The Wack Album

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The Wack Album
Studio album by The Lonely Island
Released June 8, 2013
(see release history)
Recorded May 2011; August 2012–May 2013
Genre Comedy hip hop
Length 45:16
Label Republic
Producer The Lonely Island, CHOPS, DJ Nu-Mark, Asa Taccone, TODAY, Saverio Principini, Tommy Hittz, JMIKE, Mad Max, Needlz, Rice & Peas, Blended Babies, Music Kidz, The Futuristics, Ryan & Smitty, Benny Cassette, KnocDown, Arthur McArthur, B-Sides, Simon Sayz
The Lonely Island chronology
Turtleneck & Chain
(2011)
The Wack Album
(2013)
Singles from The Wack Album
  1. "3-Way (The Golden Rule)"
    Released: May 24, 2011
  2. "YOLO"
    Released: January 25, 2013
  3. "Spring Break Anthem"
    Released: May 5, 2013
  4. "I Fucked My Aunt"
    Released: May 15, 2013
  5. "Diaper Money"
    Released: May 19, 2013
  6. "Semicolon"
    Released: May 22, 2013
  7. "Go Kindergarten"
    Released: May 29, 2013
  8. "Spell It Out"
    Released: June 5, 2013

The Wack Album is the third studio album from American comedy hip hop group The Lonely Island. It was released on June 7, 2013 through Republic Records.

Recording[edit]

The Lonely Island worked with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Solange, T-Pain and Pharrell Williams during the production of The Wack Album.[1][2] They join Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Kendrick Lamar and Robyn on the roster of collaborators for the album.[3]

Promotion[edit]

The Wack Album was first announced in a cover story for New York City–based independent magazine Paper published on April 30, 2013.[4] The album was officially unveiled on May 4, 2013 through Universal Republic Records, with artwork and pre-orders for the album. A 15-second commercial in promotion of the album was also released as well.[5]

In further promotion of The Wack Album, beginning May 8, 2013, a weekly Internet television show named Wack Wednesdays showcased a new video from the group each week leading up to the album's release. These videos ranged from announcements about the album, new music videos and premieres of new tracks from the album.[6] The first video aired was the music video for second single "Spring Break Anthem".[7]

Singles[edit]

"3-Way (The Golden Rule)" was originally released on May 24, 2011 as a non-album single following a music video premiere on NBC's Saturday Night Live.[8] The song features American singer-songwriters Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, and was written conceptually as a sequel to previous Timberlake collaborations, Incredibad track "Dick in a Box" and Turtleneck and Chain track "Motherlover".

"YOLO" was released as the lead single from the album on January 25, 2013 internationally and January 27 in North America.[9] The song features vocals from American singer-songwriter Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame and American hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar. The song has so far reached No. 31 on the Australian ARIA singles chart[10] and No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100.[11] The music video for the song debuted as a Saturday Night Live Digital Short on the January 26, 2013 episode of NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, which saw Levine and Lamar as the host and musical guest, respectively.[12]

The song was written by all performers of the track, The Lonely Island, Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar. The song was produced by Needlz, who had previously worked with Lupe Fiasco and 50 Cent.[13] The song was originally planned to feature Katy Perry,[13] but two weeks before the song was released, this was changed to feature Maroon 5's Adam Levine, who was hosting Saturday Night Live the same night, and Kendrick Lamar, who had previously requested NBC to put him in a Saturday Night Live Digital Short or one of its many skits.[14] The premiere of the song on SNL also marked the temporary return of Lonely Island frontrunner Andy Samberg, who had left Saturday Night Live the year before, but appeared on the show as part of The Lonely Island for the premiere of the song.[15]

"Spring Break Anthem" was released as the second single from The Wack Album on May 5, 2013.[16] The song's accompanying music video was released on May 8, 2013 for the first Wack Wednesday.[7] The video stars American actors James Franco and Edward Norton, along with stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis.[17] The lyrics of the song begin with stereotypical partying themes, with seemingly out-of-place references to gay marriage made sparingly. As the song continues, the gay marriage theme becomes stronger, until the final chorus, which is entirely about gay marriage. In an interview with Pitchfork Media, Lonely Island members said that the song is a commentary on the way many people still regard gay marriage as bizarre and uncivilized, even while accepting the wild, misogynistic partying associated with Spring Break as normal.[18]

