Exactly one year after the release of his pandemic-inspired comedy special Inside, Bo Burnham has treated fans with an edited collection of all the songs and skits that did not quite make the final cut. And with the quality of music and comedy in The Inside Outtakesit’s shocking that some of these songs weren’t deemed good enough for the finished version.
Much like the original special, The Inside Outtakes draws a lot of its comedy from its unpredictability – a lot of the songs are so uniquely bizarre and random that it’s impossible not to laugh, particularly with Bo’s entertaining vocals and extremely creative use of music.
‘Feel Good’ is probably one of the catchiest songs on this entire outtakes album, and the way Bo uses his own backing vocals to enhance the track is really impressive. The lyrics are just repetitive enough to get stuck in listeners’ heads without coming across as simple or boring, which is the perfect balance.
‘Feel Good’ might not be the most complex or musically impressive song in the outtakes, but at just under 45 seconds long, it does exactly what it needs to do and does not overstay its welcome. It also features some of Bo’s cleanest and most authentic vocals on the album.
Bo’s sarcastic style of songwriting is at its most evident and effective in ‘Bezos IV’, which uses an incredibly simple but catchy melody to draw attention to the song’s smart and witty lyrics. The song’s central lyric: “Do you need 180 billion different reasons why I’m going with Jeffrey?” contrasts so strongly with the overall tone of the music that it’s impossible not to at least crack a smile.
The ‘Bezos’ songs are one of the best running gags in any of Bo Burnham’s comedy specials, so many fans with be pleased to know that it continues just as strongly in this outtakes collection. Although it might feel like the joke has been run dry, the different music styles keep it feeling fresh and new.
A lot of Bo’s best comedy comes from the unexpected, and that’s exactly why ‘Biden’ works so perfectly. On top of the timely and relevant content of the song’s lyrics, the way that the song slowly leads into those lyrics is sure to take the audience by surprise.
Bo’s comedy is often politically motivated, but it’s surprising to see a song from him that doesn’t navigate around the topic using concealed sarcasm and irony. Although he does not really say anything too polarizing in the song, it’s still easy to get caught off guard by its unapologetic lyrics.
This Isn’t A Joke
Displaying some of Bo’s best lyrics and use of music so far, it’s hard to imagine why ‘This Isn’t A Joke’ did not make it into the final cut of Inside. Perhaps it was deemed too similar to some of the special’s existing music, sharing the same synthetic notes and distorted vocals as songs like ‘All Eyes On Me.’
The intimate cinematography of this song also adds a lot to the experience, as Bo begins to talk about his own appearance – including his unique birthmark, which he explains with some hilarious openness. This extended close-up also really highlights the strength of Bo Burnham’s comedic performance in Inside.
The way that Bo Burnham tells stories through his music is so unique and entertaining, and it’s displayed perfectly in his new song ‘Microwave Popcorn.’ It’s incredibly simple – a literal narration of one man’s experience making microwave popcorn – but he manages to turn it into something listeners can easily listen to on repeat.
There are few comedians who could make something as mundane as microwave popcorn into such a catchy piece of music, but he does it very effectively. It has an incredibly memorable hook, some genuinely well-produced music, and a hilarious set of backing vocals.
Although it’s one of the shorter songs in the outtakes, there’s something about ‘WTFIGO’ that makes it incredibly fun to listen to. It’s catchy, it’s relatable, and it has some great backing vocals that listeners can easily sing along to. It’s not his most well-written or well-produced song on the album, but it has an indescribable quality that makes it one of the best.
The fact that the song pretty much only has one line of lyrics could definitely be viewed as a negative, but it makes the song really easy to listen to and quick to pick up. Not to mention, Bo’s varying deliveries of this line are extremely funny throughout.
Of all the songs in The Inside Outtakes, ‘The Future’ might just be the one that would fit best in the finished product. It’s a mystery why Bo decided to remove this song from the final cut, as it matches the tone and style of the special perfectly. With its deep lyrics, electronic sounds, and echoing vocals, everything about it feels tailor-made for Inside.
‘The Future’ feels very similar to some of Bo Burnham’s best songs from Inside, with its distorted vocals matching songs like ‘All Eyes On Me’ and its dystopian lyrics mirroring those of ‘Welcome To The Internet.’ It’s one of his most relatable and catchy songs so far, and definitely a highlight of these outtakes.
In ‘1985’, Bo takes a classic ’80s pop song and transforms it into a hilarious piece of comedy regarding parenthood, privilege, and prejudice. Even without Bo’s genius lyrics, this song’s incredibly authentic ’80s style makes it one of the best songs on the album.
It’s unlike anything Bo has produced before, and it’s also one of his funniest songs to date. It might not be full of jokes and wordplay like some of his earlier work, but its subtle commentary on race and wealth is hilariously sarcastic – which results in some of Bo’s most creative work in this pandemic-themed special.
It’s a well-known fact that Bo is capable of writing some extremely thoughtful and poetic lyrics when he wants to, but ‘The Chicken’ is probably some of his most intriguingly thoughtful work yet. It tells the story of a mother chicken who is forced to cross the road in order to find fulfillment and meaning in her life.
Not only does it mirror the situation that many people found themselves in during the pandemic, but it also set to one of the most beautiful piano melodies Bo has ever written. The whole song is one big emotional rollercoaster, which is shocking when one considers that it’s really just a take on an old joke.
‘Five Years’ is the song that everybody is talking about from The Inside Outtakes, and it’s for good reason. The song is a clear parody of modern hip-hop music, placing artists like Drake and Kanye West directly in the firing line. But with ‘Five Years’, Bo’s attempts to make a parody song inadvertently resulted in one of the best pieces of hip-hop music in a long time.
Not only does the song feature some of Bo’s most well-produced music to date, but it’s also full of some hilarious lyrics and genius wordplay that makes the song endlessly fun to listen to. There’s a whole section about a couple eating Chinese food that displays some of the most intelligent writing in the entire special, so it’s a mystery why this song was relegated to the outtakes.
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