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Flight of the Conchords (2008)
Producer: Mickey Petralia
Foux du Fafa
Inner City Pressure
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros
Think About It
Ladies of the World
Prince of Parties
A Kiss Is Not a Contract
The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)
Released in 2008, this is the self-titled debut album by New Zealand parody band Flight of the Conchords. A TV series of the same name was first aired in 2007 and it has since spawned a second series, both of which follow the misfortune which clings to band members Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement as they seek fame and fortune. Alas, this is not a review of the series, so we shall instead focus on the music, except where necessary.
The format of the series takes shape in the form of a loose narrative documenting the calamities which befall our unlucky musical duo. Really, the sequence of events is entirely irrelevant, but more importantly it provides several opportunities per episode to shoehorn in musical sequences. Some of these songs parody famous musicians, while others can be identified as Jemaine and Bret's own twisted take on pop.
Now, I want to convey to you just how much I wanted to dislike Flight of the Conchords. The little devil which sits upon my shoulder and monitors which music makes it into my collection was pleading with me, "No, stay away, you can do better, for Morrissey has just reissued Bona Drag!" But I was curious. So curious, in fact, that it led me to spend £12 following a spur of the moment decision in a popular high-street music shop chain (that is £2 pounds more than the Morrissey album, I will have you know).
Well, I rarely spend that kind of money on albums, but I was very pleasantly surprised by my purchase. I will freely admit that I had billed Flight of the Conchords as a novelty act and had taken a conscious effort to avoid their TV series and music. Do not follow in my footsteps, instead take note: the songs are more often than not uproariously good fun. I was initially worried that this formula of simply telling jokes on record would wear thin but I can happily report that Flight of the Conchords endures repeated listens. This is simply down to the fact that Bret and Jemaine are actually a pair of very accomplished musicians and they know their source material very well, so whether they are performing a comical David Bowie medley (Bowie) in a freaky English accent, or parodying artists who feel the need to ram social-commentary nonsense down our throats (Think About It), as a music critic you can sit back, relax and smile, in the comfort that Flight of the Conchords love their classics just as much as you.
I've since watched a number of episodes from the first series of Flight of the Conchords and in most instances it is - surprisingly - the album versions which come off the best. Remarkably, the songs actually still work outside the context of the episodes, while possessing a stronger body of music, thanks to a keen eye for production and additional instrumental inclusions from the band.
The Pet Shop Boys-esque Inner City Pressure comes complete with a doctored chorus and more synthesizers than any reasonable human-being can handle, meanwhile Robots pays homage to the 1980s electronica acts, while laughably pointing a finger at the eccentric seriousness of Kraftwerk. "The world is quite different since the robotic uprising of the late '90s... there is no more unethical treatment of the elephants... well, there are no more elephants."
Fan favourite, Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros, is pretty much a one-joke song. "They call me the Hiphopopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless... *long-pause*" Ho-ho! Thankfully it's only two minutes long and these unforgivable acts of frivolity are few and far between. Actually, it is worth mentioning that many of the songs here only last a couple of minutes, so do not be alarmed by the large tracklisting. It is mostly a tightly-edited affair.
Mutha'uckas is fantastic, it really is. Gangster-rap gets sent up throughout this song, most notably the race-wars which artists such as Ice Cube acknowledged throughout their early career. "The mutha'ucka runs a racist 'uckin' grocery, the mutha'ucka won't sell an apple to a Kiwi!" It is Bret's verse which makes the song, with the heavily censored cursing, but culminating in the hilarious statement "he's gonna' wake up in a smoothie!" Steady on now, lads.
Even when the pair are crooning on such moments as The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) and placing Prince under a figurative microscope, they nail each one of their target's nuances perfectly. But it is the slow acoustic jam of the Barry White informed Business Time which steals the show time and time again (the pair even going so far as to credit him with thanks in the liner notes). "Girl, tonight we are gonna make love. Do you know how I know?" Growls Jemaine in a deep, husky voice, "because it's Wednesday." This song is going to completely blow your mind, honestly, just give it a try, baby.
