Wednesday, 21 May 2003
|0957 - Review: Poodle Hat|
Weird Al's latest album was a disappointment. Out of 12 cuts, only 3 are what I'd consider really good, 2 more aren't bad, and the rest suck.
Most of the album is (c)rap. The parodies, except for one I'll discuss in a little bit, are of stuff that I've avoided because it's just not my style; the lead song, Couch Potato, a parody of Eminem's Lose Yourself, especially so. As the album progresses, it moves into less (c)rappy stuff, but still modern; A Complicated Song, parody of Avril Lavigne's Complicated, typifies today's popular non-(c)rap style of thin music and lyrics full of angst. Bleagh. The best of the (c)rap originals is Hardware Store, and that mainly for a rapid-fire delivery of stuff you might (or, in several cases, hopefully won't) find in one that has to have been overdubbed several times because he never seems to breathe!
I was beginning to despair of liking this album at all when Ode to a Superhero, a parody of Billy Joel's Piano Man, came along. It's quite well done, and does to the movie Spiderman what The Saga Begins does to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The next song was the real gem of this album. Bob is a stylistic parody of Bob Dylan with a twist. No, I'm not going to tell you what the twist is. You'll have to figure it out for yourself. If it stumps you, look at the lyric sheet, but don't do that until you've heard the song all the way through at least once.
eBay, a parody of The Backstreet Boys' I Want it That Way, isn't bad; it rescues the original by being devastatingly accurate about just what you can find on eBay, and how. Somehow, I doubt the online auctioneer will adopt it as their corporate song, though. vakkotaur liked the last song, Genius in France, more than I did, but it's serviceable, and better than much else on the album.
This isn't quite as bad, for me, as Bad Hair Day, but it's nowhere near as good as Alapalooza or Running with Scissors. Hopefully, Al will do better next time.
current mood: disappointed
current music: Weird Al Yankovic - Bob
Even though I haven't heard it yet, it seems to be representative of the complete CRAP that's being punched out of the manufactured "stars" in today's music industry. This is not contributing to the crap, but just pointing out the fact that nothing can make the originals NOT suck, or even suck less.
I can't really blame Al for this; he certainly had complete crap to work with...
So basically, much of the album will be lost on me, as _Bad Hair Day_ was, simply because I haven't been listening to the crap from the music industry since about 1992 or so.
Ah well... I don't yet have _Running With Scissors_ ... perhaps I should pick up a copy
One 'big' thing on this album (and you sort of have to appreciate the other half to see this) is "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" which Al worked with Ben Folds (of Ben Folds Five and now his self-titled group). Ben actually played the piano on that song and if you go to the extras on the data part of the CD, you'll get the pure instrumental version and a vocal/piano mix of just Al and Ben for that song. It is decidedly in the musical flavor of Ben Folds with Al's twisted lyrics. This is most likely a result of Al doing a lot of production work for Ben Folds (studio and video work) in the past and a strong friendship between them.
But I agree with Yakko's comment, and one of my own concerns before the album came out. There just wasn't a lot of easily-recognized parody material to work from. Enimem's, B-street Boys, and Billy Joel's songs are well played but the other 2 and the polka songs are very very obscure tracks unless you DO listen to such groups regularly. Not necessarily Al's fault; it's been a long time since Running With, and not putting out an album about now would not be good for his future career.