It’s no secret that, for some time now, Sub Pop has been devising a plan to conquer the long-founded art of the comedy record. In the process they’ve annexed the talents of David Cross, Todd Barry, Eugene Mirman and Patton Oswalt, comedians who their well-established customers would find a lovely escape from overdosing on The Postal Service. Flight of the Conchords, if you weren’t already aware, are a double-barreled shotgun of ironic, wry hipster wit put to gentle, tuneful and genre-bending melodies.
One weakness that’s already apparent in the CD is its length. At six tracks, one of them an extended routine on their stage banter, the disc does not make for a compelling listen, at least not to the one million or so who are already converted by their on-screen charms. However the selection is not weak. The three studio tracks, though altered from live and show versions do not lose their novelty or solid songwriting.
The songs included, whether seen on the show or during their live set, are more or less standards by which the future numbers of the Conchords’ canon will be judged by their hipster fans and their dubious good humor. “Business Time” blends the sleazy romantics of funk with the clichéd horrors of the ultimate destiny of true love as it lapses into the coma that is marriage, or a committed relationship that might as well be one. In addition, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” is a Motown-slick croonfest which laments a fine young thing as having beauty the likes of a part-time model or a high-class prostitute, I was unaware that they were ever at my alma mater.
The Conchords are not limited to fake love songs. Indeed, who will not see them as the pioneers of the “binary solo” as heard in “The Humans are Dead,” a song that never disappoints live. Furthermore there is a track called “Banter,” which is exactly that. While it’s not the strongest showing of their social skills or timing, both in performance and in their show, Bret and Jermaine elaborate on Noah Baumbach’s innovation of comedy duos (as referenced by his one episode Conrad and Butler series) in which neither was the straight man nor the loon or imbecile.
Despite what it lacks, fortunately this will translate into a full length in 2008. At the moment, however, Flight of the Conchords, which is down to one episode of its first season as of the posting of this review, is at one million in the viewer numbers, which is low considering it follows the inexplicably loved Entourage. Something with more than six songs will serve to be encouraging.
The Frogs – My Daughter The Broad
Tenacious D – Tenacious D
Bruce McCulloch – Shame Based Man
MP3: “Business Time”