Review: Bo Burnham – Words, Words, Words

Artist: Bo Burnham
Album: Words, Words, Words
Genre: Comedy
Label: Comedy Central Records

Following his arrival on the national scene (thanks entirely to his homemade Youtube videos), Bo Burnham instantly became labeled as a gimmick by many comedy purists. His piano accompanied rhymes, built mainly on puns and innuendo, seemed to hold a quickly fading amusement to some, but also welcomed an entirely new generation to the world of standup comedy. Following a film appearance or two and two comedy albums, many wondered if the critics had been right and that the now 20 year old Burnham had already hit a creative wall. However, in what may be the most irreverent comedy release of the year, Burnham has proven much more than a handycam sensation with his latest release, Words, Words, Words.

Kicking things off with his tried and true musical style, Burnham opens Words, Words, Words with two studio tracks before cutting to a live performance (which features live cuts of the same songs). The single (an odd term for a comedy album), “Words, Words, Words” proves Burnham’s spent the past few years refining his wordplay and fires puns and pop culture references faster than anyone can process in a single listen. It quickly becomes apparent that something has changed about Burnham’s approach to writing as his jokes are much more intricate. That’s not to say he doesn’t take the opportunity for quick jab at every turn, but lines like “we the people of the usa, jose, we’re not talking to you.s.a” bring to mind the wit of a young Steve Martin with their almost annoying level of cleverness.

The truly rewarding part of Words, Words, Words is found in Burnham’s live performance. While his musical material is more solid than ever before, the album’s real highlight is the addition of standup to Burnham’s act. From an opening line about how his ex-girlfriend would dress like herself, but act like a complete bitch, to amazingly self aware remarks about standup as an art, Burnham showcases a new side to himself that will likely cement his longevity in the industry.

While many may continue to say he’s nothing but a “punny gimmick,” Words, Words, Words, showcases a vast evolution for Bo Burnham. He’s not only tightened his quote/unquote “style,” but expanded upon it in a way that’s sure to only widen his fanbase. If you’re ready for something guaranteed to provoke at times both deep thoughts and laughs, this is the release for you. He may be young in years, but Bo Burnham evokes a timeless sense of wit you simply can’t deny.

Score: 7.5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
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2 Responses to “Review: Bo Burnham – Words, Words, Words”

  1. Lindsey says:

    I think its actually “We the people of the USA, Jose, we’re not talking to you, esse”. Making it more witty, and adding some racism. (Also making it more hilarious)

  2. Jesse Marino says:

    You don’t have to type “quote unquote” when you already put fucking quotes around the word “style”. You are then doing the same thing as typing “”style””