Published Jun 10, 2014100% Half-Assed is an album of firsts. For Ian Edwards, a long-time veteran of the stand-up scene who also boasts writing credits on SNL and The Boondocks, it's his first album. For Team Coco, the newly launched label headed by Conan O'Brien, it's their first release, and a natural one at that, since Edwards has appeared on every late-night show O'Brien has hosted.
The album starts off a touch unsure. Edwards seems a little on the jittery side, and his early bits about how men yearn to cheat on their women and an unfortunate series of Asian stereotyping (apparently, they have long torsos) could have been improved by the addition of foghorn samples. Russell Peters does that racial stereotyping kind of humour better, but, luckily, Edwards doesn't linger in that territory for too long.
After the first few tracks, his delivery settles down, and Edwards starts working more well-rounded jokes, including spot-on bits about the semantics of accidental pregnancy, slavery economics, martial arts training, Boston's shocking racism and the unrealistic relationship expectations of women. He shows he's a modern man in his story of how coming out vegan to his family was harder than his brother coming out gay, without landing on a pejorative punchline, and his case on why Jesse Jackson isn't a good black leader is pretty much bulletproof.
Edwards was born in England, but he has lived in New York, California and Jamaica, and his style shows the breadth of his upbringing. He comes across laid-back and open-minded, never preachy. Sure, he pushes buttons and broaches controversial topics (abortion, race, etc.), but he keeps it casual and relatable. 100% Half-Assed is a balanced album that should have widespread appeal, showing the fortitude of Edwards's road-tested material, and a promising first step for Team Coco. (Team Coco)