The New Zealand folk parody duo Bret and Jemaine spread their low-key humor across several musical genres on their self-titled album Flight of the Conchords. Combining music from their concerts and HBO television special, there are plenty of chuckles.

The key to the humor here is that the pair approach their songs in earnest, without realizing how ridiculous they sound. For example, "Think About It" strives for social consciousness, but is deflated by such lines as "A man is lying on the street, some punk has chopped off his head/ And I’m the only one who stops to see if he’s dead/ Turns out he’s dead." "Mutha'uckas" deleted the curses from the song, leading to some long and choppy silences. And "Business Time" is a Barry White-style song about gettin' it on -- except the woman's comments show how far from the great lover the singer actually is.

I can't help but compare the album to the HBO series of the same name. Alas, not all the songs from the show are on here (sorry to all the geeks who wanted "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring") and I miss how on the series Bret and Jermaine would often spontaneously start singing and playing -- often to the confusion of the people around them. And while the songs are often cute, only a few are laugh-out-loud funny. Flight of the Conchords is an amusing album, not hysterical but quite enjoyable.

Overall grade: B

Reviewed by James Lynch

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