Hip-hop trio The Lonely Island have emerged as one of the paramount comedy bands in the world in the last few years, since building up their cult status in the States through their involvement in the popular TV series Saturday Night Live. Their first album, Incredibad, propelled the group into international stardom, backed by such viral hits as ‘Dick in a Box‘ (featuring Justin Timberlake), ‘Jizz in My Pants‘, and the Grammy-nominated ‘I’m on a Boat‘ (featuring T-Pain).
On their second album, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone have proven that they are more than just a bunch of jokers with a synthesizer. Turtleneck & Chain takes its title from a lyric in the Akon-supported ‘I Just Had Sex‘, which hit YouTube back in December last year and has since racked up almost 100 million views. The album continues the band’s tradition of high-profile guest performers, with appearances from Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg and even Rihanna star-studding the track listing.
The album opens with a powerfully-delivered declaration of ambition and bombast: ‘We’re Back!‘ is a perfect example of the band’s stylistic mission of mixing hardcore rap beats with ridiculous lyrics and ideologies, in this case including erectile dysfunction, incontinence and cartoon sex. The whimsical humour continues throughout the 19-song album, with particular highlights including ‘Jack Sparrow‘, which features an out-of-place hook about the eponymous Pirates of the Caribbean character delivered by a film-obsessed Michael Bolton; ‘Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde‘, in which Rihanna robs a bank with a mumbling nerd who turns out to be an incredible rapper; and ‘Motherlover‘, the long-awaited sequel to ‘Dick in a Box’, again featuring Justin Timberlake and frontman Andy Samberg, this time singing about making love to each other’s mothers in place of Mothers’ Day gifts.
Turtleneck & Chain should be approached with an open mind; littered with profanity and full of childish humour, The Lonely Island’s sophomore offering exists for the sole purpose of making you laugh, and it is well-equipped not only to leave you in stitches but also to drill catchy melodies and imitatible lyrics into your brain for the world to enjoy.
Good: The number of high-profile featured artists is impressive, and puts the album a huge step ahead of other comedy musicians. The songs are also immensely catchy, and the lyrics are simply hilarious.
Bad: As with any comedy album, the jokes featured within are bound to wear thin eventually. The style of humour is also at risk of missing some listeners, too.