“ Genre: Indie Rock & Punk / Artist: Flight of the Conchords / EP / Audio CD released 2007-08-07 at Sub Pop Records „
This album has some of the best songs of the Flight of the Conchords.
The Flight of the Conchords are New Zealand's fourth most popular folk parody band and with this album they could even make it in to the top three. Unfortunately this album only has 6 songs but you are compensated by the fact that each song is incredible.
My favourite song is business time, a song all about sex ,its an amazingly funny insight in to the sex life of Jermaine Clement, one of the band members. The song sounds a bit like Barry White and the best line is 'you sort out the recycling, its not part of the foreplay but it is a very important part of the process'.
Another song is about the most beautiful woman in the room but it all depends on the room, they try to put in to perspective just how beautiful the girl is, 'She could be a part-time model but you'd probably have to keep your normal job.'
Robots is a brilliant song about the distant future when robots take over the world and exterminate all the humans, the binary solo is amazing.
I'm not crying is a sad song about losing the the girl of your dreams but pretending you are okay about it and that your not crying. With lines like 'I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face', this is comedy genius.
This album is brilliant just wish it had more songs from their TV series.
If you don't know who Flight of the Conchords are then you are not alone. They have silently snuck up into British consciousness through the BBC radio and BBC4 route - this instantly seems to isolate them into the category of high-brow comedy.
However, the songs of the New Zealand folk-pop-rock-soul-funk-rap duo are absolutely hilarious. If you have ever heard their radio show or seen their HBO TV show then you will instantly recognise the classics on this EP. As a taste of their main album from the HBO show, this gives three finished songs and three tracks from a live show which are even funnier than from their TV show.
It kicks off with 'Business Time,' a catchy number celebrating the errr, joy of love. This is followed by 'If you're into it' - a hilarious jingle-jangle song perfect to woo a lady in a new relationship. 'I'm not crying' is the funniest break-up song i've ever heard where as the live version of their masterpiece 'Most Beautiful Girl in the....Room'is the best version I've ever heard. Following on from a bit of banter, their post-apocolyptic finisher 'Robots' will have you instantly addicted to these talented and funny Kiwis and you will be back to the start to rehear it all again.
Just in time for the new series of Flight of the Conchords I decided to fork out for this EP, which is actually quite expensive for what you get. It is a small but perfectly formed example of the funk provided bty this hilarious Kiwi double act. Jermaine and Brett combine perfectly, they look geeky but on record their voices are superb, surprisingly funky, soulful and the lyrics are absolutely superb. For me this album is not as good value as the Flight of the Conchords CD which features some fo the same tunes and many more, but these songs are great and really worth a listen on either album.
Business Time - Basically sex was invented for this song, with Jermaine taking on the role of the sexiest man in his bedroom, this is a story of suburban bliss, of a man who is seeking out his partner for their Wednesday love making session, he sensually describes their home routine, he talks us through the routine building up to this routine routine, if you know what I mean.
The song itself is funkier than Old Gregg from the Boosh and Prince put together, it is so sexy it should have an 18 certificate as Jermaine describes being naked other than his socks and that when he's down to his socks its 'business time'. This is a wonderful homage/mickey take of soulful bedroom songs, Jermaine is superb in the lead singer role, leading from breathy sexy tones to silly little intonations, Brett is brilliant on the choruses with his high pitched soulful screaming. This is a great song and I think its a damned sight better than a lot of soul songs which are swooned over by the masses. Funny, self denigrating and utterly funky.
Each song on this album is totally different and the guys alternate vocals brilliantly.
If you're into it - Brett takes lead vocals for this lovely little song in which he tries to woo a girl, catchy guitar led song, this is sweet with a bit of edge, the chorus with Jermaine butting in is fantastic. I love the silly little musical instruments in the background too. I love the build up of the chorus to the culmination, 'being lewd with two dudes and food', absolutely superb, the guys are both talented individually but they contrast so well, this is a very funny song.
I'm not crying - A classic break up tune, a man who is blatantly crying telling us he's not crying, it is emotional, especially when Brett explains he's been cutting onions to make a lasagne for one, the guys do build this up, Bretts voice controls the song, but Jermaines deeper voice builds up, it builds towards a bee-gee esque noise of two men crying in a soulful funky way. While its a parody its a blummin great one.
