Nathan (vovat) wrote,

  • Music:

Golly gee, I love my pancreas

No matter how many new musical artists I get interested in, I think I'm fated to remain primarily a Weird Al fan in the minds of many. Sheesh, have a hopeless obsession with a comedic musician in high school and college, and you'll be remembered that way for the rest of your life! {g} Really, though, most kids seem to like Al, but it generally takes a special personality (by which I basically mean a total nerd) for this fandom to continue into adulthood. For my part, even as I get older and no longer find singing an Italian menu to the tune of "La Bamba" to be the height of hilarity, I still find a lot of humor and creativity to appreciate in Al's work. Or maybe I just have childish tastes. It's probaly a little of both, really. Anyway, Al's twelfth album came out yesterday, and here are my thoughts on it, one song at a time:

White And Nerdy - A rap song about nerdy white guys might not be the most original idea out there, but Al's mad rap skillz totally sell this song. He works in a lot of amusing nerdy references, too.

Pancreas - The second song on an Al-bum is often one of the best ones, and this is no exception. It's a Beach Boys take-off about, well, what the title says. The arrangement is quite well-done.

Canadian Idiot - This was really the only direct parody on this album where I actually liked the original song, which definitely helps me appreciate Al's version. As you could probably guess, it's based on Canadian stereotypes.

I'll Sue Ya - Probably my least favorite of the original songs, this is supposedly a style parody of Rage Against the Machine, a band I never really paid attention to. I'm not so keen on the style, but some of the lines are amusing.

Polkarama! - I'm not sure if it's Al showing his age (after all, he IS currently 46 and married with two kids), but this seems mellower than is typical for the polka medleys. It also strikes me as a bit on the short side; it probably could have used a few more songs. Of course, I don't think I'd mind it if the polkas were, like, twenty minutes long. It's always a highlight of an Al-bum for me. I'm kind of surprised to hear a Weezer song in this one, after the fiasco with "The Alternative Polka" ten years ago. Maybe Rivers Cuomo is just hard up for money now. :P And when I heard that Kanye West's "Gold Digger" was going to be included, I wondered how Al would handle the Strong Language. He actually does it in kind of a weird way. Incidentally, I don't think it works so well as the last song in the polka. He's done other medleys that ended with songs that segued so well into the generic ending he always uses ("My Generation," "Satisfaction," "Ice Ice Baby"), but this one is a little awkward. Oh, and one recent song that I kind of expected to be polka-fied but wasn't? Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."

Virus Alert - The lyrics are quite reminiscent of an e-mail forward I got back in the days of the Good Times virus hoax, which listed a series of progressively ridiculous things that the virus would do. The music kind of reminds me of "Don't Wear Those Shoes": jingly keyboard and electric guitar, and a style that's familiar but doesn't seem to be a direct take-off of any band in particular. I actually think "Shoes" is a totally underrated Al song, which should be a hint that I like "Virus Alert" a good deal as well.

Confessions Part III - I was kind of worried about this one, seeing as how the original Usher song is, well, pretty boring. But Al managed to punch it up, making the parody faster and more upbeat. I think Al's parodies are pretty much always more up-tempo than the original versions, but it really shows on this particular song. As for the lyrics, they're a little bit of a change from your typical Al parody. With a few exceptions like the meta-humorous "Smells Like Nirvana" and "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long," they generally cover totally different topics than the originals. "Confessions Part III," on the other hand, takes on the same basic theme with a humorous twist. Hardly a novel comedic concept, but a bit atypical for Al. Still, it definitely works. I laughed out loud at the spoken bit about returning the shirt for store credit. Much funnier than if he'd taken the stereotypical Al approach and turned it into "Confections Part II." :P

Weasel Stomping Day - revme pointed out the similarity to the Simpsons episode "Whacking Day." When I think about it, Weasel Stomping Day might make more sense than Whacking Day, since most American snakes are fairly harmless, while weasels can be a real pest to egg farmers. Okay, I'm overanalyzing this, aren't I? :P The song is all right, but not great. I do like the relentlessly cheerful female backing vocals, which are pretty similar to the ones in a lot of Christmas songs and the like. Actually, I think what this number most reminds me of is that "Trim Up The Tree" song the Whos sing in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Close But No Cigar - Kind of in the intermediate range, I guess. It's funny, but not uproariously so. I do like the ridiculous flaws that the narrator sees in his girlfriends.

Do I Creep You Out? - As I've indicated before, I think this song was a last-minute effort, and unfortunately, it shows. Al already covered the Creepy, Stalker-y Guy angle in "Melanie," but THAT song actually had good jokes. Definitely the weakest track on the album.

Trapped In The Drive-Thru - What, two parodies in a row? That's not usual for Al's records. Oh, well. As far as epic Al songs go, it's no "Albuquerque" or "The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota," but it's still pretty great. It does a good job at mocking the inanity, repetitiveness, and forced drama of the original.

Don't Download This Song - You know, I could imagine this parody of group charity singles as an actual group charity single, although the "real" version would obviously lack the sarcasm. By the way, I like that the song mentions Tommy Chong's fairly recent jail sentence.

I still haven't watched the DVD side of the disc, but I plan to do that soon. It would be easier if my DVD-ROM drive were working. I keep meaning to try the fixes that onib suggested a few months ago, but I have so much else on mind that I keep forgetting. Maybe I'll do something about that this weekend, but I doubt I'll get around to it.
Tags: albums, weird al
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