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Flight Of The Conchords
I Told You I Was Freaky Will Parkhouse , October 26th, 2009 12:54

"Some people say that rappers don't have feelings. We have feelings," raps Brett McKenzie on the opening track of Flight of the Conchords' second album. Sounding vulnerable and miffed, he continues, "Some people say that we are not rappers," with colleague Jemaine Clement adding defiantly: "We're rappers. It hurts our feelings when you say we're not rappers."

They're not, of course. Actually, what made such stars of New Zealand's fourth-most-popular-blah-blah-blah-you-know-the-joke-duo was their versatility: they were rappers, crooners, toasters, troubadours; and, above all, Very Funny Boys. And their debut was one of the albums of 2008: whether they were evoking middle class boho poverty ("standing in the sitting room, totally skint / And your favourite jersey is covered in lint") in the style of the Pet Shop Boys on 'Inner City Pressure' or busting budget Barry White baritones on 'Business Time', it easily bore re-listening, because these were well-crafted songs with funny lyrics, rather than jokes set to music.

Then again, you could've just bought the DVD, pressed play and closed your eyes. I Told You I Was Freaky uses the same copy-paste trick as the previous effort. It wouldn't be overly cruel to nickname this Flight of the Conchords Season Two OST — except that season two wasn't quite as good, so you probably know where this is going.

Feeling rather like filler, then, are sub-par Spinal Tap replica 'Demon Woman', 'Fashion is Danger' — in which the guys wheel out the Bowie impressions again — and the title track, which prompts us to wonder whether the word 'freaky' is actually as funny as everyone thinks. Like, even if you pronounce it "freakaaay". On the telly, with some colourful Wes Anderson-like visuals in place, these might have slipped through, but when they're aimed solely at the ears, they don't cut it.

But despite the turbulent patches, there are more than enough moments that gratify musically and tickle lyrically. Some might hold that R Kelly's hypnotically insane hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet doesn't need parodying, but 'We're Both in Love With a Sexy Lady', with lines like, "Wait a minute, are you talking about the girl with the lazy eye?", is spot on. The wonderful 'Carol Brown' has Jemaine doing a call and response with a group of critical backing singers: Them: "His relationships never last." Him: "Shut up, girlfriends from the past." And there's more LOL-worthy contrapuntal interplay in Brett's meandering love song, 'Rambling Through the Avenues of Time', a dead ringer for Peter Sarstedt's 'Where Did You Go To (My Lovely)?', thanks to Jemaine's irritated interjections: "She was like Shakespeare's Juliet . . ." "What, 13?"

All in all, it's enough of a success to stop the Conchords going the way of, well, Concorde. But we hope we're not hurting their feelings too much — or yours, by ending on a plane metaphor — by saying this doesn't soar quite as high as their last.

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