Roll with the New

Roll with the New

by Chris Rock
     
 

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Chris Rock first entered the American consciousness as a cast member on SNL in the early '90s, but he didn't generate a truly wide following until his brilliant vocal incarnation of Lil' Penny for a series of Nike commercials -- creating perhaps the first animated doll with actual "street cred." The release of Roll with the New soon followed and vaulted youngSee more details below

Overview

Chris Rock first entered the American consciousness as a cast member on SNL in the early '90s, but he didn't generate a truly wide following until his brilliant vocal incarnation of Lil' Penny for a series of Nike commercials -- creating perhaps the first animated doll with actual "street cred." The release of Roll with the New soon followed and vaulted young Rock to the very top of the stand-up comedy ranks. Leaping upon the hypocrisy and absurdity of American life in the '90s, Rock spares no one (referring to Marion Barry's participation in the Million Man March he says, "that means even in our finest hour, we had a crack-head on stage.") He also takes on the O. J. Simpson trial, overcrowded prisons, divisions in the black community, the sex war, and even his own fans. Every bit as edgy as it sounds, Rock's humor is tough and unflinching, but not unfeeling; the routines are as thoughtful as they are funny, and those prejudging the material will likely be surprised at the sensitivity of his insights. A must for comedy fans, Roll with the New announces the arrival of a major comic talent.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sandy Lawson
Chris Rock's album Roll with the New is a unique combination of live concert comedy and in-studio stuff. In his live act, Chris Rock is seamless. His cadence -- catchy and unmistakably his -- mesmerizes the audience into fits of ha-ha's. His rhythm and timing are impeccable, and he sounds completely improvisational. Except when he doesn't mean to be. He is a true pro. Chris Rock hits the audience with the hard and funny facts. He really calls 'em like he sees 'em. He may only have his GED (as he says, his "good enough degree"), but there is no mistaking this man's brilliance. To his audience's delight, he smartly covers racism, celebrities, and relationship psychology. (Particularly funny bit on women putting men up to admitting having cheated. "I know ya did, just admit it. I know ya did it, just admit it.") Chris Rock is the kind of likable hard-edge comedienne (Dennis Leary-esque?) who strokes his audience while making the bad guys seem like "the other people." He also uses his particular mastery of the comedic "call back" (bringing back a joke over and over for a laugh) along with repetition to really snag his audience. Chris Rock is comedy savvy. But can he do it without a crowd? The Roll With the New album begins with a less-than lukewarm "warm-up" act annoying the crowd. On first listen, one might ask, "Why didn't they just cut that guy from the album?" Then, realization: It's Chris Rock acting like an opener for Chris Rock. (Real live crickets in the background.) He intermingles bits of sketch comedy and the sections from his live act (otherwise heard in his uproarious HBO special Bring on the Pain). In between segments, Rock reappears as the horrible-terrible-no-good-very-bad comic and a host of other comedic characters. He orchestrates several mock interviews (not all voices done by him) and also plays a belligerent audience member who cracks, "Who the $#! is Chris Rock?!" after every other segment. It is quite an odd arrangement, next to the live concert. Not exactly workable. The live stuff is really out of control, outright wild; and while the in-studio recordings are clever, they're not laugh-out-loud funny. Caught between the two approaches, this recording lags in energy overall. As always, Chris Rock is political, but some of it misses the mark, or begs the question: What is the mark? Pitted against bull's-eye punch lines and an exuberant crowd, some of the random in-studio humor seems lacking. And quiet. (Talk about crickets!) For example, there is a very creative studio interview where all questions posed to O.J.Simpson and Ike Turner are answered with samples of rap recordings. Unquestionably creative. Put that next to the "tossed salad man" and some of the humor gets lost. Perhaps two separate recordings would make for a smoother, more streamlined album. Not exactly one for the kids, Chris "Rocks" the house in the live section of this album and could win over the most conservative crowd if only he had a language filter. A mixed bag, but a good album over all. Definitely worth listening to.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/1997
Label:
Dreamworks
UPC:
0600445000827
catalogNumber:
50008

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