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2009 album from the comedian/musician.3 Balloons is Stephen's first new album in over four years, featuring all-new material, and recorded in a studio: "My last two albums were recorded live in concert, just guitar and voice, and I wanted to do something different this time. Whenever I write or perform a new song, in my head I hear pianos and drums and tubas and string sections and jug bands and children's choirs. I want you to hear those things too. Except we couldn't find a children's choir whose parents would let them sing about drug mules and transsexual prostitutes. Maybe next time.''
|Audio CD Release Date:||March 24, 2009|
|Studio:||What Are Records|
|Number Of Discs:||1|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 31 reviews|
|2. ||Fishin' Hole|
|3. ||Dear Diary 1|
|4. ||Crazy Peanuts|
|5. ||3 Balloons|
|6. ||Dear Diary 2|
|7. ||Medieval Bush|
|8. ||A History Lesson|
|9. ||Dear Diary 3|
|10. ||You (Prettier Than)|
|11. ||The Ballad of Scarface|
|13. ||Dear Diary 4|
|Average Customer Review: ( 31 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Well made, but only occasionally funny Mar 27, 2009
By Trevor Fiatal
"Yeah, that Trevor..."
Longtime fans of Stephen Lynch know that the strength of his work isn't in slick production values or complex musical arrangements, but instead comes from the delivery and content of his outrageously funny lyrics. Unfortunately, his newest album puts far more emphasis on studio-grade musical accompaniment than it does on making the listener laugh in startled amusement.
"3 Balloons" is a solid collection of musical comedy that is wholly listenable, yet fails to rise to the level of Mr. Lynch's previous albums on the funny-meter. I don't regret buying it, but I find myself oddly satisfied and disappointed by the result after years of waiting for a new album from him. Hopefully the new material will shine when played live -- there's a reason that virtually all comedy (stand-up) albums are recorded live these days, and "3 Balloons" is a good example of how studio-manufactured comedy can fall flat.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Lynch is a great talent, but sometimes takes the easy road Jun 19, 2009
By John Tolliver
First of all I think Stephen Lynch is a GREAT talent. Excellent voice, with a great range, and terrific songwriter and entertainer as well. I downloaded this album about a month ago and for the most part he plays what his audience wants to hear, kind of "explicit" over the top stuff that makes you laugh, I think sometimes though thats the easy path for sales.
A few tracks on this CD really show his talent. Ballad of Scarface is one of his best works, so is Peanuts. Neither one just tries to grab you with explicit lyrics, both stand strong on their own words and music. Thats where I think Lynch shines.
I hope he doesn't keep going for the shock value as much (kind of reminds me of Stern or Opie & Anthony, when you start to drop creativity and only try for "shock" value, it diminishes your talent and lowers your common denominator audience).
My personal opinion is Stephen Lynch and this CD are excellent, just want to see him keep going forward showing off his talent for writing, and that stellar voice, and not try and dumb it down so much.
Saw him recently in Poughkeepsie and he puts on an excellent show, look forward to seeing him at Carnegie Hall in October.
5 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Perfect Blend of Comedy and Music - 4 Years In the Making Mar 21, 2009
Stephen Lynch is, without the doubt, the most talented comedic musician working today. His ability to play the guitar, his beautiful voice, and the way he writes would easily allow him to be a main-stream modern rock musician, but he chooses to be himself and apply his talents to make us laugh.
Unlike his last two albums this one is recoded in a studio, like his first one. It was both a good and bad choice for Mr. Lynch. With an audience we find ourselves laughing with the audience and this works for his comedy talent. However, live albums limit his musical options allowing him to only use a guitar. This is where 3 Balloons shines the most. The musical compositions he has produced sound amazing, far more elaborate and pleasant to listen to than his other albums.
This comes at a cost: Not all of the songs are hilarious, in fact a few of them only have a few truly funny moments, but they are all very strong songs none the less. Obviously everyone has their own opinion, but I believe this is Stephen's strongest album to date, a little better than Superhero, and miles ahead of The Craig Machine, which I believe to be his weakest album.
If you're a fan of Stephen's music, both for his musical talent and funny lyrics then you will not be disappointed with this album. It is a great combination of A Little Bit Special and Superhero (all the good parts, none of the bad) and it has been worth the wait.
Still pretty darn funny. Jun 03, 2010
By M. Malovich
First off, I don't get why some people are getting their panties in a knot because this album was recorded in a studio and not live.
Yes, Lynch performs very well with a live audience, and the contributions from the audience - whether laughing at the jokes or participating in the songs - does add some dimension to some of the previous albums.
However, the lack of an audience doesn't make this album any less excellent. When I first heard the album I, too, thought that the production values had been upped quite a bit. I was surprised, and didn't like it quite as much at first.
Then a week passed. Then a month. Now, I find myself listening to my favorite tracks on 3 Balloons as much as my faves on The Craig Machine and Superhero. Lynch's songs on the album are occasionally hit and miss. Medieval Bush is one of the low points for me, but Crazy Peanuts, 3 Balloons, America, Hallelujah, and You are all very funny.
No album will ever have completely fantastic material, but the negative reviewers seem to be more upset that they don't get to hear the audience laugh at the jokes rather than the content of the songs. The wit is still there (particularly with my faves above), his musical talent is still there throughout the several different styles, and overall I might not like the ENTIRE album as much as I enjoy some of the previous ones - but I still love listening to it.
If you enjoyed his previous work (and if you haven't, you're missing out), you'll enjoy this. Yes, it's different in some ways (Artists must evolve if they are to survive), but the enjoyable aspects of the album will take over very quickly.
Fantastic Jan 25, 2011
By W S Morris
Stephen's latest offer of comedy gold hits the mark with every single song. Yes, the production quality is great... but when has that ever been a problem?
He still offers the same 'laugh-out-loud' shock surprises in his songs that make the first time listening an exciting journey to see where it will actually end, and then offers the same 'laugh-out-loud' amusement with every subsequent listen.
For die-hard fans, people who like a few songs, and for people who have never heard of Stephen Lynch, I thoroughly recommend this album.
I cannot wait for the next one, and hopefully the content and the production quality will be as good, if not better.
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