Unleashed is the 2013 follow-up to Tom Garland’s 2012 album Leash Your Kids. This is going to be the shortest review that I have written. Why? Because I feel that it would be unjustified to spend more time crafting my review than Garland spent crafting the material on this album. While Leash Your Kids was decent, Unleashed is just uncomfortable and unfunny.
Throughout the entire album there is an overwhelming sense of a comic trying to work out brand new material. In fact, there were so many awkward silences and pauses while delivering the material that I almost felt insulted that this material was recorded and passed on to the listener as purported final bits. I think this conclusion is supported by the relatively short time frame between releases. One year was not even close to enough time for Garland to work out this material. While comics such as Louis CK and Doug Benson can churn out album after album every year, Garland needed to take more time.
There was nothing fresh or original in this album, and none of the bits go anywhere. For example, Garland introduces a bit about strange addictions. He begins by saying most “normal” addictions are things like alcohol, drugs or food, but there’s a television show about strange addictions where people eat things like sofa cushions. Ok. So? We all have heard about that show by now, so what new insight or hilarious observation are you bringing to the table? Nothing. It’s just a lot of “what?!?” and “sofa cushions?!?” and nothing else. Similarly, he has a story about witnessing a car chase with a girl that was a bartender at a local bar, and that seeing a “real life” car chase was crazy. Years later, whenever they see each other, they still say “woah, remember that car chase?” Ok, so what? Again, it’s just a bunch of “whoa!” and “what?!?” It’s all just surface level observations. Garland completely fails to dig deep and extract anything new or original out of his topics.
That’s about all this album deserves. Skip it.
Other Tom Garland Reviews
Leash Your Kids: Excellent mp3 album if a little uneven in tone and material