REVIEW: Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix (+ all bonus tracks)

TENACIOUS D – Rize of the Fenix (2012)

Could the “D” top the Pick of Destiny?

The answer is…no.

Nothing could.  That movie and soundtrack made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest.  But Rize of the Fenix is a close, close second.

There are no vocal cameos by anyone else, just JB and KG and a slew of studio musos.  (Dave Grohl is back on the skins.)   There are only a couple skits, the rest is all music.

The lyrics have never been more self-referencing.  From the Pick of Destiny bombing, to “Hollywood Jack” becoming a big movie star, if you love the “D” then you will love this.  The songs are more epic than ever and the joke is still funny.

I particularly enjoyed “Roadie”, an ode to those who keep the show going on.  From stringing guitars in the shadows to testing the mic, the roadie’s work was unrecognized, until now.  But what will happen when a pretty young thing wants a backstage pass so she can hook up with Kyle Gass?  What then, roadie?  Listen and learn.

Another classic:  “Deth Starr”, arguing that we should really build a hundred of  ’em.  And let’s not forget the musically epic “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage” which takes Jethro Tull and turns them up to 11.

And finally, there is “39”, JB doing his best Neil Diamond.  This is a sentimental ballad, a ode to a girl who’s 39.  Just lovely, sentimental balladeering.  Lovely.

Best Buy has two bonus tracks:  “Quantum Leap” which compares the “D” to Moses, Leonard Nimoy and François Truffault.  They also have the brief “Rivers of Brown”.  Worth having this edition for “Quantum Leap”.  (Also, I will note:  The Best Buy edition has the real album cover, and is not censored.)

iTunes had a song called “5 Needs”, a little hippy ballad about what we need to survive (such as air, food and rock).  However they don’t have it anymore.  Pre-order only.

Any way you slice it, buy whatever version you like — but do not buy the censored.  What’s the point?

4/5 stars


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