Conchords let their freak flag fly

Flight of the Conchords return with more goofy, sex-laden pop ballads.

PHOTO COURTESY SUB POP

PHOTO COURTESY SUB POP

Tony Libera

Flight of the Conchords ALBUM: âÄúI Told You I Was FreakyâÄù LABEL:Sub Pop The quiet fear of the sophomore slump undoubtedly weighs on the mind of any musician, but it can be particularly debilitating when the artistâÄôs first endeavor into popular consciousness is met with such wide praise. It wouldnâÄôt be hard to see Grammy-winning Flight of the Conchords , a band that found success in America with their hit TV show but depleted its entire musical catalog in the process, falling into this sticky trap. Fortunately, the kiwi duo avoided all pitfalls and matched both the hilarity and musical splendor of their first album with their newest release, âÄúI Told You I Was Freaky.âÄù The Conchords, like Tenacious D before them, have a fairly simple shtick: The fictionally destitute duo, in their ongoing quest for fame, fortune and more than one fan, stroll through a world that allows them to survive without real jobs or basic human intelligence. The slightest verbal cue will then trigger a full blown aural assault that propels the dimwitted heroes outside of their mundane existence and into a place where the music bends reality to their whim, if only for a moment. This dynamic has not changed: Bret McKenzie still spits hot fire when he raps and croons melodically when called for, providing most of the classical vocal talent. Meanwhile, Jemaine Clement, his oftentimes garrulous Neanderthal counterpart, attempts to clarify self-evident expositions while overhyping his own sexual prowess. In âÄúSugalumps ,âÄù Jemaine tries to convince Bret that all women are drawn to his sweet spot by some inexplicable force (âÄúAll these (explitive)/checking out my britches/put âÄôem in a trance/when I wear track pants). In the title track, the twosome delve into BretâÄôs supposed freakiness, which involves his partner dressing like a squirrel and taking his nuts. Testicles aside, Bret and Jemaine continue to grow both lyrically and musically, dabbling in myriad styles that result in a rich cocktail of techno, acoustic rock and even Caribbean island flavor, (âÄúYou DonâÄôt Have to Be a Prostitute âÄù). Their compositional talent is frequently overshadowed by their playful writing chops, but there is no denying that the Conchords are gifted when it comes to parodying genres. The faux idiocy with which they tackle rap and dance songs is on par with brilliance. In âÄúHurt FeelingsâÄù they defend embattled rappers (âÄúSome people say that rappers are invincible/weâÄôre vincibleâÄù) and âÄúFashion Is DangerâÄù so perfectly captures the new wave pop sound that were it not for the blatantly self-referential shouts of âÄúPresident Reagan!âÄù and âÄúJazzericise!,âÄù one would be inclined to date the song to 1986. But this albumâÄôs magnum opus is undoubtedly the self-explanatory âÄúToo Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor).âÄù The song is ridiculously catchy despite, and paradoxically as a result of, its phallocentric lyrics. And while âÄútoo many dicks on the dance floorâÄù is by no means a pithy remark, it is sure to resonate with more than a few members of their fan base. It would appear that Flight of the Conchords have skirted the slump. The albumâÄôs only fault is that, like its predecessor, it lacks any new material; all the songs have already aired on the show. ItâÄôs a minor issue to be sure âÄî and one of marketing, not quality. The Conchords continue to soar while fans continue to laugh. 4/5 Stars