Photo | CryHavok.org
Weird Al’s latest album… Is it just as weird as his previous works? Is there enough accordion? Yes and Yes, my friend. Weird Al keeps doin’ what he’s always done with ‘Alpocalypse’.
Due to my Dad and Uncle’s influence, I’ve been a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic since I can remember. I remember listening to ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Harvey The Wonder Hamster’ in the car when I was like six years old… and not understanding why the songs were funny, yet still was laughing. Jump fifteen years into the future and I’m still sort of doing the same thing. I know I like Weird Al… but, I can’t exactly put my finger on why. I think it may be due to my appreciation for talented musicians that don’t take themselves to seriously. Al is an extremely smart guy. He graduated Valedictorian from his High School and actually earned a degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic State University. Yet it seems like people don’t realize how much talent it takes to do what he does. Maintaining a career in music is difficult enough… but a career in parody? That ability to make someone laugh is incredible… and he’s been doing it for 30 years!
‘Alpocalypse’ is the Weird Al I’ve always known. Obviously a few tracks are better than others, but overall it’s a great effort on his part. There are a few stand outs: ‘Polka Face’, his classic polka collaboration of current hit music is terrific. I’ve always loved his choice of songs, and he doesn’t disappoint this time either. Somehow, he makes Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’ feel like it always should’ve been a polka standard. I also enjoyed ‘Ringtone’, an original track based around an annoying ringtone. It’s filled with great background harmonies throughout, as well as guitars that remind me of late 70’s Boston/Queen. My last stand out pick is ‘Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me’, an epic ballad about junk email. This track now makes me want to see Weird Al in concert just so I can watch how an amazing ballad (filled with driving guitars and a huge choir) is performed by the parody king himself. Overall, ‘Alpocalypse’ doesn’t disappoint. It’s weird, it has an overabundance of accordion, some yodeling is involved… all in all, it’s a classic Weird Al album. Below are videos and quick reviews of many of the songs on the album.
Perform This Way – A tribute to Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’. It’s clever, but comes off more as mockery than parody.
CNR – A White Stripes-esque track based around actor-comedian Charles Nelson Reilly. Unless you’re a huge fan of Charles Nelson Reilly…feel free to skip it.
TMZ – A parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ based around TMZ’s celebrity obsessions. It’s also clever, but somehow already seems dated. More videos after the break.
Skipper Dan – A song about a failed actor forced to work as a tour guide at a Jungle Cruise ride. The same silly rock melodies, but lyrics that are actually more depressing than funny.
Polka Face – Weird Al’s classic polka collaboration of current hit music. He combines Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’, Britney Spears’ ‘Womanizer’, Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round’, Kid Cudi’s ‘Day n Nite’, Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’, Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’, Pink’s ‘So What’, Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’, Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’, Jamie Foxx’s ‘Blame It’, Iyaz’s ‘Replay’, Jay Sean’s ‘Down’, Taio Cruz’s ‘Break Your Heart’ and Kesha’s ‘Tik Tok’. A great choice of songs.
Craigslist – A Doors-style tribute to Craigslist. It gets sleepy… BUT, to his credit so does every other Doors song.
Party in the CIA – A parody of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA’. Any song that openly talks about secret government killings is gold to me.
Ringtone – An epic tale about a ringtone. This track reminds me of the classic early nineties Weird Al. The amazing harmonies, the insane Queen/Boston-esque guitars… it’s great.
Another Tattoo – A parody of B.O.B and Bruno Mars’ ‘Nothin on You’ based on that guy with way to many tattoos. Mentions a tat of ‘Hello Kitty and an ice skating zombie Ronald Reagan’… I need that tattoo.
If That Isn’t Love – A silly track about the things you do for love. I genuinely wanted to like it… but, it just never ‘gets there’. Definitely fell pretty flat.
Whatever You Like – A parody of T.I’s ‘Whatever You Like’ poking fun at the bad economy. Although this track would’ve been better for an album released three years ago… I still enjoyed it.
Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me – An epic ballad based around junk email. Great harmonies and background vocals. I loved the over-the-top guitars. Now I want to see this one performed live (with pyro, an orchestra and a 50 piece choir… with a guest appearance from Brian May).