Album Review: Jimmy Fallon, “Blow Your Pants Off” (2012)

I have a decade-long love affair with Jimmy Fallon. I first fell in love with him back during his run on Saturday Night Live; sure, he ended up collapsing into fits of laughter during every sketch he was in, but it always made me laugh, anyway. I bought his debut comedy album back in 2002 (and it was actually my first-ever review here on Epinions), watched all of the awful movies he starred in post-SNL (yes, even the one with Drew Barrymore), followed him on Twitter (and even received a Tweet back from him once!), and when he started hosting his own late night show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, I watched the episodes nearly every night.

In recent years, life has prevented me from catching every episode of LNJF; I used to work late night shifts, then I moved to Australia, where the show isn’t even aired on a nightly basis. Thanks to sites like YouTube, however, I’ve been able to catch some of the best moments, and Fallon has helpfully complied some of the funniest music moments on his second comedy album, Blow Your Pants Off. The album is a hilarious compilation of some of the comedy duets Fallon has done with celebrities on the show, and it even ended up winning the 2012 Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

The disc begins with a Neil Young song- er, wait…it’s just Fallon impersonating Neil Young.  Neil Young Sings “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” takes Will Smith’s famous rap/theme song, and slows it down to an acoustic ballad, only to be sung by Fallon in his best nasally Neil Young voice. It’s funny in the sense that all rap songs are funny when they become acoustic ballads (I was just talking about this on my review of Jonathan Coulton’s album), but it’s even funnier when you listen to Fallon’s impersonation.

History of Rap went viral on YouTube, and it’s easy to see why: first of all, Justin Timberlake duets with Fallon on the song, and the two of them take turns rapping a bunch of classic rap songs. Surprisingly enough, both Fallon and Timberlake are pretty good at the raps- no, not good enough to be actual rappers, but good enough to win a karaoke contest, at least. They tackle everything from Eminem’s “My Name Is” to Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance” all in a two-and-a-half minute song medley. It’s not just entertaining, it’s actually mighty impressive.

The laughs keep coming with Tebowie, a parody of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, with the lyrics referring to Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow‘s and his habit of praying before football games. I literally laughed out loud the first time I heard the lyrics in the chorus (“This is Jesus Christ to Tim Tebow/Please leave me alone/Don’t you know my day of rest is Sunday/And I’m sick of watching all these Bronco games”), and Fallon does a decent Bowie impression, to boot. Meanwhile, Fallon does more impressions on The Doors Sing “Reading Rainbow” (his Jim Morrison is pretty accurate) and Bob Dylan Sings “Charles in Charge”.

The legendary Paul McCartney makes an appearance on the album for Scrambled Eggs, a parody of The Beatles’ “Yesterday”.  The lyrics are silly (which are actually the original filler lyrics the band used when writing the song; “Scrambled Eggs” was also the working title of the song),  but the real fun is in hearing Sir Paul McCartney sing about things like onion rings and tofu, and of course, hearing Fallon snicker in the background as they sing together.

There are a couple of other big names featured on the album. Eddie Vedder joins in on the ridiculous- albeit, catchy- Balls In Your Mouth, a song that’s sorta about the BP oil spill. Dave Matthews sings a few lines of Walk Of Shame, an acoustic number about what’s apparently one of Fallon’s favourite topics (he has a sketch about it on his debut album, as well); the walk of shame after spending the night over a hookup’s house. Stephen Colbert sings on an almost unrecognisable version of Friday (that horribly bad song that went viral a few years ago), and is joined by The Roots and past American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks, for a rousing sing-along.

There aren’t any real misses on the album, but I can find a few songs I don’t like, if I’m being picky. Slow Jam The News features news anchor Brian Williams, announcing the news report, while Fallon and The Roots repeat the news to a sultry R&B beat. The idea is funny enough, but the idea probably works better on the show than it does on a CD. Country duo, Big & Rich, join in with Fallon on twangy country number Cougar Huntin‘. Sure, the topic of hitting on older women (“cougars”) at a bar is funny, but I don’t care for Big & Rich’s music at all, even if it’s supposed to be obnoxious and silly.

The album comes to a close with another “appearance” from Neil Young, this time taking a stab at Willow Smith’s song, Whip My Hair (it’s a funny coincidence that both Neil Young parodies are related to the Smith family). Again, Fallon slows down the fast-paced pop song, puts on his best Young impression and turns it into another ballad. Bruce Springsteen even helps out after the second verse, just making it even funnier.

Blow Your Pants Off is a hilarious album. It’s great to be able to have all the best Late Night with Jimmy Fallon musical moments on one CD. The celebrity appearances are hysterical, and Jimmy Fallon’s impressions are insanely funny. I’m looking forward to many more musical moments from Fallon and company in the future.

Rating: 200px-4_stars.svg

Track List
1. Neil Young Sings Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
2. History of Rap (feat. Justin Timberlake)
3. Tebowie
4. Scrambled Eggs (feat. Paul McCartney)
5. The Doors Sing Reading Rainbow
6. Balls In Your Mouth (feat. Eddie Vedder)
7. Bob Dylan Sings Charles in Charge
8. Walk of Shame (feat. Dave Matthews)
9. Slow Jam the News (feat. Brian Williams)
10. Cougar Huntin (feat. Big & Rich)
11. Friday (feat. Stephen Colbert)
12. Neil Young Sings Whip My Hair (feat. Bruce Springsteen)

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