Cherlene, a country music album from linked to FX's animated spy show Archer, is now for sale, and fans have been pleasantly surprised at the solid musicality of the songs.
Archer — now under the name Archer Vice — has taken a wacky plot turn this fifth season largely because creator Adam Reed grew "bored" with the same old spying storylines. The gang now works as failing cocaine dealers rather than spies, but the characters and their interactions largely remain the same. That is, except for Cheryl, who for underdeveloped-but-who-really-cares reasoning has decided to become a country music star and change her name to Cherlene. As part of that transformation, the Archer brass commissioned Kevn Kinney, the singer for the Southern rock band Drivin N Cryin, to make a real album of country songs, now available for download.
Cheryl is voiced by Judy Greer, but her singing voice belongs to Jessy Lynn Martens, a relatively unknown country singer. That music took a central point on Monday's episode, when Kenny Loggins ("K-Log," he preferred to be called) guest-appeared on the show as an asshole-ish version of himself. Loggins and his "Danger Zone" have been a running gag on the show for years, and so of course he finally appeared for some jokes. Toward the end, he and Cherlene performed a rousing country duet of "Danger Zone," the song that highlights the album. FX even spent a short commercial break to promote viewers to buy the Cherlene music on iTunes.
That album isn't a Lonely Island-type gag. It's real country music, and early fans have been pleasantly surprised that it's, well, actually musical. Cherlene is averaging a 4.5-star rating after 126 iTunes reviews, and it has climbed to No. 68 on the best-selling albums list. "Legitimately good country songs on this. I bought this as a joke and I'm confused as to why the music is actually good," one reviewer, blackersnacks, writes. General country fans will enjoy the music plenty, Star Pulse writes. "Whether it's uptempo tracks or slower ones, a countrified cover of an 80's hit or an original track, Martens scores with her clear and compelling vocals that will hopefully garner her some further recognition."
Even Loggins was surprised at how the music turned out. "I didn't believe that they could turn 'Danger Zone' into a country song, which makes it even funnier," he told TV Guide. Funny, yes, but also genuinely good.