George Carlin

Back in Town

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George Carlin fluctuates between two polar extremes of intellect on Back in Town. The album is mostly plagued by this single problem, which prevents it from reaching the heights it might have otherwise. Carlin's material is consistent, in that it all takes the form of societal criticism, but whereas his caustic gaze can sometimes intelligently deconstruct an issue as complicated as abortion, elsewhere his routine devolves into mere profane insults and gross-out humor. The aforementioned abortion bit joins a discussion of familiar expressions as the disc's highlights, and most of the parodies of modern phenomena in "Free-Floating Hostility" are on the mark. This meditation on capital punishment and state-prison farms drags on with jokes taken so far that it's difficult to remember Carlin is actually parodying these issues. Also, skip over "Farting in Public" -- the title speaks for itself.

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