Greg Edwards is a different kind of dude and Dopamine is a different kind of comedy album. Greg, a 16-year standup comedy vet, is a teflon joke writer with an unforgettable voice and lovable magnetism. Great comedy thrives in finding unique angles about a subject, true to life perspectives and subverted expectations. Greg is all of that, many times over. His angles are Dutch angles, his perspective is often through the looking glass, he always keeps you on your toes, leering at your feet far too lecherously. Dopamine is fractured, unconventional, and underground. Dopamine is dope.
It’s easy to take Greg Edward’s gregarious and welcoming demeanor for granted. Don’t get it twisted: Dopamine is often blue, dark, rugged and raw. Greg’s East Coast, ball-busting bravado compliments his approachable, Californian open-mindedness. Greg is jovial and incendiary. He’s sincere and kidding. The kidding is important. The kidding allows for multitudes and contradictions, challenges and reassurances, endless potential for where the jokes can go, endless possibilities for what to feel and interpret. Greg’s sense of humor diffuses malice, eases tension. He’s great at telling the truth with lies. The album actively laughs at anyone that takes either the comedy or comedian—or themselves—seriously. Greg Edwards commits to kidding even when the ideas lead to tough—yet pivotal—perfect punchlines, even when the he knows the audience may turn away, even when the jokes are tough to say. The comedian gives space, logic, and thoughtfulness to weird, grim impulses and emotional upheaval. Dopamine offers pure, pulpy goodness.
Most comedy albums feel artificial, boilerplate, a headliner set of loosely connected bits culled from years of doing standup, packaged as “complete” and “new.” Dopamine plays out in vignettes, tightly packed bits, crowd interactions, comedy club naturalism. At times, like a bootleg recording of a cult favorite band, the audible atmosphere is so electric that you wish you were in the room. Greg Edwards is golden at expressing brilliant, outrageous, confident proclamations that bowl you over with their sheer audacity. He’s supreme at turning a phrase or alchemizing an idea, crafting punchlines into unforgettable comedy earworms that burrow into your unconscious. It may not happen today, it may not get you tomorrow, but it’s inevitable for something to remind you of Greg’s grinning, ridiculous reveries. Dopamine’s laughs linger.
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