Most Beautiful Girl in the Room (Live) - A cute song about the most beautiful girl in the room, with a strumming acoustic guitar Jermaine croons about the most beautiful girl in the room, he confirms that she would definitely be in the top three on a street.....depending on the street. This song has possibly the funkiest use of the line 'good one Dave' i've ever heard, unless Barry white used it in a seventies tune i'm unaware of. Brett supports every song and it is superb. The chorus talks about the girl being so hot 'she could have been a part-time model'. The song descends into chill out funk disco as Jermaine talks about making his moves. This tune is oddly sexy again, even with talk of 'sharing a kebab with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen....with a kebab!'. Class tune, absolutely superb, both guys are excellent.
Banter (Live) - Improvised chat between the guys, this is very funny, very on the mark and shows they are way more than talented musicians who can do jokes, this is laugh out loud funny and continues to be so after 5 or 6 listens.
Robots (Live) - Topical song about the year 2000 when Robots will rule the world, people no longer say yes, they say affirmative unless in colloquial situations with friends.
The song is funky, nice use of a casio keyboard during the chorus, Brett is powerful in his affirmations that the humans are dead while Jermaine confirms this having poked one. They used 'Poisonous gases to poison our asses'. This song is funny and actually quite funky in a geeky way. The irony is they destroyed humans to destroy their destructive tendancies. The song breaks off into Binary, seventies disco and current R&B at various points, its a great and instinctive song.
The album is £13.90 on Amazon although you can now buy it for £2.90 through Amazon Market place which is great value. Definitely listen to this if you like music or comedy.
I was shocked to see only one person had written a review for this Masterpiece of Comedy. I found out about these guys named Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clemant, a few years ago before they got they're own show on HBO. I was channel surfing and saw two grungy looking guys playing guitars on stage with an audience dying with laughter in the background. It's easy to understand why too, once you hear the lyrics. The song was called "Business Time" and it was played in a guitaresque Barry White kind of way.
Some of the lyrics in it are;
" Girl, tonight we`re gonna make love.
You know how I know, baby?
Cause it`s Wednesday.
And Wednesday night is the night that we make love.
Tuesday night`s the night that we go and visit your mother, but Wednesday night is the night that we make love"
Ooh, makin` love.
Makin` love for two.
Makin` love for two minutes.
When it`s with me you only need two minutes, `cause I`m so intense.
Two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven.
You say something like, "Is that it?"
I know what you`re trying to say baby.
You`re trying to say, "Aww yeah, that`s it."
Then you tell me you want some more.
Well I`m not surprised.
But I`m quite sleepy."
And THAT isn't even their funniest song! While they are wittily hilarious, that's not the only thing to love. They're actually GOOD musicians. I keep thinking " umm why aren't these guys writing normal non-funny songs?" But, I guess if you can play good music AND make it funny, then why not?
The season of they're TV episodes on HBO, showcases they're music and they're natural dry humor, comedy styles. They start off as just these guys from New Zealand that move to New York, and think they might hit it big as a band. They end up with an equally funny Band manager named Murray they met at the New Zealand Consulate. Some of Murray's best lines are;
" Murray Hewitt: You can't just neglect your old fans like that. What happens when your new fans fly the coop? You'll end up like Zed-Zed Top.
Bret: What are you talking about?
Murray Hewitt: You know, Zed-Zed Top?
Murray Hewitt: They sang the song about the woman with the legs. Anyway, they grew big beards, their old fans didn't like it, their new fans didn't like them without the beards, and then they had a "Do we have a beard or not?" situation. "
They also have ONE single fan that is always stalking them, and a local pawn store guy they befriend, that always thinks they're from England not New Zealand. They people who play these character actors are really perfectly cast as well.
So Jermaine and Bret usually have one song in each episode so it's really not all about the funny music, it's about they're lives as these struggling musicians that no one likes.
I have introduced every single person I know to these guys and some of my friends are now more obsessed with them than even I am. My one friend has a Tee-Shirt of they'res now he wears constantly, and a bumper sticker on his car that says " It's Business Time". (Plus he just starts singing they're songs randomly , which is almost as funny as the songs themselves) Before I end this I have a couple more lines from the show to share with you, that might make you so overly curious you would truly check them out. After you start putting these songs on your IPOD to show you friends, you can thank me....
