Category Archives: The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain

The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain

3.5/5

2011

From their lowly beginnings making low-budget viral videos to their rise as Saturday Night Live musical parody stars, The Lonely Island have achieved the sort of success few comedians have, let alone comedians who get their start on the Internet. But though their sophomore album, Turtleneck & Chain, isn’t the first release since they’ve become famous, something else has changed. Their 2009 debut, Incredibad, had the luxury of time, compiling many of their best and most popular songs from over the course of many years with only a few tracks written exclusively for the album. Their follow-up, conversely, was crafted in little over two years, so if the material feels a little less polished, it’s to be expected. At the same time, though, Turtleneck & Chain isn’t a disappointment since it simply offers more of what Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone do best: loving send-ups of hip-hop and pop culture. And guess what? It’s still funny. One of the reasons it still works is that the trio utilize their high-profile guests to great effect: Akon gives “I Just Had Sex” a ridiculous, joyous hook; Nicki Minaj infuses “The Creep” with an unhinged sexuality, and Michael Bolton plays up his (in)famous bellow on “Jack Sparrow.” Another reason is that many songs are just flat-out funny. Justin Timberlake returns for the uproarious “Dick In The Box” sequel, “Motherlover,” and “Threw It On The Ground” is a brilliant send-up of non-conformist, conspiracy rap. Meanwhile, “No Homo” satirizes some of the thinly veiled homoerotic undertones in hip-hop culture.  Expectedly, Turtleneck & Chain suffers the same problems as its predecessor. To a certain extent, compared to Incredibad, many more jokes here lose some of their potency without their video counterparts, a problem that actually completely sinks “Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde.” (It should be noted, though, the album’s accompanying DVD helps to alleviate this.)  Elsewhere, a few one-joke tracks like the Fresh Prince/DJ Jazzy Jeff-inspired “Rocky” and the scatological “Trouble On Dookie Island” don’t hold up to repeat listens. However, the strength of the music here even makes the album listenable when some of the laughs dry up—songs like “Attracted To Us” and “After Party” almost actually work better as music numbers than as comedy bits. Despite its flaws, Turtleneck & Chain delivers exactly what you want from a big-budget sequel, and the best songs here will please any fan of the group, though chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve already YouTube’d the hell out of these songs anyway.

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