Never Mind The Music, There’s Celebrities!
Jimmy Fallon first proved his chops as a comedian/musician in the same vein as Adam Sandler way back when he was on Saturday Night Live in the early 2000s. His affable personality garnered him the opportunity to host Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where he further showcased his comedic talents. If you’re a fan of his Late Night antics (or you happen to see the videos on Youtube), his new album, Blow Your Pants, contains all the biggest hits from the show and is jam packed with celebrity appearances.
While the songs have all been remixed and remastered, all material featured are recordings of the live performances on the show. As such, you won’t be getting a clean recording and will have to contend with audience cheers and laughter. This worked well on “The History of Rap” with Justin Timberlake and “Friday” with Stephen Colbert because these performers are icons of stage presence and audience participation only adds to their energies.
The lyrics to the original songs are funny – but ephemeral. “Tebowie,” for example, was hilarious when it first went viral as Tebow was all over the news. Now, the song is still funny but has lost some of its luster with the passage of time. Most of the songs suffer from this problem. “Slow Jam the News” featuring Brian Williams is a humorous concept, and who can argue with house band The Roots’ jamming on stage, but when it comes down to it, they are singing about Super Pacs.
Musically, Fallon’s voice is as good as it ever was. What’s more, Blow Your Pants Off showcases his gift for parody imitations. He really is able to sound like David Bowie, Jim Morrison, The Beastie Boys, and Sugarhill Gang among others. Lyrically, the few songs on here he did write, “Tebowie,” “Hunting for Cougars” and “The Doors Sing Reading Rainbow,” offer a chuckle but don’t stack up to such songs as “Idiot Boyfriend” from his 2002 debut The Bathroom Wall. The rest of the songs on the album rely heavily on parodies and the star power of celebrity guests – Stephen Colbert, Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Spingsteen, Neil Young and Justin Timberlake. This isn’t to say that the album isn’t amusing, but the comedy landscape has changed – especially with the success of Turtleneck & Chain’s The Lonely Island; fellow SNL alum Andy Samberg’s venture into the musicsphere.
In the end, Blow Your Pants Off features enough star power to make the album worthwhile instead of an album this would have worked better as a DVD akin to his Best of SNL work.