It’s a credit to Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement that over the course of their two seasons of Flight Of The Conchords on HBO, the duo performed a variety of musical styles, and managed to nail them all. Much as how the musicianship of Weird Al Yankovic and his band is often overlooked, Flight of the Conchords are both funny and talented musicians. In honor of our foremost Kiwi songwriters, here are the best Flight of the Conchords songs.
In one of the best Flight of the Conchords episodes, Bret is repeatedly visited by the spirit of David Bowie, as portrayed by Jemaine. It all culminates in a song devoted to pondering what exactly would go down if Bowie was in space. It includes, but is not limited to, using his nipples to transmit data back to Earth. This song essentially caps their debut full-length album, followed only by a 22-second little wisp called “Au Revoir.”
“Bret, You’ve Got It Going On”
Appearing as an iTunes bonus track on Flight of the Conchords, this song is about Jermaine trying to lift Bret’s spirits, but largely failing, and also admitting to spooning Bret while he sleeps.
This is probably the most well-known Flight of the Conchords song, and it’s mostly a Jemaine-focused affair. It’s a “sexy” song dedicated to instilling romance with a large streak of mundanity. It’s not their best song, but it’s good enough to be memorable, and one of their better songs that’s more a direct parody than some original idea.
The second season, and the second album, of Flight of the Conchords are not as highly thought of, but there’s still plenty of great stuff on I Told You I Was Freaky. “Friends” is a pretty interesting outing, as it’s an a cappella that, in addition to Bret and Jemaine, features Rhys Darby and Jim Gaffigan. It’s a delightfully catchy little number, though.
“Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros”
Guys trying to rap that are bad at rapping is a staple of music-based comedy. However, few of these songs are as good as “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros.” Part of this is that Jemaine and Bret are actually decent enough rappers. They are just laughably bad lyricists, at least within the context of the song. Rare is the rap song that features a lyric like, “Be a bit more constructive with your feedback, please,” and we are poorer for it.
The first single and the first song on I Told You I Was Freaky has the guys back to rapping, although this song features a little less “rapping” than “Hiphopopotamus” does. This is a song that both wrings humor from bad rapping, and bad lyrics, but also from rappers, as opposed to acting hard, rapping about their feelings being hurt.
“If You’re Into It”
This is the one song on this list that doesn’t feature on either full-length album by the band, instead featuring solely on their Grammy-winning EP The Distant Future, which also features the excellent “Not Crying.” The premise is simple enough. Bret writes a love song (it’s for his girlfriend in the show, Coco), in which he offers to hang out before he moves on to offering to double team her with her roommate by the refrigerator. Also, Jemaine is there to provide the choruses, which just makes it even funnier.
The other song in the running for the consensus favorite Flight of the Conchords song, this is sung from the point of view of robots who have killed the humans and taken over the world. Also, it takes place in the distant future, also known as the year 2000. It’s probably the catchiest of their songs, which is saying something, because they know how to write a hooky song and how to craft some funny lyrics.
“The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)”
This is the first song from the pilot episode of their HBO show, and it’s a great way to make a first impression. Much as how “Business Time” is a banal sex song, this little ditty is about a guy peppering a woman with mediocre compliments. There’s something highly amusing about the phrase “You’re so beautiful, you could be a waitress.”
“Think About It”
“Think About It” is Flight of the Conchords’ take on a message song, and their primary message is to leave monkeys alone. There’s also an excellent portion of the song wherein they just sing about what they are doing, such as breaking it down, or building it up.