All in all, Flight of the Conchords probably is the finest parody album of all time. Musically, it is a bold step away from its parent TV series and the songs have been suitably fleshed out. It's then that it strikes you that even without the comedy, Flight of the Conchords could undoubtedly stand on their own two feet. As a final word, it is worth mentioning that if you recognise what has influenced their songs you're going to appreciate Flight of the Conchords a hell of a lot more. The songs still work without said awareness, but the pair do rely on you having a fairly wide-reaching musical knowledge for ultimate enjoyment.
If you have never heard of Flight Of The Conchords, they are 2 guys (Jermaine and Bret) from New Zealand, who are the stars of the TV show, also named Flight of the Concords.
In the TV series they have come to America to become a big, succesful band, and the show takes us through their daily lifes and the problems that lay within it.
Flight of the Concords - Flight of the Concords is one of the Musical Albums they have released of the songs from the show, which in my personal opinion, make the show as funny as it is. The songs on this album are all from the first series of the show.
The first song on Flight of the Concords is Foux Da Fafa. This song is from an episode where Jermaine and Bret meet two French girls, neither girl speaks English and neither guy speaks proper French, so what ensues is a song made up of random French phrases and sentences which makes for quite a funny song, especially if you understand some of the French phrases. A nice floaty song as well, which you will find yourself singing along to.
The second track is Inner City Pressure. This is where Bret and Jermaine realise they are desperatley poor as they have had no gigs, and neither of them are working. The song makes me laugh so much, and is in the same kind of style as the Pet Shop Boys, complete with synthesizers! This is definatley a song to make you giggle!
Thirdly, we have a tracked named Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenocerous. These are the "rap names" the guys have given this selfs, and this song is full of cheesey, bad white boy rap with hilarious lyrics that have me in stitches every time I hear them. Even if you never watch the show, this is one of the songs you have to hear!
Fourth, we have Think About It. This song is one of those on the album that do not make me laugh as much as it could, and at best, I think this song is an ok one. It can be fun to listen to, but do not expect to laugh much when you hear it. The tune and beat is not too shabby, but nothing about this song is brilliant.
The fifth track on the album is called Ladies of the World. This to me is on the same level as track 4, and it is nothing special in the way of lyrics or musical ability. It is not a bad track, just nothing great and a bit of a disappointment compared to their funnier stuff.
Sixth on the album is Mother'Uckas, which is another rap song from the guys. Quite funny and full of random lyrics that you just can not help but to laugh at. A good beat follows the lyrical ability of this song, and whilst it is not the best they have produced, I quite like this track and think that it is worth listening to.
The seventh track is the Prince Of Parties. Another track that I believe is not so great, nor do I really have to much to say about it. It is ok at best, and if you do not get to hear this track, it is not a great loss.
Eighth we have Leggy Blonde, which is mostly sung by the guys Band Manager, Murray. He is singing about the woman who works at his office, and how much he would like to be with her. Some funny lines in this one, even if it is quite a slow, saddish song, but the lyrics make up for this.
The ninth track is Robots. A song about how humans no longer exist and the world is run by Robotic Beings. A brilliant song, and it never fails to make people laugh, especially when you really listen to the lyrics. I really do think that this is one of the best things that Flight of the Concords have ever produced, and if you get a chance to watch the accompanying video, I would highly recommend it.
The tenth track on the album is named Boom. This is a funny, fast paced song about a girl that Bret meets and takes a liking to, named Coco. The best part of the song is a little bit of a breakdown rap from Jermaine, has me in stitches!!
Eleventh we have A Kiss Is Not A Contract. Sadly, this is another song which failed to make any kind of decent impression on me. I do not really find this track to be funny, and the lyrics could have done with a little tweaking in my opinion. Not one to turn the volume up for.
Twelth we have The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room) and this one really is a diamond of a song. The guys meet a girl called Sally at a party, and this song is about her. Truly a brilliant song, especially if you listen to the words, they will have you laughing hard I promise you. The lyrics really are brilliant, and the song works really well. This is one of the songs where the guys work perfectly together all the way through.
