Sadly, The Handler is the third album from Har Mar Superstar, a Ron Jeremy look-alike who performs his brand of flaccid boy-band crap in tighty-whiteys. (Isn’t that hilarious? Grunt and throw your feces if you agree!) That he’s gotten this far is a crime in itself, one I blame on the demographic that keeps programs like Trading Spouses in heavy rotation. If for some reason (such as being dropped on your head forcefully and repeatedly as a child) you happen to think that a fat, hairy guy in his underwear singing bad R&B is the funniest thing since Gallagher, remember that you can’t actually see him singing the songs on The Handler; you just get the music, which isn’t even worth the effort to throw poop at.
Over forty minutes, Har Mar plods through unimaginative (and sometimes downright insulting) rip-offs of the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake (and therefore, Michael Jackson) and maybe Eminem, and he even steals the tune from Taco’s version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” If there’s anything worse than bad R&B, it’s highly self-aware bad R&B filled with little more than a few corny emotional lyrics. Does he actually say, “These words are my son/ this hotel room’s my wife” while he bitches about life on tour? Wow. The best lyrics on the album are the contributions from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s Karen O, which are little more than sexual moans. I awarded 0.5 points based on that alone.
But the most confounding song on the album has to be closer “Alone Again (Naturally),” wherein Har Mar expounds on his loneliness, as well as the death of his parents. It’s actually a sad story, but with all the other affected posing and calculated wordplay, who knows if it’s true? Even if it is, feeling sorry for someone after you’ve been cursing his existence for thirty-five minutes is emotional whiplash that my brain cannot handle.
The novelty of Har Mar — if there ever was any to begin with — is supposedly his humor, but most of that lies in his visual act, meaning there are no laughs to be had while listening to the album. His content isn’t clever, and it’s not really over the top enough to be funny. His voice isn’t really all that bad, but his stale music actually makes female hip-hop trio Northern State sound completely amazing, because by the time their guest appearance on “Bird in the Hand” rolls around, you’re dying to hear something else. His most notable achievement here, however, is finding a group of women that actually sings of Har Mar, “I want him to touch me/ ‘Cause I wanna have his babies.” Our only hope is that those hypothetical babies never get a chance to see, or hear, or read about their father. I sure wish I never had.