Day 76: The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain

15 May

Rocky

Turtleneck & Chain was released on a major label, consists of hip-hop based comedy, and cannot be described by the word “indie” in any way, shape or form.  This is why it’s insane that The Lonely Island has put together the best record that I’ve listened to for Swole Ear yet. Holy crap, these guys never disappoint.  I feel that words (especially mine) can’t come close to describing the 39 minutes of hilarity that is Turtleneck & Chain, so I apologize in advance.

Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone are the kings of comedy in the eyes of this 17-year-old male.  Yeah, with jams like Trouble on Dookie Island, I’m aware that I am their target audience.  I do not care.

What makes these guys so great is their absurdity.  This trio takes everything that they make songs about to the extreme, and then find a way to go a little further.  Look at any track, and you’ll see what I mean. For the sake of this post, however, let’s examine We’re Back, the album opener.  Samberg and company announce their majestic return to the album format by rapping—for close to two minutes—about their extremely deformed penises.  They take it even further, as they discuss fan fictions that they’ve written involving romantic relationships between Garfield and Marmaduke.  “I would like to see that! This that Garfield sex music!”

They’re unrelenting from that point forward.  They pay homage to Aaron Carter’s That’s How I Beat Shaq in Rocky, a song about Samberg fighting, losing, and dying at the hands of Rocky Balboa. “I was quivering and twitching when I soiled my shorts/then Rocky pissed on me, customary in sports.”  Threw It On The Ground, a song about taking non-conformism to the extreme, ends with Samberg being repetitively tasered in his “butthole.”

The only problem with Turtleneck & Chain is that I had the opportunity to wear much of it out before ever listening to it.  A few tracks on the record have already had videos made for them, and don’t hold up as stand-alone songs.  It’s also easy to tell that certain songs will work much better when videos are made for them.  Attracted to Us, for instance, rattles off a series of female-types that must be attracted to the band members.  The song seems a little too random on the record, but will probably work when played over a montage of ladies with disgusted looks on their faces. Thankfully, I’m sure we’ll see that within a year.

If there’s one thing that The Lonely Island is known for other than its videos, it’s the powerful guest vocalists that frequently help out. Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Beck, and Justin Timberlake all lend a hand on Turtleneck & Chain.  My favorite guest appearance belongs to Michael Bolton.  This is the first—and god willing the last—time I have ever liked a Michael Bolton song.  Jack Sparrow sees the guys recording a generic club-rap song, with Bolton interjecting every now and then with dramatic Pirates of the Caribbean related ballads.  Someone at Universal probably told the band that they had to make a Pirates tie-in, which they managed to turn into something hilarious.  And that’s exactly what I love about The Lonely Island, these guys can make anything funny.

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