Piece Comment

Review of Bob & Ray THE LOST EPISODES Program 1

From the get-go, THE LOST EPISODES are a treasure. I start off by saying I have always loved Bob and Ray -- I memorized one of their albums in my youth and can still quote verbatim at length.

But there is brilliance here we can't even know these days -- the closest, perhaps, was Elmo's appearance a year or so ago on WAIT WAIT, when Elmo suddenly interrupted his voice. One of the exquisite things about B&R were their multiple roles in the likes of their Mary Backstage stories and how they'd skip from role to role with the ease of square dancers.

The glory of Bob and Ray to my ear -- old or young -- is their capacity for nonchalant surprise. They aren't interested in dazzling us -- I doubt they ever did overdubs, for example -- but each piece is a muzzled tour de force. For those enamored by the recent pursuit of the likes of irony, Bob and Ray are delivering like goods from the Irony Age.

Fans of John Hodgman will appreciate his succour upon the fumes of Bob and Ray's tailpipe. The resident authority chose his inspirations brilliantly.