by: Louis C.K.
By 2008 and the release of his first widely available CD, standup comedian Louis CK had already earned a loyal following through steady touring, regular appearances with morning shock jocks, a short-lived cable television sitcom, plus plenty of cable television specials. Chewed Up, the CD, is sourced from one of these specials and like so many other releases of its kind, shows little regard for the album format. None of the sight jokes are edited out, and the television special's long, mostly silent intro is left in for some reason. The performance itself is a different story. Chewed Up is on par with the comedian's early work, recovering after the slight dip he took with 2007's special Shameless. Save some unfunny talk about racial slurs that just can't find their mark, the set is sharp as it transitions from CK's unfiltered, unflattering talk about his kids ("buckets of disease that live in the house") to his even less flattering talk about growing old and the horrible effect it's having on his nether regions. Simple pleasures like the drippy "Cinnabon" ("a six-foot high, cinnamon swirled cake made for one sad fat man") and Walgreens ("a depressing drug store that sells sweatpants and vodka") are explored, and in a welcome, last ditch effort to make this a little more than just an audio rip of the DVD, two very funny outtake bits are added as bonus tracks. ~ David Jeffries