Jemaine: I was hoping to dress something like Prince.
Dave: Kind of erogenous, huh?
Jemaine: Yeah, but toned down a bit, like Prince if he was just going to the zoo, or the supermarket.
Bret: They want me in the threesome.
Jemaine: What? That's not a threesome, that's a foursome.
Bret: I don't know. I've never had a threesome.
Jemaine: I don't want you in my threesome. You don't know anything about threesomes.
Bret: Have you ever had a threesome.
Bret: What do you mean "nearly"?
Jemaine: I've had a twosome.
I bought this CD after having seen a few episodes of the Flight of the Conchords HBO TV show, which follows the fate of Brett McKenzie and Jermaine Clement (aka FOTC, New Zealand's 4th most popular folk-parody duo), and their quest to make it big in the US. The programme charts their efforts, interspersed with songs, most of which are parodies of different musical genres. Watching the series, I was so impressed by their music that I bought the EP as soon as I discovered it on Amazon. There is also a longer FOTC album, but I wasn't sure whether the songs would be as good without the accompanying videos from the TV show, so decided to go for the EP first.
Brett and Jermaine portray themselves as inept, gauche desperadoes from the sticks, with dodgy fashion sense, a (seemingly) complete lack of irony and very limited success with the ladies, and this is where they derive most of their humour from. Added to that is the parodic nature of their songs, in which they gently mock instantly recognisable genres or even individual artists (e.g. they do a David Bowie parody where they mimic his voice and poke fun of his whole 'persona'). FOTC are also extremely talented singers and musicians - proven by the fact that this selection of live and studio tracks won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2008.
BUSINESS TIME This sees Jermaine in Barry White mode as he tells of how he and his long-term girlfriend make "sweet weekly love", which he goes on to coyly refer to as "business". Thanks to his misinterpretation of all of her signals ("You whisper something sexy like 'Is that it?' I know what you're trying to say girl, you're trying to say 'Oh yeah, that's it'") Jermaine quickly drifts off to sleep content: "Business hours are over, baby". Throughout the track he expertly switches between New Zealand whine and throaty American drawl as well as meowing, squealing and growling while Brett strums along and joins in with the funk-inspired chorus.
IF YOU'RE INTO IT This time it's Brett's turn to try to woo a new lady - with a gentle folk song. He makes suggestions based on the few facts he has at his disposal: she likes food and has a male flatmate. Brett starts of shyly but quickly gets more daring, with Jermaine providing some deep-voiced encouragement to the lady to consider Brett's increasingly rude ideas. Jermaine also accompanies his band mate on several instruments including a tinkly mini-piano.
I'M NOT CRYING Brett goes to great lengths in this soulful guitar-based ballad to explain that he is NOT weeping because his woman has left him: it's been raining on his face, he's been chopping onions and he's also worried about someone she doesn't know who is dying. He fools no-one.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE ROOM (Live) At a party Jermaine makes a beeline for the most good-looking girl and makes up a love song for her: "you're so beautiful...like nice ceramics or something". He showers her with compliments, suggesting she possesses enough beauty to find work as a part-time model or even a high-class prostitute, before making her an offer she can't refuse: "Let's get in a cab... I'll buy you a kebab".
BANTER (Live) A recording (or "a professional version of talking") from one of FOTC's stand-up shows in NYC, in which they reveal what their New Zealand audiences like, including the famous 'bank joke'. There are lots of deadpan sheep puns, and if this is all scripted, then the guys have a 'ewe-mungous' knack for making it seem - at least partly - improvised.
ROBOTS (live) The track from which the EP takes its title. The song is set in the distant future: the year 2000. They wrote it a while back, explains Brett, and were looking to corner a new market in a future world where all humans were wiped out by a "robotic uprising". This is the track that best conveys the duo's energy, musical and comedic talent and songwriting skills. Brett and Jermaine really play up to their geeky image here - what other song has an IT-inspired binary solo and sci-fi laser guns? They also switch genres several times, with cheeky digs at Radiohead's OK Computer and US college rock... until their power supply runs out at the end.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Business Time
2 If You're into It
3 I'm Not Crying
4 Most Beautiful Girl in the Room [Live]
5 Banter [Live]
6 Robots [Live]