Kirin J. Callinan
Bravado


4.0
excellent

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
March 15th, 2018 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's not a fucking joke.

“I think it’s funny if that’s what you’re getting at, I think the record’s deeply funny. Just ‘cause something’s funny doesn’t mean it’s a joke, I’m deadly serious about it.”
-Kirin J Callinan, interview with The Feed

Humor is a funny thing.

Everyone has a different opinion of what is funny and what isn't. In some ways, it's one of the only things more objective than taste in music. One thing that might be funny to someone might be deeply offensive to the other, and vice versa. I mean, of course it’s hilarious. “Big Enough”’s classic meme moments, the horrible suicidal puns of “Down 2 Hang” hit the spot for me, but then again they definitely won’t for everyone.

Perhaps then what makes his latest album Bravado work so damn well is that it doesn’t just rely on its humor to succeed. While someone might not think it’s funny, I’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t think that Bravado isn’t musically impressive. On the opener “My Moment,” he gallops from an electronic tinged ballad into a full on dance number complete with a bass-drop and incomprehensible synth melodies. On “Down 2 Hang” we’re treated with menacing disco-guitar riffs and gang vocals. The whole song sounds familiar and yet frighteningly distorted into something disturbing yet endlessly listenable. And the constant musical switcheroos aren’t played for laughs as often as, say, Igorrr, might be guilty of. No, these are motivated musical decisions that allow the songs to work far better than they would otherwise, and also happen to be insanely amusing at the same time. Sure, at its core it’s just pop music, but it’s delightfully exciting and engaging pop music throughout.

Another factor in its success as more than just a comedy album is that there’s far more honesty and emotion than one might expect. I mean, I’m as much of a Weird Al fan as the next guy, but I can’t remember the last time one of his songs made me feel something as deeply as “Family Home” does on here. When Kirin sadly mumbles lines about how, “It’s funny now, but it wasn't then,” no one is laughing. We believe every emotion presented to us through his delivery, no matter how ironic and cheesy it might be in the end.

And that’s the beauty of a performer like Kirin. There’s not just one layer presented here. There isn’t just a joke. There’s talent, raw emotion, and deep frustrations that lie under the surface. One could as easily compare “Big Enough” to a political statement as they could to a comedy skit. What makes Bravado work is that it refuses to rely only on humor, so even when a joke might not land, any given track can still be commended for its versatile and unique musicianship. And at the times when you can’t even tell whether he’s joking or not, there’s a tantalizing air of mystery to the whole endeavor. In that same interview with The Feed, Kirin commented that:

“Confusion’s exciting. It’s when you don’t understand that your eyes light up; electricity starts racing. If you knew what was going on all the time you’d have a pretty damn boring existence.”

You’ve got a good point there, Kirin. And for all that can be said about it, certainly no one could argue that Bravado is a boring experience.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Blush rules for always putting up with my constant typos (:

Managed to somehow squeeze this in between all the other stuff I have going on but here we are!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2018


15838 Comments


Pos my man! Swell review!

There is one thing that confuses me though, when you say "Bravado" is a boring experience, but you give it a 4, is it part of the whole humor theme of the review?

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2018


2876 Comments


You might've missed the "no" in "no one", Dew; he says pretty much for all that the album is, it's definitely not boring. (:

Digging: Injury Reserve - Injury Reserve

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2018


15838 Comments


Ah ok, sorry, haha, my bad. Never heard of this guy and I am suprised smth escaped my maniac level scavenging of music last year, will check.

Your dig sounds intriguing too Blush, what is it about?

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2018


2876 Comments


Don't apologise! I have a habit of skipping over / excluding important words when I write or read, so I had to make sure he didn't say it, too.

And a little EP from a former Tigers Jaw member; kinda sadboi emo/hip-hop inspired rnb, I guess, worth peeking the title track if you're interested but you might have to buy into the sound a little first. There's some cool occult imagery to chew on, though, even if you don't like the music. Been listening to a lot of Dead Magic, btw.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2018


15838 Comments


Sweet, I'll give that t/t a quick ear, always saw Tiger Jaw here and there but never actually listened to them.

Glad you are checking Dead Magic, is one of my fave albums this year so far.

rabidfish
March 15th 2018


5085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it took me almost a year to realize he was pissing on his own face.



Lol.

Digging: Billy Woods, Kenny Segal - Hiding Places

owen
March 15th 2018


5146 Comments


^ wow fuck

rabidfish
March 15th 2018


5085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea, that's what I said, too.

Cygnatti
March 15th 2018


32791 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

hot take: this is a fuckin joke.

Frivolous
March 15th 2018


875 Comments


yup

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh shit, btw!

Here's the interview if you're interested. Probably my favorite interview ever:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqAAUq3D5zY&t=109s

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And thanks dewi, lemme know whatcha think if you give it a listen!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2018


15838 Comments


Watching the interview now, which btw, NSFW!

And he actually pissed on himself lol! this guy...

Edit: The rehearsal got me on tears hahah

BenThatsMyJamin
March 16th 2018


2485 Comments


Finally a review for this, one of the most interesting releases of last year that for some reason seemed to pass this site by

Papa Universe
March 16th 2018


21053 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

POSado

Digging: Rammstein - Rammstein

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Someone just ghost negged all my reviews and brought me down to a 75% approval -.-

rabidfish
March 23rd 2018


5085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

here's a pos, bro

BenThatsMyJamin
March 23rd 2018


2485 Comments


Pos for reviewing such a cool album (review is obvs great too)

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aw super late thanks guys (:



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