Taking a Listen

by Heather MacIntyre

Flight of the Conchords – Flight of The Conchords

So this wacky comic duo from New Zealand has more to offer than an HBO series. They’ve gone so far as to release (another) album of songs from their comedy-meets-musical show “Flight of The Conchords.” Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie have a way with words… a way of not making a lot sense, and somehow, in our current state of ridiculous humor middle-class America is entertaining, it works. The album really is funny, though it may be a little more geared towards the blog-writing, quarter-life crisis demographic living in bigger cities. I can’t help but run out of air (from laughing) on a few of the tracks like “Inner City Pressure” and “Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)”. You can tell the sky is the limit for these awkwardly charmed kiwis that write their random but witty lines while people-watching in the park. One of their most popular numbers is an anthem for robots after they have taken over the world and killed all humans, “We no longer say ‘yes’. We now only say ‘affirmative.’ Unless we know the other robot on a more personal level.” I have to warn you, that this is a very particular humor – but if you enjoy random and awkward, this album (and especially the show) is more than worth checking out. For the full effect, look up the song titles on YouTube to watch them performed through clips of the show or home made music videos.

Rating: 3.5 records (out of 5)

Clay Aiken – On My Way Here

I suppose I would normally start this off with a stale one-liner like. “On My Way Here is finally here!” So, I’m definitely guilty for being a part of the movement that didn’t take Clay Aiken’s music career seriously since the show. I realize though, there is a difference now – his music actually projects his vocal talent. The lyrics may not be worth mentioning, full of super-corny phrases and typical lines like, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger, sets you free.” His voice definitely doesn’t sound like it’s coming from his meek-and-smiley frame though. RCA records put this album out last month, and some of the arrangements may sound a little more like praise music than mainstream hits – but you can’t deny years of voice lessons and smart business decisions. Simply put: the boy has soul. It’s the reason why “American Idol” viewers pushed him through the season as far as they did. And now he is taking his career down a new path – Broadway. The Raleigh native just finished a few months performing in Monty Python’s Spamalot (funniest show on earth) in New York City. The album is on sale for only $7.99 on iTunes online.

Rating: 3 records (out of 5)