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Leak Review: Flight of the Conchords’ I TOLD YOU I WAS FREAKY

September 15, 2009

flight-conchords-i_told-you-_i_was_freakyYou know you’ve really made it when people care about your work enough to steal it on the internet. Two weeks ago I wrote a post on Jay-Z’s new album, but I didn’t provide a full-fledged review because I was writing only days after the record had leaked and didn’t feel like I had enough time to fairly judge it as a whole. Now here I am with a full-fledged review of New Zealand acoustic digi-folk parody duo Flight of the Conchords’ second album, I Told You I Was Freaky, which leaked less than two weeks ago. Am I just a massive hypocrite? Click the jump to find out!

Answer: Yes, probably, but in this case I have an excuse, which is that I can review this album because I heard most of its material months ago in the second season of the Conchords’ TV show. A few of the tracks (for example, “Hurt Feelings” and the title song) have new vocals or verses added on, but the album is mostly made up of the original recordings which were used on the show (in contrast to the band’s first, self-titled album, which featured totally new versions of a few tunes).

Kind of like how Sam and I spend our free time.

Kind of like how Sam and I spend our free time.

On the one hand, this makes some sense; the recordings sound pretty crisp, so why bother doing them all over again? On the other hand, though, some new material might’ve made the album more interesting to fans of the show who are already familiar with the songs. The Conchords tend to add new lyrical twists and improvisations into each performance of a song (which is one reason why their live shows are so much fun–for more on that, check out my gushing fanboy review). Also, it would’ve been nice to have a studio recording of the longer, much funnier version of “Petrov, Yelyena and Me”–or of “Bus Driver Song,” which the TV show inexplicably omitted despite spending a whole episode setting it up.

But whatever. Songs are songs, new or old, and the real question about I Told You I Was Freaky is, how good are said songs? Unfortunately, those who watch the show or have paid attention to the show’s buzz should be able to guess that, like the second season, the Conchords’ second album is a bit of a letdown. Yes, there are some high points, like “Feelings,” “Freaky” and the wonderful “Carol Brown.” There are also a few songs that are nice to listen to despite not being all that funny (“Demon Woman,” “You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute”). However, there are also songs like “Rambling Through the Avenues of Time” and “Fashion Is Danger” that are just lame, and overall the selections just aren’t as assured and nimble as they were in the first season/album. This sophomore effort isn’t godawful, and it’s worth getting if you’re a fan of the show/band, but it’s a definite step downward.

You can go to this post if you want my full review of the TV show, but, to be concise, I always enjoyed it less than the Conchords’ songs alone. I can do without a third season if it means that the band gets to pursue different, more interesting projects–like, for example, an album of non-show material. Murray, are you listening?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2009 10:56 am

    I love Murray. Don’t shit on Murray. That said, you should have sent this album to me weeks ago. I’m disappointed.

    • Matt permalink*
      September 15, 2009 3:19 pm

      Murray is great; I’ll give the show that.

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