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Posted: May 13, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Funnier than you

Stephen Lynch proves feel-good music can be filthy fun

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Listening to Stephen Lynch sing is like immersing yourself in a nice, warm bath of politically incorrect, insensitive bubbles. Sure, some of those bubbles are filled with drug-selling pilots and, well, Satan. But if you like that sort of thing, Lynch’s stuff is wonderful. And trust me, you’ll like it.

I grew up on Adam Sandler singing about Hanukkah and Lynch follows in the same vein, that of the singing comedian, except that Lynch can actually sing well and was nominated for a Tony for his role in "The Wedding Singer" on Broadway.

But Lynch is like Adam Sandler without his ADHD medication, and I mean that in the best possible way. Ever heard that it takes 22 ½ years for something that isn’t funny at all (diseases, deaths, etc) to become funny? Well he certainly capitalizes on that, singing about AIDS tests, Anne Frank and Marvin Gaye. He also rips on Rodney King (not dead) and Christopher Reeve (not dead long enough), but somehow it works. It’s funny, and even though you know you shouldn’t — you just have to laugh.

There are no pretenses on his new CD, "3 Balloons." Everything is up for grabs. And it’s funny, because Lynch has talent. He’s not just that kid you knew in high school who tried — in vain — to play some lame Led Zeppelin song on his new acoustic guitar. He can sing and play well. He could have easily used his talent to become a mainstream musician, or at the very least place in the top three on "American Idol," but he chooses instead to make us laugh.

In "3 Balloons" he talks about how many drugs he can get on the plane he is piloting, and use your imagination as to how he’s getting past security with the drugs. Hint: they aren’t in his suitcase. With "You (Prettier Than)" he bemoans the fact that he is hanging out with someone less attractive than himself, "I wish I weren’t a shallow man, I wish that I cared not. I wish I weren’t so superficial, I wish you were more hot…"

It sounds bad, I know it does, but Lynch wouldn’t be able to continue making records and playing shows like Saturday’s at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, if he wasn’t funny. It’s potty humor and it is absolutely sophomoric, but it’s brilliant all the same.

But his music is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you are easily offended and lack a sense of humor, back away — you won’t like it. Well, you will, but you won’t admit it, and I must add that a Stephen Lynch song is generally not fun for the whole family. This is adult only humor. Don’t play this with your kids in the van on the way to school, and if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

To listen to clips from Lynch’s various CDs and to purchase his CDs, including his latest release "3 Balloons," visit www.stephenlynch.com.

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