Building his own media empire, the Daily Show
ranter-in-chief drops some new riffs on familiar topics on new CD.
Black’s new CD, “Anticipation,” out on Comedy Central Records on August
5, following quickly on the heels of his second book, “Me of Little
Faith,” (see review), draws
a great deal from material he’s done before -- retooling a couple old
pieces and mixing them in with some new ideas and pieces, in a way
living up to its title, and sentiment in its first track, “This Moment,”
where Black says:
“This moment that we are sharing together right now is, I promise you,
as good as it’s going to get. So I think we should quit while we’re
ahead. … There is no better moment than this moment, when we’re
anticipating the actual moment itself.”
Black has borrowed from himself before, but perhaps less extensively on
his several previous albums, “The White Album” (2000), “The End of the
Universe” (2002), “Rules of Enragement” (2003), “Luther Burbank
Performing Arts Center Blues” (2005) and “The Carnegie Hall Performance”
(2006), which all had greater percentages of all new material.
But with such a well-known persona, Black’s subject matter almost
doesn’t matter anymore -- known for being a political comic, his takes
on politics are equally bi-partisan as to who they skewer -- and the
laughs come from exactly that anticipation of just when he’s going to go
from his smooth, low voice, to a full on yell or shout about something.
All Black’s material is chosen to fit that anticipatory template, even
the newest subjects, such as golf, losing one’s virginity, and the great
divide between Christmas and Chanukah. In the pieces “Gamblers” and
“Xmas,” Black almost goes back to his past tale of Christmas being the
best time to be in Las Vegas because you can hear the shouts of losing
gamblers punctuating “Little Drummer Boy” when that’s being played in
the casinos. But he stops short of this piece, and takes the whole thing
into a different set of observations on Christmas, namely how Santa
ought to be president. Or at least the president ought to wear a Santa
suit, Black adds.
Basically, “Anticipation” is really a CD meant for the true Lewis Black
fan. One can’t really describe it as a good primer for the uninitiated,
or a good collection of best bits. Instead, it’s a record of Black
working in his element and within his style, playing with the specifics
of certain bits about certain signature topics.