OK guys, band meeting! Bret? Jemaine? Jemaine? Where’s Jemaine? Oh that’s right, he quit the band to become a vampire movie star and left Bret to fend for himself. Cool.
So, while Jemaine Clement swans around as Vladislav in What We Do in the Shadows, his Flight of the Conchords bandmate is out here writing records and releasing solo albums. And without his partner in crime, he’s gone serious on us with his new album Songs Without Jokes.
The new record sees McKenzie pack the humor firmly in the back of his songwriting cupboard as he releases his first “serious” album. In place of the jokes, Muppet duets and parodies that helped him find fame, McKenzie has rolled out the synths, strings and subtleties. Now, instead of songs about robots from the future, he’s singing about the state of the world, love and the demise of America.
There are some neat little songs on the new record, “America Goodbye” is lovely, “Up in Smoke” is a heartbreaking ballad and “Dave’s Place” is a rousing early introduction to McKenzie’s first solo effort.
The highlight for me is, without doubt, “Tomorrow Today.” Coming in right before the album closes out, it’s packed full of carefree summer vibes that puts me right in the mood for a vacation.
The whole album is pretty lovely and while it seems a million miles from McKenzie’s origins with Flight of the Conchords, it’s still instantly recognizable as him, which I like. So, give it a listen and let us know what you think.
Then, if Flight of the Conchords is new to you, head to the internet and seek out both series for some wonderful musical comedy moments. You can thank us later.