flight of the conchords i told you i was freaky
  • TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2009

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The dynamic doof-troop of Germaine and Bret (better known as the Flight Of The Conchords) work through love, life, and genitals on their second collection of songs from their popular HBO show of the same name. I Told You I Was Freaky doesn't break any new ground for the pranksters, who thrive in the silly, rambunctious explorations of awkward situations. The joke is an alarmingly severe lack of many things; common sense, sex appeal, and most important, a successful musical career and the irony is that in reality, the musicians behind the faade have all three. But is the joke still funny?

Yes and no. It is hard to separate this record from the second season of Flight Of The Conchords, which had some serious highs and lows. Some episodes went by without a single laugh, and some, in particular the last few, and especially the Kristen Wiig episode (which she also co-wrote), were riotously hilarious. The dichotomy comes as a result of the growing divergence in songwriting. The songwriting is significantly more integrated in the episodes they correlate with, and the result is more sight-and-sound gag than stand alone bits. Production values play a huge role in making auto-tuned, beat bumping tracks sound authentically "street," and plenty of "inside-jokes" in the episode enhance the humor of each track.

This album doesn't have its own "Business Time," (probably the group's most successful stand alone bit). But the first album contained a lot of music written for humor's sake, and later integrated into the show. Now it is the other way around, and as a result Freaky is less accessible for rookie fans. The closest it comes is "Sugalumps," a fantastic mock-up of today's popular music culture, but alas, it does not have the staying power or sing-a-long quality of "Business." It is a quality reserved for the stand-up routine. "Sugalumps" is pretty funny, but infinitely more so when recalling the dance that accompanied it. "We're Both In Love With A Sexy Lady" has one of the funniest breakdowns of the record, and even does a pretty good job of retelling the humorous situation that preceded it on the show, but lacks a sticky hook.

Several songs successfully integrate the auxiliary characters on the show, and knowing their personalities/contexts is the only way to understand why their various appearances are laugh-out-loud and not just thematically confusing. "Friends" suffers in this respect. The most successful stand-alone tracks are the ones that focus on one joke and really harp at it. "Too Many Dicks On The Dance floor" doesn't need any context to be funny.

In short; fans of the show, you will enjoy this record. New fans should wait for the season 2 DVD. Personally, I am holding my breath for a bonus release including the written-for-charity gem "Song For Epileptic Dogs." — Including the remix. -joe puglisi

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