The thirteenth track is called Business Time, and this one really is the best song Flight of the Concords have EVER made. This is one of the first songs I heard from them, and I still find it amazingly funny now. Every line is funny, the whole song blends together really well and I quite like the tune too! Brilliant all round, and the video for this one makes it even better!
The fourteenth track is titled Bowie, and is pretty much what it says, a song for David Bowie - but mainly while he is in space. It is a bit of a strange song, but a funny one which I totally think everyone should hear at least once. This is another of my favorite tracks from the album.
The final track is called Au Reviour, and is just a general goodbye track, not really anything to mention.
All in all, this is a good album, which is funny and entertaining. I personally recommend it 100%, especially if you are a fan of the show itself. You can buy this album on Amazon for just £7.93, which I think is a bargain for this fantastic comedy song album!
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS (Album)
The art of writing a gut-wrenching hilarious song is something that has always been on the periphery of modern music. Whether it's because audiences feel that the light spoofing of their favourite songs and genres by so called funny men (see Weird Al Yankovic) is somewhat taking the piss, or that such tunes frequently include a cornucopia of profanity (see Adam Sandler's wonderful contribution to the genre with the amusingly entitled 'Medium Pace'), either way mainstream audiences don't seem to care much about it. Likewise, it's a shame that Monty Python's 'I Like Chinese' and 'Finland' do not receive more acclaim than they deserve, simply because they're associated with a rather silly television programme first and foremost, and not the music scene. Let's hope that the same fate does not befall Flight of the Conchords...
Flight of the Conchords are probably best known for the award winning comedy show that has aired on the BBC recently. It follows the hapless misadventures of Jermaine and Bret, New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-folk band, and their attempts to break into the New York music scene. In reality, both Jermaine (Clement) and Bret (McKenzie) are a pair of successful comedians and musicians from New Zealand that have used the Flight of the Conchords double act to build up a rather cult following of aficionados. It's a well deserved following, as not only are the lyrics of their tunes filled with wonderful wit and charm (mostly based on their unsuccessful copulation with the opposite sex), but they can actually play guitar and sing as well. This album is essentially a collection of the best musical numbers from the television shows first series.
With what seems a far reaching knowledge of musical genres, the parody of songs on show is marvelously diverse. Barry White, Kraftwork and David Bowie, along with rap and reggae styles are all wonderfully mimicked by Bret and Jermaine for the audience's pleasure. But along with the ability to play such a diverse range of musical genres, the original and unique lyrics that accompany the tracks are what make Flight of the Conchords worth a listen. This is really, really good often soulful, touching music, not just daft throw-away parodies. Although they are often hilarious. And silly...
The stand out track is probably 'The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)'. As the parenthesis suggest, the song is filled with a number of marvelous back-handed compliments to make the listener chuckle like a gibbon. Chief among them is the genius line of 'you're so beautiful, you could be a part-time model'. That the tune plays out like a delicate serenade (to the third best looking girl on the street), with subtle guitar work and some wonderful harmonies that accommodate the duo's hapless lyrics, is what makes it work so well though. Likewise, 'Business Time' is a wonderful Barry White ode to preparing for the odorous task of lovemaking (in Jermaine's world anyway). Using mundane elements such as cleaning your teeth and putting the trash out as representative of foreplay in the modern world, the song takes great pleasure in ripping on the chore that is intercourse (in Jermaine's world anyway). Plus, you can just about imagine Jermaine tripping over his own pants in a sensual way.
'Ladies of the World' and 'Leggy Blonde' continue with the theme of 'girls, girls, girls'. The latter is one of the more normal tracks on the album and subsequently stands out about as much as a fart in the wind, despite it's pastiche on dumbed down lyrics. 'Leggy' and 'blondie' are almost universally the only two words you'll remember from this somewhat mournful track. 'Ladies of the World', however, is another truly inspired tune, which bestows upon us Bret and Jermaine's understated appreciation of the female form. No matter the type of lady. Even hermaphrodite lady-man ladies. Of course, this simply allows for the super lyric of 'With your sexy lady bits, And your sexy man bits too, Even you must be into you-oo-oo!' This diverts, however, from the 'real' subject matter of peace and harmony being achievable in the world through the medium of beautiful and sexy ladies, encapsulated by 'redheads not warheads', 'blondes not bombs' and 'brunettes not fighter jets'. Or, it's just juvenile wonder lusting, simply because you can't get some, and any type of girl will do. Even lady-man ladies. 'Ladies of the World' is genius though, whichever way you take the song.
