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Comedy Reviews - CD - James Nghiem - That Lonely Beast

That Lonely Beast
That Lonely Beast
James Nghiem
Comedy MP3 Album
Robot Saves City 2013

Having the opportunity to review James Nghiem’s new mp3 comedy album “That Lonely Beast” was a new experience all around.  Not only was I unfamiliar with Nghiem’s stand-up, but I was also unfamiliar with his label, Robot Saves City.

Robot Saves City appears to be a small indie comedy label, with approximately a half dozen or so comics on its roster.  I was able to locate a couple “mixtape” type albums featuring individual tracks from various comics, along with two other feature albums by comics Leah Kayajanian and BradChad Porter.  Nghiem’s album will be this label’s third feature album.

The album is short, clocking in at only 20 minutes, plus approximately another 3 minutes of “bonus” content.  While less than half the length of a “typical” comedy album, the release of this album highlights the beauty of digital-only releases.  While a 20-minute album might not have been worthy of a CD release a decade ago, it is now perfectly acceptable to digitally release material of any length.  This allows comics such as Nghiem to get material into the hands of their fans without having to wait until the comic develops a full hour.

The material on the album is good, with a few hidden gems.  I really enjoyed the bit about attending a party where the host allowed his very young child to drink shots of water while the adults drank shots of hard liquor.  My favorite bit, by far, was track 3 titled “DMT.”  Nghiem explains that DMT is a psychedelic compound found mostly in plants, but is also found in animals and humans.  Therefore, when animals and humans die and are buried, those compounds then become part of the soil and nourish plants.  That circle results in Nghiem’s hilarious conclusion that by smoking DMT you are essentially smoking people’s hopes and dreams.


Brett Watson



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