With a massive Penis Phoenix on the cover and the same fuckin’ “fuckin’” adverb used time and again, you know who you are listening to. There hasn’t been an iota of evolution musically. The classical guitar plucking side by side with arena rock riffs and tight lyrics with a smattering of scat (pun welcome) let you know this is Tenacious D. They claim to be putting the “bomb” of Pick of Destiny behind them and seemed to be on the right track if they hadn’t run out of creative steam.
Death Starr attempts to tap pseudo serious societal concerns but lacks the pith of the legendary “City Hall.” You’ll root for “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and Rage Kage.” You’ll hope for something akin to “Tribute” which will take you away, but it’ll leave you in the terminal as “Hollywood Jack jumped upon a jetplane / and flew all that night through the rain / To be with his friend to see what remained / of his brain.” It rhymes in its lines but why? Perhaps all the kid movies have made Jack as shallow as Hal.
“Rock is Dead” and “To Be the Best,” ostensibly filler songs by length, are album highlights. The former absolutely rips and the latter hearkens back to 80s inspiration ballads. Think Karate Kid training montage.
Jack finds a Springsteenish rasp on a couple tracks most notably “39” where he describes his love affair with a 39 year old who doesn’t need diamond rings and who has trimmed her vaginal cleft. He goes into finger deep depth and detail, nearly as deep as this review and he sees this woman as you will see this album for what it’s trying to do: “There she is, not too bad, good enough.”
Listen to their debut album “Tenacious D” for some better songs and bigger laughs.