Words Words Words

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Words Words Words
Album cover
Live album by Bo Burnham
Released October 19, 2010 (2010-10-19)
Recorded June 30, 2010 (2010-06-30) (live material)
Carolines on Broadway
Genre Comedy
Length 58:45[1]
Label Comedy Central Records
Producer Jack Vaughn,[2] Kool Keith[2][3]
Bo Burnham chronology
Bo Burnham
(2009)
Words Words Words
(2010)
what.
(2013)
Singles from Words Words Words
  1. "Words, Words, Words"
    Released: September 14, 2010[4]
  2. "Oh Bo"
    Released: October 19, 2010[5]

Words Words Words (also Words, Words, Words or Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words) refers to both a stand-up comedy routine and the derivative album by American comedian, Bo Burnham. The live performance debuted at the Boston House of Blues on May 21, 2010, and the album is derived from a special live performance of the same set at Carolines on Broadway on June 30, 2010. In addition to the Carolines performance, the album has two studio singles, "Words, Words, Words” and “Oh Bo".

The House of Blues debut performance and the Carolines on Broadway performances were released on DVD and MP3/CD respectively, with the constituent material from the set being generally well received. The album alone charted on four separate Billboard charts, topping out at number one on the Billboard Comedy chart.

Words, the stand-up[edit]

Burnham debuted his stand-up routine, Words Words Words, at the Boston House of Blues on May 21, 2010 (postponed from April 16, 2010). This was recorded as the inaugural performance of Comedy Central's "House of Comedy Live from House of Blues" series.[6][7] Burnham shared his debut evening at the House of Blues with fellow stand-up comedian Myq Kaplan.[8] The one-hour special of Words Words Words aired on October 16, 2010 to over 700,000 viewers,[9] and was released on an unrated one-disc DVD three days later (October 19).[10][11] As of December 2010, Burnham was the youngest artist to garner his own hour-long special on Comedy Central.[9] The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and has, in addition to the special, two music videos for the songs "Words, Words, Words" and "Oh Bo".[12]

In August 2010, Burnham was nominated for "Best Comedy Show" at the 2010 Edinburgh Comedy Awards—"the world’s most prestigious comedy prize" with a £10,000 cash prize—after his performance of Words Words Words at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.[13] He was instead awarded the "Panel Prize"—carrying a £5,000 prize—for "the show or act who has most captured the comedy spirit of the 2010 Fringe."[14][15]

Words, the album[edit]

Words Words Words was released by Comedy Central Records as a music download on both Amazon.com and the iTunes Store on October 18, 2010,[16][17] and on a single Compact Disc on October 19, 2010.[1][11] All live tracks for the CD were recorded at Carolines on Broadway on June 30, 2010.[18]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Words, Words, Words" (Studio)4:00
  2. "Oh Bo" (Studio)5:04
  3. "What's Funny" – 4:38
  4. "Ex-Girlfriend/Racial Humor" – 1:46
  5. "Men & Women" – 3:07
  6. "One Man Shows" – 4:48
  7. "Ironic" – 3:08
  8. "Binary Reality" – 2:41
  9. "Words Words Words" – 3:51
  10. "A Prayer/How Do We Fix Africa?" – 1:19
  11. "Haikus/Sonnet/Shakespeare" – 7:29
  12. "Rant" – 3:36
  13. "Theoretical Dick Jokes/Statistics" – 3:22
  14. "Art is Dead" – 2:32
  15. "Traditional Stand-Up" – 2:25
  16. "Oh Bo" – 4:59

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 2.5/5 stars[19]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[20]
DVD Talk (3.7/5)[12]

Critical response to Words Words Words, both the album and DVD, has been mostly positive. Francis Rizzo III, of DVD Talk, praises Words Words Words, citing Burnham's excellent wordplay coupled with an age-defying stage presence and fluidity.[12] SanDiego.com's Gordon Downs spoke highly of Words Words Words; after describing the two studio songs as "sounding like a modern day Ray Stevens coupled with the slick production of a Yes album", Downs lauded the live set's flow and energy and Burnham's skill with his material.[21] Bill Brownstein of Montreal's The Gazette praised Burnham's wit claiming "[h]e could be the love child of Allen Ginsberg and George Carlin. And there's no telling what kind of comedy monster he can morph into by the time he hits 30 -even 25."[22]

