Tuesday, May 15 2012 17:36

Tenacious D - RIZE OF THE FENIX (Comedy Album Review)

Written by

It's been over a decade since TENACIOUS D first rocked speakers with their phenomenal debut album, and in that time the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass have witnessed their comedic musical offspring take a career path much like the bands they've been known to parody. The epic first album followed by a sophomore slump, the backlash, years of inactivity, and finally the inevitable rise from the ashes. It would be pretty funny if this was actually all by design. Ha Ha - the joke's on you, rock critics and music industry!

rizecleanPersonally, I'm an admitted D-fanboy, to the point where I even covered their song "Friendship" at an open-mic night once upon a time. Have the D made a bad album? No. But nothing will ever top the first record. Where THE PICK OF DESTINY (2006) failed is that the album was also the soundtrack to a film that the general public didn't understand. THE COMPLETE MASTERWORKS DVD series was excellent, but it didn't keep the "band" in the mainstream spotlight, and interest faded.

RIZE OF THE FENIX (2012) fixes that, presenting a D-styled "comeback" record that has the mainstream media talking about TENACIOUS D again. In that, they've already won.

Musically, RIZE is as close as you'll get to the 2001 debut without surpassing it, but it's dirtier... to the point where I have to be cautious in exactly what I tell you about it on a mostly-family-friendly site like The Rock Father (I can't even show you the real cover).  What I will say is that it's "rock n' roll," and good rock at that. Where the band once discussed The Road,  they're now back on it with the Roadie. It's both grimy and funny.

The Bottom Line: The D hath Risen once more - but will the audience be listening? For the power of rock, I sure hope so. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.