Review: Jimmy Fallon “Blow Your Pants Off”
Jimmy Fallon has really stepped up his charm since his departure from Saturday Night Live. During his heyday on the NBC institution, many (read: men) thought Fallon was just a good looking guy who was pretty good with impressions. These thoughts were often validated when he’d break in what seemed like every sketch.
A few years past those SNL days and those same quirks have become Fallon’s greatest weapons. As the host of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon his boyish charm, ability to laugh at himself and killer impressions have easily made him the most buzzed about late night hosts at the water cooler the next day.
Blow Your Pants Off is Fallon’s second album. A decade ago, he released, The Bathroom Wall and even though the video for the album’s single had Zooey Deschanel in it, it didn’t make much of a splash.
But oh what a difference a decade makes…
Blow Your Pants Off is a smile-inducing collection of upbeat and fun songs that only try to have fun. It’s the best moments from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. However, to call it just a Jimmy Fallon record is a bit of a misnomer for many talented people contributed to the creation of the songs – Fallon, his writers, and underlying backbone, The Roots. The masterful Roots perfectly take on any genre or song style called for. Running the gamut from hip-hop, folk, to the best Doors cover band one could ask for.
The juxtaposition of the tracks provides the most memorable moments on the record. Rather than just mimicking a celeb, they’re placed in situation they’d never normally be in, accounting for half the fun. Neil Young or Bob Dylan even knowing pop or theme songs is funny. Fallon’s easy-going vibe also allows for some really big names like Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, and Bruce Springsteen to agree to participate in bits that might fall flat in lesser hands.
Stand out tracks on the album include a perfect impression of Jim Morrison performing the theme song to the TV show Reading Rainbow. A romp through the history of rap with Justin Timberlake (which musta been a pain in the ass to clear all the samples) and a protest song, “Balls In Your Mouth” which features Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
A close runner-up would be the performance of Rebecca Black’s, “Friday” with his “best friend for 6 months” Stephen Colbert. If you happened to catch the performance when it aired a year ago, you might notice the over-the-top visuals aid the track. It’s one of the few and far between bits on the record where the visual element is missed. A few songs were recorded exclusively for the album but they are probably the weakest moments as the presence of a live studio audience helps with the energy and overall vibe of the record.
Bottom line, Blow Your Pants Off is a great snapshot of Fallon and his team working toward late night infamy. To have classic moments in one collection is great for anyone fan, diehard or not. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another decade to get more.