Jimmy Fallon / Andy Dick & the Bitches of the Century

The Bathroom Wall (DreamWorks) / Andy Dick & the Bitches of the Century (Milan)

Perhaps Tenacious D have done more harm than good. (If you're not into micro-sized arena rock and "cock push-ups," you've probably already reached this conclusion.) Sure, they've revivified the idea of intentional rock comedy at a time when goateed rap-metal front men are holding down the accidental department, and, yes, the success of two chubby guys in grubby T-shirts and faded sweatpants is never a bad thing. But the relative commercial strength of the duo's debut disc has also made the comedy album suddenly OK again.

As Saturday Night Live heartthrob Jimmy Fallon's new The Bathroom Wall suggests, this is worrisome. For the first half of the CD, Fallon tackles music. Or, rather, it tackles him: "Idiot Boyfriend" is a lame impersonation of Beck's Prince impersonation, "(I Can't Play) Basketball" a lame take on the Beastie Boys' Run-D.M.C. infatuation and "Drinking in the Woods" just lame. The second half is stand-up, and while Fallon's impersonations come in handier here--his dead-on Adam Sandler gets the most laughs, and it's easy to see why--all the aren't-dorm-room-refrigerators-small? crap is more leaden than the freshman 15.

Self-styled Hollywood pervert Andy Dick fares a little better on his album with the magnificently monikered Bitches of the Century. It's all music, and the Bitches' glammed-up pop-rock recalls the brilliant David Bowie/New York Dolls pastiche composer Stephen Trask conceived for Hedwig and the Angry Inch; most of the songs are as sex-obsessed as Trask's, too ("I'll Fuck Anything That Moves" is especially nice). Still, Hedwig worked as more than a leather-clad in-joke because Trask's songs actually moved toward saying something; Dick never really digs into his well-publicized history of substance abuse, instead just hinting at it before deflecting meaning with paper-thin penis humor and tacky anus jokes. Proud devil-worshipers, Tenacious D have unleashed some real witchcraft.

 
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