This viewer has been a fan of Bo Burnham for years. However, because there tends to be such a large gap between solo projects the release of Inside last year with the first time he got any coverage on this blog specifically. For the first anniversary of the piece’s release, Burnham put together a selection of outtakes be row alternative versions and new sketches To the collective name the inside Outtakes. These were put up for free on YouTube. The new material takes advantage of the release format inserting several hilarious fake adverts that would not work in any other presentation There’s plenty of great new stuff here across both the video outtakes project and the accompanying album. The audio exclusive content includes extended, alternate and newly composed songs from the process of making the main special. If one is looking for an effective safe-for-work musical entry point into a Burnham-style closing song The Chicken might be the best his catalogue has to offer. Dark and poignant yet also unbelievably silly and mimetically memorable. It’s Burnham’s work distilled to its essence without some of the more risqué material that will rub certain audiences the wrong way.
That said well there’s plenty here to recommend this is the first Burnham project in the 10-plus years this fan has been following him where the machinations of the marketing machine to get this thing out there that goes against everything Burnham’s creative persona stands for. Merch drops related specifically to new material from the Outtakes project. Check. Multiple reissues of the album focusing exclusively on the unreleased songs or pairing it with the previously released regular edition for the definitive Inside experience. This bleeds into the video version of the Outtakes as well.
In this way, it Will always be interesting to see a project like this come together. That said the decision to integrate the B roll with a selection of new and alternative material struck this viewer as something that will only truly appeal to hardcore fans. Smashing together two distinctly different projects into one super project that is still ultimately only an addendum to the main piece. This smacks of the knowledge from Burnham and the team behind him that he can put out anything and swaths of his audience will lap it up regardless. As the man himself says in the first 60 seconds of the main special. “ Daddy made you some content. It’s a beautiful day to stay inside. ” It would not be untrue to say this lyric was floating around this viewer’s head as we watched another mildly intriguing but ultimately for superfans only piece involving Burnham fiddling with his various equipment. There’s plenty of merit to releasing this kind of side project and some of the individual pieces are worth spotlighting. As a whole, it falls at the bottom of Burnham’s solo creative output. It never quite escapes its origins as a collection of b-sides. Espesashaly when taken through the sort of singular vision lens that has benefited the majority of Burnham’s previous work. This is perfectly fine. Ultimately those in the tank for a project like this will likely leave the Inside Outtakes heartily satisfied. That said it won’t change the minds of anyone not automatically on board with Burnham’s vision and may give them more material to shout down his fans across the world.