"I Fucked My Aunt" came out on the second Wack Wednesday on May 15 as the album's third single.[19] The third Wack Wednesday release was "Diaper Money", but was released on the previous Sunday, as part of YouTube comedy week, premiering during the Big Live Comedy Show.[20] That same Wednesday, "Semicolon" was released as the fourth single with an accompanying lyric video.[21] The next Wack Wednesday was May 29, with the release of the "Go Kindergarten" dance rehearsal video. This song features Swedish disco-pop singer Robyn, and the video stars Diddy and Paul Rudd. "Spell It Out" was released as the eighth single on June 5.[22]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[23]
The A.V. Club B[24]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[25]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[26]
Paste 6.4/10[27]
Pitchfork 7.1[28]
PopMatters 9/10[29]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[30]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[31]

Critical reception[edit]

The Wack Album has received mixed to positive critical reviews thus far. Gregory Heaney of Allmusic found the album an "exploration of their own innate wackness," writing that, "Most impressive about The Wack Album is that The Lonely Island manage to get their jokes across without feeling like they're making fun of rap which, given how much material they'd have by making fun of themselves, would really be a last resort."[23] Annie Galvin of Slant Magazine felt the record a retread over past humor, but still humorous enough: "Despite its occasional lapses into overly familiar territory, The Wack Album proves there simply isn't anyone out there who executes this strain of musical comedy with as much satirical precision as the Lonely Island."[31] The A.V. Club's Marah Eakin opined that releasing a full-length album was rather pointless considering the large amount of singles released online prior, but nevertheless reviewed the album positively: "All that being said, even with the occasional duds, The Lonely Island’s hits make up for its misses."[24] Paste's Philip Cosores felt the album partly dependent on the music video medium: "More notably, just the necessity of accompanying visual complements to their songs might be saying more about the quality of the songs than before."[27]

The New Yorker felt the record accomplished little more than what it intended to parody: "The more serious problem springs from a strange source: the group’s increasing competence. The production has improved to the point where The Lonely Island is clearly better than they were […] None of these songs would sound out of place on the radio, and they erode the album’s mission."[32] To this end, the Los Angeles Times concurred: "[The Lonely Island] rhyme with impressive style and sharp detail over tracks that sound virtually indistinguishable from those on records by Rick Ross, T.I. or any number of other A-list hip-hop acts."[26] Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone, however, found this to be the album's strength: "The secret weapon is musical skill: TLI are versatile MCs, and A-list producers turn jokes into pro-grade pop and hip-hop."[30]

Neil Kelly of PopMatters said, "Luckily, a couple of notches to the funny bar have been added with The Wack Album, although it’s definitely a rap experience. In fact, it’s some of the dirtiest rap out there. SO dirty, even Blowfly would blush… a little. That could end up being a double-edged sword for the Lonely Island, alienating the comedy fans who despise hard rap music. But millions upon millions of fans can’t be wrong."[29] Robert Christgau awarded the album a B+ and wrote, "Some of these ideas obviously seemed funnier when they brainstormed them‑-the Bloomberg rap that could be any cartoon mayor's, the incomprehensible "Spell It Out," the flat conceit of not giving a "honk"‑-and many come down well on the amusing side of hilarious. But most are amusing, and a few‑-the Robyn-fueled dance instructions of "Go Kindergarten," the manly boasts of "Diaper Money," the you-only-live-once-(so-watch-it) advisory that builds to "Two words about furniture: killing machines"‑-are as inspired as anything on Incredibad, where they wouldn't have fit because the rappers were younger then."[33]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 28,000 copies in the United States.[34]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone; additional writers are noted below.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Dramatic Intro"   Saverio Principini 1:21
2. "Go Kindergarten" (featuring Robyn) Vinay Viyas, Justin Davey, Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Russell Simmons 2:28
3. "Hugs" (featuring Pharrell Williams) Tommy Hittz, Pharrell Williams 3:01
4. "Diaper Money"   Jeremy Coleman, R. Witherspoon, Jr. 1:50
5. "YOLO" (featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar) Adam Levine, Kendrick Lamar, Khari Cain 3:05
6. "Spell It Out"   Mark Potsic, Ludovic Decosne, Pierre Daubresse 1:09
7. "Semicolon" (featuring Solange) Kevin White, Michael Woods, Bogdan Osipenko 2:35
8. "Where Brooklyn At? (Interlude)"     0:43
9. "You've Got the Look" (featuring Hugh Jackman and Kristen Wiig) JP Keller, Richard Parry 2:12
10. "I'm a Hustler (Song?)"   Scott Jung 1:20
11. "Spring Break Anthem"   Syed Shabi Naqvi, Kaywan Qazzaz 2:14
12. "I Run NY" (featuring Billie Joe Armstrong) Jung 3:05
13. "I Don't Give a Honk"   Potsic, Billy Ward 2:13
14. "3-Way (The Golden Rule)" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga) Justin Timberlake 2:51
15. "Meet the Crew"   Benedetto Rotondi 1:57
16. "I Fucked My Aunt" (featuring T-Pain) Viyas, Davey 2:30
17. "We Are a Crowd"   Ilya Salmanzadeh 1:24
18. "The Compliments" (featuring Too $hort) Arthur McArthur, Kenji Kawai 2:43
19. "We Need Love"     2:13
20. "Perfect Saturday"   B. Long, S. Morel, Tommy Woods, David Crawford, Robert Russell 3:18

