Former Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle introduces the world to the imaginary, enchanting Rutland Isles on this comedy and music CD. The Rutland Isles are supposedly a chain of extinct Masonic islands at the West Pole in Melanoma, also known as the over-friendly isles. Idle is spoofing British travel shows and documentaries which feature the intrepid host wandering around exotic spots in brown shorts and explorer's hat and he's also clearly poking fun at fellow Monty PythonerMichael Palin, who hosted a popular travel show. Most of the jokes feature a song as Idle is very fond of turning the slightest joke into music as with a dolphin who imitates Liza Minnelli. A few of these tunes are very clever such as "Gay Animal Song," though most are less than memorable. There are some funny bits like the telephone bird which sounds remarkably like a telephone, a silly German song inspired by the island and impressions of Elvis and Bob Dylan singing about the Rutland Isles. But the humor veers far from the subject of the islands and is often just a mishmash of unrelated bits. The Rutland Isles is a fine, fairly obscure idea for a comedy album, but Idle's material isn't strong enough to really pull it off.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Bregman