When Adam Sandler released They’re All Going To Laugh At You! in 1993, the only way—save dubbing them off the radio—to get the comedian’s wacky musical material was via the album. The Saturday Night Live star might have performed two jams, “Lunchlady Land” and “The Thanksgiving Song,” on the show, but the rest of the record’s tracks—five of which were songs—were album exclusives.
Fast-forward 20 years and cue The Lonely Island’s mention of that Sandler album as one of its main influences. That’s great, and it makes sense, but is there a reason to release a full-length comedy song LP in 2013? With eight of The Wack Album’s 20 songs already out as singles, has the group blown its digital load?
In short: kind of. The eight Wack Album singles out so far—“3-Way (The Golden Rule),” “YOLO,” “Spring Break Anthem,” “I Fucked My Aunt,” “Diaper Money,” “Semicolon,” “Go Kindergarten,” and “Spell It Out”—are, without doubt, the eight best songs on the record. Others, like the Bloomberg-aping “I Run NY” and Pharrell vehicle “Hugs” are mildly amusing, but not all that tuneful. Short skit-songs like the aforementioned Sesame Street/early-’90s hip-hop homage “Spell It Out,” the joke-heavy “Meet The Crew,” or the amusingly accurate “We Are A Crowd” are funny, but not really long enough to make much of an impression.
Other non-singles don’t really work for another reason: Cuts like the Jurassic 5-sounding “I Don’t Give A Honk” or “shirted dudes in the swimming pool” farce “We Need Love” play too heavily off the group’s nerdy-outsider personas. Sure, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer are three gawky white dudes, but at this point, with Samberg’s fairly cool life and Taccone’s fairly raw Girls sex scenes on full display, believing that they’re creepy spazzes is a bit of a stretch.
Still, over the course of two previous records and a dozen years together, The Lonely Island has worked hard to build that image. For The Wack Album, the group stays the dick-obsessed, self-deprecating course, even grossing things up with a ton of repulsively juicy fart sounds on “Perfect Saturday.” Several tracks—most notably the bromoerotic “The Compliments” featuring Too $hort—contain copious amounts of inter-group chatter about one another’s length, girth, and sexual prowess. (During “The Compliments,” for example, Samberg claims that Schaffer is “so loyal that he only thinks of you when he’s jacking his dick.”) That’s funny enough, but other times the crotch humor falls flat, like when guest Kristen Wiig awkwardly jokes about guys exposing one testicle on “You’ve Got The Look.”
All that being said, even with the occasional duds, The Lonely Island’s hits make up for its misses. While a full album of the group’s material might be unnecessary now that so much of it is available elsewhere, having too much of a pretty good thing is never really all that bad.