Kristin Key, a Texas native and veteran of Last Comic Standing, has a comedic quality that is equally destructive and beneficial: she’s a people pleaser. On Where the Cab Takes You, her second album, Key offers slice of life jokes (and songs) about getting drunk, getting high, eating at Waffle House, and getting searched at the airport –simple, perhaps familiar topics. However, what they have in relatability, they sometimes lack in ingenuity. She has a quick wit, a strong rhythm and a confident and devious delivery, but rarely are the jokes surprising, rarely do they take you somewhere you weren’t already expecting to go. While the audience on the album can clearly be heard in fits of laughter, as a listener, I found myself at times guessing where the joke would go, waiting for a twist that didn’t come.
But, this is not necessarily a problem in her writing. In every joke, there’s a highlight: some inventive comparisons, a well-timed vocal fluctuation, or a great bout of wordplay and phrasing, like when she describes pouring out Aunt Jemima’s “life juice”, or how half and half doesn’t know what side to take in the refrigerator gang wars.
But the jokes never derail from your expectations. The songs at the end illustrate this well. With the exception of “The Pooping Song”, each one features skillful guitar playing, surprisingly pretty singing, and some clever songwriting. But on a couple they seem oddly simple, especially in “The Airport Security Song”, a musical romp through often formulaic realms: getting scissors thrown away, bottled water being prohibited, and cavity searches.
This is not to say the album is bad; the writing and songs especially allowed for repeat listens. It’s just the album was one you may have already been expecting to hear.
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