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia June 7, 2013 Digital download, CD Universal Republic Records
Belgium
Germany
Netherlands
New Zealand
France June 10, 2013
South Africa
United Kingdom
Canada June 11, 2013 Digital download, CD, DVD
United States
Japan June 12, 2013 Digital download, CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ Battan, Carrie. "Lonely Island Get Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Lady Gaga, Pharrell for The Wack Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lady Gaga, Green Day and Pharrell to appear on The Lonely Island's 'The Wack Album'". NME. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Lonely Island Announce New Album 'The Wack Album' Released June 10th 2013". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Echlin, Hobey. "The Lonely Island Guys Prove Once Again Why They're the Internet's Biggest Stars.". Paper. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Bonaime, Ross. "The Lonely Island Announces Third Release, The Wack Album". Paste. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Gardner, Elysa (May 7, 2013). "Comedic rap trio will also launch 'Wack Wednesdays' leading up to the June 11 release of 'The Wack Album.'". USA Today. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Between Two Ferns/Spring Break Anthem #WACKWEDNESDAYS". thelonelyisland. YouTube, Google. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Hartsell, Carol (2011-05-22). "Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga & Andy Samberg In Three-Way 'SNL Digital Short' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  9. ^ "YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar) - Single". iTunes. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Lonely Island feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar – YOLO". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Lonely Island - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Digital Short: YOLO". NBC.com. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Needlz On Producing The Lonely Island's "YOLO," Submitted Beats For Kanye West & Eminem's New LPs". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kendrick Lamar And The Lonely Island Spoof ‘YOLO’ On 'Saturday Night Live'". MTV. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Lonely Island's New Song - Yolo, Features Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar (Video)". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Spring Break Anthem – Single by The Lonely Island". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "Watch: James Franco, Zach Galifiankis & Ed Norton Feature In 'Spring Breakers'-Style New Lonely Island Video". Indiewire. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Interview: The Lonely Island.". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "I Fucked My Aunt (feat. T-Pain) – Single by The Lonely Island". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Diaper Money – Single by The Lonely Island". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Semicolon (feat. Solange) – Single by The Lonely Island". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Spell It Out – Single by The Lonely Island". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Heaney, Gregory. "The Wack Album: Review". All Music Guide. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Eakin, Marah (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". All Music Guide. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ Madden, Mike (Jun 14, 2013). "Album Review: The Lonely Island - The Wack Album". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved Jun 14, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b Wood, Mikael (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Cosores, Philip (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". Paste. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  28. ^ Goble, Corban (June 13, 2013). "The Wack Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved Sep 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Kelly, Neil (June 13, 2013). "The Lonely Island: The Wack Album". PopMatters. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b Hoard, Christian (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". Rolling Stone (New York City: Wenner Media LLC). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Galvin, Annie (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  32. ^ Greenman, Ben (June 11, 2013). "The Wack Album: Review". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  33. ^ Christgau, Robert (13 August 2013). "Jay-Z/The Lonely Island". MSN Music. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/16/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]