Luckily, there are a feast of other tracks that prevent the album from compensating too much on our luckless chancers' failure with the opposite sex. 'Hiphopopotomaus vs Rhymenoceros' are Jermaine and Bret's hip-hop alter egos and the fact they found words not only to rap against Hiphopopotamaus (bottomless, phosphorous, esophagus, metropolis, hypothesis), but rap awesomely well against Hiphopopotamaus speaks words for their talent. 'Mutha'uckas' is another quality tune where Bret and Jermaine take turns in venting their wrath at the simple-minded gimboids that make everyday life difficult for them. In Bret's case a verbal assault on the racist green-grocer for not selling him a kiwi ends with the line 'he's gonna wake up in a smoothie.' Again it's deliriously silly, but so wonderfully crafted that you can't help but chuckle out loud whilst tapping your feet in step to the beat. And of course, 'Foux du Fafa' is a wonderful reminder of how much fun it is to take the piss out of the French, using just random words from their vocabulary and applying a ridiculously strong accent.
There is much more on the album - The Kraftwork inspired 'Robots', the duo's fantabulous drug-induced Bowie impressions and vocals on 'Bowie in Space' (which comes across as a medley of differing Bowie tunes) and the Pet Shop Boys inspired 'Inner City Pressure' where the Conchords muse on lower-middle-class urban poverty - but to go into too further detail would perhaps spoil the surprise somewhat. And that's where the album is largely successful. You really don't expect much from it, yet it delivers in spades. Well crafted tunes, fabulous lyrics, parodies that revere the source material and endless chuckles, particularly as you'll find something new that tickles your diaphragm on second, third, forth, etc. listens, make this a real joy. You won't like every song ('Boom' and 'Prince of Parties' verge on the 'meh' side of the scale) but there's more than enough originality here to keep you engrossed and coming back to the album again and again. And then you can do the honourable thing - play it at parties and introduce your friends to the awesomeness of the Conchords! They'll love it. Trust me. If they can't raise a chuckle throughout any one of the tracks then they're probably dead inside and you should invest time in seeking new compainions...
Overall - What at first seems like silly nonsense instead makes for captivating, excellent music. Flight of the Conchords are fairly unique in the comedy, music, cross-over pantheon, which makes them a must listen. Do it!
Foux du Fafa
Inner City Pressure
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros [feat. Rhymenocerous and the Hiphopopotamus]
Think About It
Ladies of the World
The Prince of Parties
Leggy Blonde [feat. Rhys Darby]
A Kiss Is Not A Contract
The Most Beautiful Girl [In The Room]
© clownfoot. October 2010
If you like season 1 of flight of the conchords then you have to buy this album.
The album costs around £5.00 in the shops now and probably less to download, and for 15 tracks that is a great price. I downloaded the album and actually have an extra track than what's listed called "Bret, you got it going on". I don't know if that is still the case with the downloaded album.
This is one of the funniest albums ever. The songs are ridiculous but they are so catchy, not every song from the first season is on this album but most of the good ones are.
My favourite track from this album is Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymenocerous. It's pure genius.
The songs are the best thing about the tv series and to have them all on one album is brilliant. I think the second season of songs is actually a bit better as they are a lot catchier but this is still a great album filled with amazing catchy comedy songs.
This is one of those albums that is genuinely funny, and you wont be able to stop yourself laughing at the lyrics.
I was a lucky lucky girl this year, and my secret santa from work got me a copy of this amazing cd! I love the flight of the conchords tv show, and was really pleased to open this up on thursday.
The CD has a 15 song track list (16 if you download from iTunes) and each of the songs has come from the TV show of the same name, I think all of the tracks span both series', although I recognise most of them from the 1st series I think.