Allmusic's David Jeffries said of the album, "...if you happen to enjoy the way Burnham turns from erudite to ignorant on a dime, then Words Words Words is the gift that keeps on giving. Things move fast in this act, giving the home listeners a distinct advantage over the audience captured here, who often seem to be laughing five seconds after the fact as they unravel the wordplay. [...] Hilarious, plus you get the thrill of feeling smug and horrible at the very same time."[20]

About.com's Patrick Bromley again praised Burnham's dense wordplay and cleverness, but felt that the artist was simply re-treading the same ground without making any significant advances. Whereas Bromley saw Burnham's from-the-bedroom charm as a boon to 2009's Bo Burnham, he opined the re-invention as a self-aware brash wunderkind was not an improvement. In contrast to any perceived deficiencies in the music, Bromley felt the traditional stand-up tracks to be the distinguishing factor of the album.[19]

Chart positions[edit]

The Words Words Words album is Burnham's first album to break into the Billboard top 40 charts, and sold over 10,000 copies in its first week. However, on the second week, the album fell 121 places to number 161 (selling only 3,000 copies).[23]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
US Billboard Comedy[24] 1
US Billboard Independent Albums[25] 3
US Billboard Digital Albums[25] 11
US Billboard 200[25] 40

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amazon.com: Words Words Words: Bo Burnham: Music". Seattle, Washington, USA: Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  2. ^ a b Words Words Words (liner). Bo Burnham. California, USA: Comedy Central Records. 2010. 
  3. ^ HEY! (hi.) on YouTube
  4. ^ Words, Words, Words on YouTube
  5. ^ Oh Bo on YouTube
  6. ^ "Bo Burnham House Of Comedy Special" (Press release). Comedy Central Press. 2010-02-22. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. Comedian Bo Burnham to tape first-ever special at the newly branded Comedy Central's House of Comedy Live from House of Blues in Boston on Friday, April 16. The performance will air as an original one-hour special in Fall 2010 
  7. ^ Cordova, Gonzalo (2010-02-26). "Comedy Central's House of Comedy Featuring Bo Burnham". Comedy Central Insider. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  8. ^ "Bo Burnham with Myq Kaplan". House of Blues. 2010-05-21. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  9. ^ a b Abrams, Rachel (2010-12-03). "Bo Burnham: Comic nets viral laughs". Variety. ISSN 0042-2738. Archived from the original on 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2011-01-23. Comedy Impact Report 2010: Standup Guys 
  10. ^ Bo, Burnham (2010-03-09). "MY BOSTON SHOW AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES IS NOW ON MAY 21st.". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  11. ^ a b "Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words - To Be Released on Comedy Central Records" (Press release). Comedy Central Press. 2010-09-22. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. “Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words” CD released on Comedy Central Records on October 19 
  12. ^ a b c Rizzo III, Francis (2010-10-20). "Bo Burnham: Words Words Words : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  13. ^ Clark, Tim (2010-08-25). "Bo Burnham nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Award". London, England: Get Comedy. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  14. ^ "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2010 - 2009 winners". Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  15. ^ "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2010 - judging". Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  16. ^ "Words Words Words [Explicit]". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  17. ^ "Words Words Words by Bo Burnham". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  18. ^ Cordova, Gonzalo (2010-06-25). "Bo Burnham Recording New Album at Carolines". Comedy Central Insider. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  19. ^ a b Bromley, Patrick. "Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words - Album Review". About.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  20. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Words Words Words - Bo Burnham". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  21. ^ Downs, Gordon (2011-01-03). "Bo Burnham: WORDS WORDS WORDS". San Diego, California, USA: SanDiego.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. Comic phenom releases his third album for Comedy Central 
  22. ^ Brownstein, Bill (2010-12-03). "Young, funny and fearless". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  23. ^ Caulfield, Keith; Silvio Pietroluongo (2010-11-04). "Chart Moves: Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Kanye West". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  24. ^ "Words Words Words - Bo Burnham". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  25. ^ a b c "Comedy Albums". Billboard. 2010-11-06. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-22.