Aziz Ansari, a new star in the comedy world, offers an album of confident, fast-paced, and though at times overly energetic, hilarious and unconventional material. Though he rose into the limelight partly on the merits of a little character called RAAAAAAAANDY, who appears in last year’s Adam Sandler flick Funny People and who makes a small and welcome appearance in this album, his comedy definitely stands for itself and affirms strongly a new and growing voice in the comedy world.
On his Comedy Central Records debut, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, Ansari shines most brightly for his ability to break down a situation so thoroughly that the humor doesn’t come from gimmicks or bait and switch, but rather from his steadfast logical follow through. This is evident in tracks like “Cold Stone Creamery,” “Simple Man Cruise” and “CVS” where he looks at what store employees would assume if he bought the same four items for six months. Ansari also maintains a lot of variety: mixing stories, detailed analysis, and absurdity –the album stays interesting and often inventive in its delivery and choice of material. He has the ability to equally offer insightful observation, as well as a degree of well-received stupidity and silliness.
However, it must be noted: though Ansari maintains a quick pace, it’s this high energy that if anything is the biggest drawback of the performance. Often it seems he sacrifices a punch line or a crescendo for volume, profanity and insults. The crowd seems to like it, but it makes for a lack of comedic ingenuity on some of the tracks –a quick fix that doesn’t hold up well on repeat listens, like in “Kanye West vs. Darwish.” However, though he does keep a huge amount of energy throughout, these excesses are not frequent and are well overshadowed by an album of inventive material and genuine laughs.
Listen to a clip from the album below.[audio:http://www.punchlinemagazine.com/audio/ansari.mp3]
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