"Flight of the Conchords" are a comedy folk duo hailing from New Zealand, made up of Bret Mckenzie and Jermaine Clements. They play themselves in the TV show and it charts their life trying to "break" America, along with their manager Murray, played by comedian Rhys Darby.
The track list for the album is as follows:
1. "Foux du Fafa"
2. "Inner City Pressure"
3. "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros"
4. "Think About It"
5. "Ladies of the World"
7. "Prince of Parties"
8. "Leggy Blonde" (feat. Rhys Darby)
11. "A Kiss Is Not a Contract"
12. "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)"
13. "Business Time"
15. "Au Revoir"
The tracks are not spoofs, as such, or parodies of other songs, but they are funny "story songs" they take you on a journey through what is happening in the life of Bret and Jermaine.
The lyrics are what makes these songs so funny.
Listening to the album I was able to remember most of the tracks from the show, and picture the crazy videos too. I was disappointed that a couple of songs were missing, but my favourites - "Business Time", "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros" and "Leggy Blonde" were all there.
This is a fantastic car album, and I defy you not to sing along!
Flight of the Conchords just has to be the forth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo to have ever come out of kiwiland. Made up of Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, this duo are hilariously funny and their songs are comic genius, if a little bizarre. These are what amde the tv show, and have developed a cult following worldwide:
This album is a collaboration of all the songs from their first television series, broadcast in America on HBO and in the UK on BBC 4.
Foux du FaFa
Don't try and translate this, it is nonsense (as is most of the song!). This track is composed of badly constructed french phrases such as 'Voila mon passport' (Here is my passport), 'Soup du jour' (soup of the day)and 'Bonjour mon petit bureau de change' (Hello my little bureau de change - speaking to a man). It culminates in a woman asking Jermaine where the swimming pool is (splish splosh?) and if he can speak French. To which he replies, 'non'. Even if you know only bonjour and au reviour, this song is still funny with its irresistable melody and "a-e-a's".
Inner City Pressure
This is a song about falling on hard times, having 'sold your chair' and finding that 'your favourite jersey is covered in lint'. It is performed in the style of the Pet Shop Boy's "West End Girls" and manages to incorporate not only muesli but also a concert flutist into one song. The classic Flight of the Conchord instrument, the synthesizer is one of the backing sounds, giving it an eighty's sound.
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (feat. Rhymenocerous and the Hiphopopotamus)
Bret and Jermaine's alter egos come out to play in this, possibly the funniest rap song of all time. The Hipopotamus (whose lyrics are bottomless) aka Jermaine and the Rhymenoceros (who raps about reality), aka Bret manage to construct a whole rap song without a single swear word which is a feat in itself. It is criminally funny for lines such as 'there ain't no party like my nana's tea party' and 'where did you get that perposterous hypothesis - did Steve tell you that?'.
Think about it
Here Bret and Jermaine manage to get across important issues such as AIDs, sweat shop labour, street violence and bullying in a funny way (if such a thing were possible). It also leads Jermaine to question his manhood, and all just to get Jermaine's camera phone back. Apparantly, during a 2007 interview they explained that this song was a birth child of the style of Marvin Gaye and The Black Eyed Peas song, "Where is the Love?". I have to say, I would like to hear more songs from this genre.
Ladies of the World
The is my second favourite song over 3 minutes on the album and is Bret and Jermaine trying to give something back to all the ladies of the world. It also brings up the sixties concept of making love not war - 'blondes not bombs'. A funky guitar with some piano create the backing track for Bret and Jermaine to cry out different types of ladies - Perisian, Republic of Dominican, Anphibian even, at one point, hermaphrodite.
This is the band's attempt to combat racism to heavy drum beat. The band try to be clean and hard at the same time with just sets up a wickidly funny song - 'he's going to wake up in a smoothie'
Prince of Parties
Bret and Jermaine take some acid and consequently sing this song whilst tripping. There is some psychodelic guitar and some classicly bizarre lyrics and includes a reference to Ravi Shankar, the Sitar guru. This is another flash back to the free and freewheeling sixties. A short but silly song: 'Where do you get your clothes?' 'They're made of snow, pretty party clothes, crocheted of snow'.
