressive cameo appearances, and a ridiculous fart joke - even though you have to wait until the final track to really cash in on the latter - well....have you heard of these guys?
The new project delivers exactly what The Lonely Island-ers have always presented: Songs that, were it not for the hilarious lyrics, could easily be passed off as “legitimate” club hits. If you were played the songs contained on the CD without the lyric tracks, you’d be shocked to learn these beats and hooks were written by three of the funniest guys on the planet.
I’ll admit that upon my first listen, I wasn’t sold. In fact, I was a little disappointed. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but this album didn’t immediately connect with me the way their fist two releases did. Although I smiled a few times, there were no songs that jumped out and punched me in the funny bone the way that, for example, “Jack Sparrow” did on “Turtleneck and Chain.” It should be noted that T-Pain once again has the standout “LOL” moment. Just like his “I fucked a mermaid” phrase on their debut album, once again he killed me with a great line in “I Fucked My Aunt.”
As I continued to listen, though, something changed and with each repeated spin of the CD I began to like it more and more. The fact that each of the songs is a really good song helps and the more I listened to the guys brag about how good they are at hugging, it struck me as funnier each time. By the time it came to sit down and put together this review I found myself really loving this project.
The Lonely Island doesn’t mind revisiting past personas and themes. The “We Like Sportz” guys are back, this time declaring “We Need Love,” although I was a bit let down their friend Steve didn’t get called the nickname by which we’ve come to know him. “I Don’t Give a Honk” recalls their previous “Punch You in the Jeans” and Justin Timberlake reprises his role for the third time in the appropriately/coincidentally titled song “3-Way.”
As always, it’s a lot of fun to hear the musical guests who have come along to take part in the joke. It’s no surprise that Hugh Jackman and Kristen Wiig are hilarious (I could totally picture their song as an SNL Digital Short shot entirely in soft-focus), but I found it refreshing to also have Billie Joe Armstrong along for the ride, giving his all as the voice of the Mayor of New York desperately pleading for props as the guy who really runs the city. Solange helps the guys display their vast knowledge of punctuation (or not) and Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar turn the anthem of the current generation into a careful warning.
Despite my initial trepidation, when all was said and done “The Wack Album” won me over, I got my head on straight, and I recommend it highly. The CD is everything you could hope it would be: Funny. Random. Goofy. Head bob-inducing. Refreshing. Pretty much everything but wack.