The Lonely Island, "The Wack Album" (Republic Records)
The Lonely Island pull another magic trick out of the fun box — and it's their third studio record, "The Wack Album." The Weird Al Yankoviches of the 21st century tackle sexual etiquette, double standards, general stupidity and wardrobe malfunctions with the help of Solange, Ed Norton, Pharrell, Too $hort, Kristen Wiig and Robyn, among many others.
The jester minstrels' lead single, "YOLO," is an anthemic track deriding the oft-used acronym with guest vocals from Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar. "3-Way (The Golden Rule)," originally released in 2011 with Lady Gaga and their always game collaborator Justin Timberlake, offers a classic R&B sound.
Another standout on the 20-song list is the tongue-in-cheek "Hugs," where the threesome — led by Andy Samberg — lay the rules for a good platonic "upper body grip," while the bouncy "You've Got the Look" reveals an unexpected side of Hugh Jackman, who shows off his pipes and sense of humor.
Unburdened by the bland, nonsensical lyrics of the mainstream, their sexy hooks work for and against them. Sometimes the track sounds so authentically straight up that some might miss the genius of the words. "Yo, I drove past a rally saying 'honk for peace,' so I took out my gun and shot 'em all in the knees." That about sums it up.
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