Could Nas ever really top Illmatic? Could Orson Welles one-up Citizen Kane? Then it shouldn’t come as a massive surprise that The Lonely Island’s sophomore effort doesn’t quite soar to the astral heights of tracks like “Lazy Sunday,” “Dick In A Box,” or “On A Boat,” all featured on the crew’s debut, Incredibad. That said; the SNL boys keep their Midas touch intact – and set out to get their fingers up in the entire music industry, as well as other places to be mentioned subsequently.
On “Motherlover,” Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake plot to satisfy each other’s moms and perhaps benefit themselves in the process; “It would be my honor to be your new step-father / and while you’re in my mother make me another brother.” Akon comes through to wreck shop on “I Just Had Sex” and a sexed-up Nicki Minaj goes stalker on “The Creep.” Snoop, Beck and Santigold flex their funny bones with solid cameos, but the biggest laughs come courtesy of Mr. Michael Bolton – yes, Michael Bolton, cowardly lion hair, esophagus popping vocals and all. As L.I. spits fire about snapping chickens’ necks and black cards at the bar, Bolton croons on his love for “Jack Sparrow” and other cinematic big shots, ultimately culminating in a hilarious Tony Montana impression. Bolton is reloaded, you cockroaches, and so is The Lonely Island.
Sure, Turtleneck & Chain may not boast the most mature subject matter – CGI Garfield licking Marmaduke’s nuts – but what it does exhibit is a dedication to consistency and comedic creativity. In the spirit of other tongue-in-cheek giants, like MC Paul Barman, Party Fun Action Committee, or Das Racist, The Lonely Island continues to remind us that taking life too seriously isn’t nearly as fun as putting bags over our heads during falatio or shitting our pants during bank robberies. So whether you’re having “Trouble On Dookie Island” or stumbling through the social nuances of “No Homo,” consult Turtleneck & Chain, keeping in mind that “It Was Written” was crazy underrated. And don’t forget to love each other’s mothers.