Considering it’s MMMERICA’S birthday tomorrow, I find it quite appropriate to begin this review by saying that I truly believe stand-up comedy represents the epitome of freedom of speech. I know that may sound ridiculous but think about it. People like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin weren’t just comedians, they were satirists; picking apart and criticizing what they considered to be wrong in this country and the world at large. Stand-up comedy has always and will always be on the threshold of freedom of speech. This is especially prevalent in this generation which finds itself immersed in social and political volatility (holy crap! Take a minute to appreciate that last sentence seriously. I sound like a genius. I wonder how long it will take before people realize how full of shit I am).
I apologize for the long winded introduction but this fits perfectly into Lee Camp’s persona. Aside from being a political activist Camp has certainly cut his teeth on the comedy circuit. He began writing humor columns when he was 14 years old, created his own immensely popular video blog entitled Moment of Clarity and has opened for national headliners such as Lewis Black, Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Fallon.
But what’s more impressive than his resume is the material in his newest album Pepper Spray the Tears Away. It’s comedy with a point. His act is filled with humorous criticisms concerning politics, feminism, commercialism and education. Camp is incredibly liberal and seems to pander to a leftist crowd, but there’s nothing wrong with that. He knows his audience and he knows how to make them laugh. Basically what I’m saying is if you agree with his politics you will enjoy the hell out of this album and if not then…well fuck I don’t know, go watch Glenn Beck or something.
The album is well thought out and put together. Everything seems to flow together topic wise, for the most part. What I loved about the album is that every once in a while, Camp will throw you something completely out of left field that is so absurd that you laugh at the joke and the misplaced-perfectly placed timing of it. He also manages to never come across as talking down to his audience. He’s not lecturing his belief system, he’s merely trying to inform whilst entertain which he pulls off well. The only thing that may catch people off guard is that he talks fast. I mean really fast. Its not poor timing, Camp is just passionate about his topics and has a lot to say about them. I did find myself rewinding some tracks to catch things I missed but was happy to do so.
Camp’s Pepper Spray the Tears Away continues the long standing tradition of stand-up comedy being a premiere form of social criticism and satire. Camp finds a way to take broad and important issues and breaks them down in away that makes them understandable and funny at the same time. However, your politics will play a role in how much you enjoy the album. If you’re someone like me who believes everything that comes out of Jon Stewart’s mouth hole is true, then you’ll have fun with this album. If you think that what I just said about Jon Stewart’s mouth hole is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard then go buy a Larry the Cable Guy CD. GOD BLESS MEERICA!
About the Author: Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, Greenest state in the land of the free. Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree, Killed him a bear when he was only three. I also like stand up comedy. (OHHH that rhymed!) Also, follow me on twitter @LouMisiano1