Leggie Blonde (sometimes Leggy Blonde) wasn't one of my favourite to begin with but after a few replays, I learned to love it as much as the rest of the album. The story behind this song is that Murray (Bret and Jermaine's manage) has fallen for Jessica, the tech support lady, and trys to write a song about her. Unfortunatly her contract terminates and this is the resulting song. Bret and Jermaine provide backing vocals and percussion with various offical supplies.
Robots (Humans are Dead)
This has to be my favourite song over 3 minutes, perhaps even my favourite song on the whole album. This song is set in the distant future (aka the year 2000) where there are no more elephants or humans. This allows for Jermaine's amazing impression of Stephen Hawking and also contains the infamous lines: 'Affirmative, I poked one it was dead', 'Binary Solo' and 'Come on sucker lick my battery'. It makes you want to punch holes in a cardboardbox, put it on your head and sing along. Any song that makes you do that is a good one in my book.
And now for the unveiling of the ledgendary 1980s Casio DG20 digital guitar. This idea is simple: Bret has a crush on fellow sign holder, Coco
and decides to sing his feelings. The twist? Nearly every word in the song has been replaced with the word 'Boom'. With a fake mandolin in the background and a song in the style of Shaggy, it cannot fail to bring a smile to your face.
A Kiss is Not a Contract (or K.I.S.S.I.N.G.)
Here, Bret sings this song after his girlfriend, Lisa, wakes him up to try and coax, or surprise?, him into having sex with her. Bret, truely shocked, attempts to explain that kissing her didn't not necessarily mean that she was going to get to sleep with him, hence a kiss is not a contract. I love how innocent Bret is in this song and the lyrics are, again, hilarious.
The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)
This is a spoof of the classic Prince song, 'The Most Beautiful Girl (in the World) and was my first taste of the Conchords. This is another contender for my number one as it follows Jermaine as he tries to seduce the most beautiful girl in the room. Bret appears randomly throughout with backing vocals. Classic conchords, a definate five star song.
Business time is my final contender for top song. Jermaine is fantasizes about married life with a girl named Sally. He calculates that Wednesday is the optimum night for love making. After brushing their teeth (foreplay) and taking out the recycling (not foreplay, but still very important), Jermaine gets down to business... time. Bret is also worryingly providing backing vocals throughout.
After another one of Bret's surreal dreams about David Bowie, the two decide to sing a song about Bowie in Space. Another bizarre song but still fantastically funny: 'Does the cold of deep space make your nipples go pointy, Bowie?' 'Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to earth?'. Only Flight of the Conchords.
Au Reviour is the final song on the album and is just Bret and Jermanine saying goodbye their way.
Overall this album is amazing, surreal and side splittingly funny, I have recommended it to all of my friends and none of us are sick of it yet. Bring on more Conchords - can't wait until their next album, 'I Told You I Was Freaky', October 09
First off, anyone who isn't a fan, should be. These guys are the funniest around. The self-proclaimed joint fourth most popular folk parody duo in New Zealand have delivered an album that will have you in stitches from start to finish.
Opening with Foux du Fafa, a slight on the french as the duo look to impress the ladies with their mock french accents.
Track 2 explores Inner City Pressure, pretty self explanatory really, with a hint of Pet Shop Boys to this one.
Followed by the most hilarious take on a rap battle I've ever heard, Brett and Jermain use their alias' the HipHopopotomous and the Rhymenocerous to do battle with some interesting "freestylin'" - there aint no party like my nana's tea party! Ai, Oh!
The guys continue in their unconventional methods of attracting the ladies until you get to the magic of "Business Time" which looks upon humerous side of sex. Closely followed by "Bowie" which relies on impersonations of David Bowie and the many Bowie styles of the past.
This album is genius all the way through and you will not stop laughing, check 'em out.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Foux du Fafa
2 Inner City Pressure
3 Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (feat. Rhymenocerous and the Hiphopopotamus)
4 Think About it
5 Ladies of the World
7 The Prince of Parties
8 Leggy Blonde (feat. Rhys Darby)
11 A Kiss Is Not A Contract
12 The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)
13 Business Time
15 Au Revoi