Since Tim Wilson has not made a comedy album of all-new material in more than three years (meanwhile putting out a hits collection and an all-music set), you'd think he would have had time to come up with a disc's worth of fresh material. But The Real Twang Thang suggests he should have taken much longer. The usual comic Wilson persona is present here, of course, as he expounds from a red-state reactionary political viewpoint, while dipping into sexism, racism, homophobia, and religious intolerance. Usually, however, he isn't even interesting enough to be offensive; "Terrorists," for example, manages to be both tasteless and dated. (For all that, he remains curiously prim about his language, at least on disc, conscientiously bleeping out all curse words, no doubt in the hopes of achieving morning "zoo" radio play.) But what is not usual is that he is so rarely funny. He seems to have lost interest in standup work; only six tracks out of 21 are spoken-word commentaries rather than songs, and even when he's talking, he strums a guitar occasionally and plays bits of songs to illustrate his points. Clearly, he'd rather be singing than talking. When he does speak, he spends much of his time criticizing members of the audience (one track is called "Messing with the Crowd," although all of the standup tracks could be called that). He insults young people and bores them with reminiscences about what it was like for him growing up in the days before car seats and safety helmets, when he watched Bonanza on TV. You can hear people laughing here and there, but there is actually little or no humor in his commentaries. The talking, however, is still much better than the singing. Musically pedestrian and indifferently performed, the songs tend to be one-joke efforts, if that. By the end of the disc, few of them are running more than a minute in length. The Real Twang Thang sounds like Tim Wilson's leftovers, material cut from standup routines and recording sessions because it wasn't worth including on earlier albums.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann