It's kind of incredible that Blow Your Pants Off, the new album of musical comedy from Jimmy Fallon, bears only his name as the "author," since it's so clearly the work of the entire writing and production staff at Fallon's talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It's a compilation of songs and bits originally performed on the show (the versions aren't even in-studio recreations; you can hear the studio audience at 30 Rock laughing in the background), including "History of Rap" with Justin Timberlake, "Whip My Hair" with Bruce Springsteen, "Friday" performed by Stephen Colbert and "Slow Jammin' the News" with Brian Williams. They're all part of the album's impressive array of guest stars, which also includes Eddie Vedder, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews and country duo Big & Rich.
The songs themselves aren't always funny in and of themselves, because the joke is usually that same: some novelty song (like Rebecca Black's "Friday" or Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair") is performed totally straight, usually by Fallon impersonating another famous singer. He's Neil Young on "Whip My Hair," Bob Dylan on the theme to Charles in Charge and David Bowie on "Tebowie," a song about former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. If nothing else, Blow Your Pants Off functions as an incredibly impressive demo reel of Fallon's abilities as a mimic; he nails both the vocals and the musical style of every artist he takes on. Unfortunately, most of the songs feel dated already, or are unable to sustain the joke beyond a few seconds. On TV, that's ok; Fallon only needs to hold our attention until the next commercial break, and the visual alone of him as Dylan singing about Scott Baio is enough to carry the bit. In album form, though, there needs to be more substance, and Blow Your Pants Off doesn't offer it.
(Read the full Blow Your Pants Off review)
Album art courtesy of The Syndicate