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October 28, 2010

Bo Burnham, Words Words Words

 Just 18 months after releasing his debut album (at age 18), Bo Burnham continues to pave his road to stardom with bricks of non-traditional comedy gold—and the bodies of his sworn enemies, such as hack traditional stand-up comics, out-of-touch hip-hop artists, and anyone who might begrudge his pre-twenties success. On Words Words Words, Bo continues to deliver his trademarked fast-paced, hyper-literate musical comedy, but this time incorporates more pauses between songs for joke-telling. He delights in challenging his audience to keep up with his lexical gymnastics and analogic comprehension, and listening to him is kind of like taking a funny SAT test in song form. Puns can be a dangerous thing—they're often referred to as the lowest form of comedy—but delivered with his charming ironic pretentiousness, Bo manages to make them clever and meta enough that they work. The first two tracks, "Words Words Words" and "Oh Bo" are studio recordings with expectedly higher production values and full arrangements, while the rest of the album comprises his recently aired one-man Comedy Central special. His raunchy, high-low approach and status as an unusually young working comedian (he prefers "prodigy") have already made him an Internet sensation. Now, Bo Burnham is making his pitch to become a non-traditional comic star in the realm of traditional media. His chances are looking better every day.

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