As 50% of Tim and Eric — and an entire canon of similarly-flavored auxiliary projects like Awesome Show, Great Job!, Yellow River Boys, Pusswhip Banggang, On Cinema, Decker — we’re used to a version of Tim that throws (or flings) his absurdist shit at us in characters all named “Tim Heidecker.” So when we’re presented with a debut solo LP (In Glendale, out May 20th) we bend over eagerly for the open-palmed spank we’ve come to expect. Yet when we get “Work From Home,” sung with a sort of glaucous-eyed earnestness that glides past satire and out the other side, we’re left a little shocked. Where’s the shit-flinging? Where now is the spank?
“Work from Home” is all lace, no leather. It’s that breed of daytime radio balladry that feels tenderer and more mesmerizing than a warm caress: a wistful keyboard bridge, templetized Randy Newman simplicity, snackable Steely Dan hamminess and it all goes down smoother than a sunset.
Fussless pleasure, for once. Randy Newman and Steely Dan were probably joking half the time anyway.