When he first became a cast member on Saturday Night Live, Andy Samberg was easy to dismiss as nothing more than the watered down love child of Adam Sandler and Jimmy Fallon. Hell, his name even sounded like “Sandler”! (We can’t be the only ones who called him “Andy Sandler” during his first year, can we?) But something happened before everyone could type cast Mr. Samberg into irrelevancy: he found a niche. While no one will ever accuse him of being an adept sketch comedy player, Mr. Samberg comes to life during the viral-ready Digital Shorts, and, specifically, the music parodies he does with his comedy troupe The Lonely Island. Almost without fail, Mr. Samberg and his cohorts Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer create the best moment on Saturday Night Live each episode. Maybe it’s just us, but The Lonely Island guys are pretty funny! So needless to say, when we saw that their first full-length album was being released this week, we couldn’t wait to purchase it. And you know what? It’s not bad!
Normally the idea of a musical parody album makes us dry heave, but The Lonely Island’s “Incredibad” manages to avoid most of the pratfalls inherent within the genre (Weird “Al” Yankovic, we’re looking at you); it sounds like Tenacious D by way of Timbaland and with dashes of Cake, The Pharcyde and Eminem thrown in for flavor. Take “I’m On a Boat”, a joyously dirty rap song about… being on a boat: Featuring T-Pain and his autotune, it is a perfect example of The Lonely Island’s charm–the lyrics are hilariously simple (“Fuck land, I’m on a boat motherfucker!”) and the music is wildly catchy. If the song weren’t so funny, it wouldn’t be very hard to imagine it playing ad nauseam on Top-40 radio. Even the video, which premiered on Saturday Night Live this past weekend–all tuxedos and sunglasses–seems ready for primetime.
But therein lies the problem with “Incredibad”; most of it has been heard before. Of the seventeen songs, seven have already appeared on Saturday Night Live and another handful have shown up on The Lonely Island website. The familiarity doesn’t make any of these parodies less amusing–we were ecstatic to see that our favorite Lonely Island song, “Lazy Sunday”, made the final track list–but it also doesn’t seem to make the album worth buying either. (Is anyone dying to have “Dick in a Box” on their iPhone?) However, if you’re looking for a mid-week smirk, you could do a lot worse.