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Bret McKenzie|Songs Without Jokes

Songs Without Jokes

Bret McKenzie

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Idioma disponible: inglés

After two seasons of the TV series Flight of the Conchords and co-writing songs for Jason Segel's Muppets movie in 2011, musician and actor Bret McKenzie thought that "it would be fun someday to work on some songs that weren't for someone else, that don't have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie." The results took more than a decade to see the light of day, but it was the wait: Songs Without Jokes, McKenzie's first non-comedy album, is the right music for the right time. Baldly inspired by the piano pop of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson, this is aural comfort food; like those greats, the lyrics run from pie-eyed to sincere. It's easy to imagine listening to Songs while driving around Los Angeles in an old convertible, or hearing it at a trendy casual restaurant—maybe some ironic throwback fern bar. And while not as strong as those unique characters', McKenzie's voice is appealing, and, besides, the instrumentation does most of the work. "This World" is pure Nilsson, complete with drunken, soaked-in-rum horns and a delightful la-la-la singalong at the end. "If You Wanna Go" is very Newman á la Trouble in Paradise: peppy piano pop with a throwback nostalgia. The soft-rock "Carry On" has a rainy-day jauntiness to it—pensive strings and a cozy embrace of bass—as McKenzie gets heartfelt about heartache: "Trying to raise my children to look me in the eye ...Trying to paint a picture that doesn't turn out blue/ Trying to see a future of living without you/ I'll carry on, I'll carry on/ What else can I do." He tries a husky ballad ("Here for You"), mid-'80s Top 40 slickness ("Tomorrow Today") and a little early '70s Billy Joel melancholy ("Up in Smoke"). "That's L.A." veers from a bossa nova feel to a starburst of a chorus, folding in slinky bass and sassy sitcom-theme guitar, as McKenzie raises toast: "Drive down sunset and the tears roll down my face … When the sun goes down, drinking margaritas/ What's the problem, man, don't call me a defeatist/ 'Cause that's L.A." A conflicted love of the city also fuels the easy-rolling "Crazy Times," its liquid-amber bass supporting chiming piano: "L.A., I miss you now/ never thought I would/ All the dusty days and the starless nights/ On the streets of Hollywood." But just so you never forget who he is, McKenzie goofs on old-timey piano grandiosity for "A Little Tune," the most like his Muppets past with its sliding trombone and playful horn bluster. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Songs Without Jokes

Bret McKenzie

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1
This World
00:03:56

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer - Matt Aguiluz, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

2
If You Wanna Go
00:03:03

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

3
Dave's Place
00:04:08

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer, Engineer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer - Melissa Dyne, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

4
Here For you
00:03:29

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

5
That's L.A.
00:04:08

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer, Engineer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer - Melissa Dyne, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

6
Up In Smoke
00:03:39

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Troy Kelly, Engineer - Melissa Dyne, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

7
Carry On
00:03:48

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Troy Kelly, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

8
A Little Tune
00:05:06

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Ben Jaffe, Producer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Troy Kelly, Engineer - Matt Aguiluz, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

9
America Goodbye
00:04:00

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer, Engineer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer - Troy Kelly, Engineer - Melissa Dyne, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

10
Tomorrow Today
00:04:40

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer, Engineer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

11
Crazy Times
00:04:28

MICKEY PETRALIA, Producer - Darrell Thorp, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Caswell, Arranger - Bret McKenzie, Composer, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Lee Prebble, Engineer

© 2022 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2022 Sub Pop Records

Descripción del álbum

After two seasons of the TV series Flight of the Conchords and co-writing songs for Jason Segel's Muppets movie in 2011, musician and actor Bret McKenzie thought that "it would be fun someday to work on some songs that weren't for someone else, that don't have to tell a story or be funny or continue the narrative plot, checking all the boxes for the character in the movie." The results took more than a decade to see the light of day, but it was the wait: Songs Without Jokes, McKenzie's first non-comedy album, is the right music for the right time. Baldly inspired by the piano pop of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson, this is aural comfort food; like those greats, the lyrics run from pie-eyed to sincere. It's easy to imagine listening to Songs while driving around Los Angeles in an old convertible, or hearing it at a trendy casual restaurant—maybe some ironic throwback fern bar. And while not as strong as those unique characters', McKenzie's voice is appealing, and, besides, the instrumentation does most of the work. "This World" is pure Nilsson, complete with drunken, soaked-in-rum horns and a delightful la-la-la singalong at the end. "If You Wanna Go" is very Newman á la Trouble in Paradise: peppy piano pop with a throwback nostalgia. The soft-rock "Carry On" has a rainy-day jauntiness to it—pensive strings and a cozy embrace of bass—as McKenzie gets heartfelt about heartache: "Trying to raise my children to look me in the eye ...Trying to paint a picture that doesn't turn out blue/ Trying to see a future of living without you/ I'll carry on, I'll carry on/ What else can I do." He tries a husky ballad ("Here for You"), mid-'80s Top 40 slickness ("Tomorrow Today") and a little early '70s Billy Joel melancholy ("Up in Smoke"). "That's L.A." veers from a bossa nova feel to a starburst of a chorus, folding in slinky bass and sassy sitcom-theme guitar, as McKenzie raises toast: "Drive down sunset and the tears roll down my face … When the sun goes down, drinking margaritas/ What's the problem, man, don't call me a defeatist/ 'Cause that's L.A." A conflicted love of the city also fuels the easy-rolling "Crazy Times," its liquid-amber bass supporting chiming piano: "L.A., I miss you now/ never thought I would/ All the dusty days and the starless nights/ On the streets of Hollywood." But just so you never forget who he is, McKenzie goofs on old-timey piano grandiosity for "A Little Tune," the most like his Muppets past with its sliding trombone and playful horn bluster. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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