Review Summary: Jimmy Fallon's first full musical parody album has hilarious highs, but just as many crushing lows.
Since his stint on SNL and becoming the host of Late Night
, Jimmy Fallon has become a different kind of talk show personality. His goofy humor really set him apart from the many other late-night hosts of our time and his first full music album is a respectable translation of that humor. Taking tracks and appearances from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
, Blow Your Pants Off
is Fallon’s attempt to goof around with legendary rock anthems, with plenty of guest appearances in tow. However, while Fallon gets the impressions and humor down, he misses the mark when it comes to stepping outside the shadows of the already iconic songs he tries to joke around with. While he’s not coasting on the tunes’ legacies, he could’ve added some more creativity and originality to make the parodies more than just parodies.
Blow Your Pants Off
is an album with a solid amount of variety throughout. “History of Rap” features a guest appearance from friend and pop sensation Justin Timberlake, where the duo perform a medley of famous rap tracks from artists like The Beastie Boys, Digital Underground, and Eminem. The two make some solid impressions of the artists they cover (especially when 2Pac and Snoop Dogg come into play). Timberlake in particular is a fine component to the track. His versatile mix of nasally calling and smooth pop singing works astoundingly well in Jimmy Fallon’s parody circuit and although it’s not the most original song on the album, it’s a great listen on Blow Your Pants Off
Fallon is at his best when he goes the whole Weird Al route, parodying songs and styles seen on Top 40 hits in completely wacky and incongruent ways. “Tebowie” is an obvious parody of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” but mixing in some rather funny commentary on a certain football player. The more creative musical ventures appear when Fallon takes his Saturday Night Live-esque impressions to hilarious levels. Fallon performs spot-on impersonations of Bob Dylan and The Doors’ Jim Morrison, and hearing him sing songs like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme or the Reading Rainbow opening with these personas is absolutely amazing. The closer features Fallon taking the role of rock icon Neil Young singing the infamous “Whip My Hair” track from Willow, only to be joined by the rumbling growl of Bruce Springsteen. It’s a near perfect impression of Young’s legendary singing style and you are sure to laugh at how the line “Whip my hair back and forth,” sounds under these conditions. The way that Jimmy Fallon is able to carry his character-driven humor he developed on SNL into a music album is impressive and it’s here where he stands out from the many parody singers that riddle the music industry lately.
But for every really good song on Blow Your Pants Off
, there’s one that’s not so good. “Balls In Your Mouth”, a duet with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, is a repetitive throwaway track that just sounds lazily constructed with redundant lyrics and a complete lack of cleverness. Even the Beatles “Yesterday” parody “Scrambled Eggs” (featuring a guest appearance of Sir Paul McCartney himself) just doesn’t have that hilarious sense of creativity that’s shown in other songs on the album. “Walk of Shame” features Dave Matthews (someone Fallon frequently portrayed on SNL), but once again suffers from lazy writing and a distinct lack of comedic poise. It’s really disappointing, because the highs are so incredibly high and coming to a crashing low is all the more annoying, especially with the performances being so flushed with creative potential.
Even his famed cover of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” with Stephen Colbert, despite having Colbert’s smooth bellow and a guest appearance from American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, doesn’t do much with what he has. Using such a notorious track to perform a big collaboration with his pals could’ve been something great, but structurally, there really isn’t too much that separates it from the already terrible recording. Adding in some auto-tuning and rapping may work well for other songs (where it’s more fit to parody), but Fallon’s rendition of “Friday”, despite being vastly superior to the original recording, still manages to underwhelm.
Blow Your Pants Off
is admirable for being more than a typical "funny" record. If Jimmy Fallon put more effort into the actual songwriting than the goofy parody style, then Blow Your Pants Off
could’ve definitely been worth having for any fan of Weird Al-esque humor records. But all things considers, as his first venture into performance outside of pure stand-up comedy, Jimmy Fallon hasn’t ruined his career with Blow Your Pants Off
. It’s far from bad, but it just could’ve been so much more.