Saturday, September 30, 2006

A new ALbum

Well, I finally received the copy of Weird Al's Straight Outta Lynwood. I'm writing this as I listen to, so here are my thoughts on the tracks:

1 White & Nerdy –I've actually heard this one already, because the video for it premiered online last week. Still, I really like it. Like most of the parodies on this CD, I don't know the original (“Ridin'” by Chamillionaire) at all. Still, it is funny. It hits just about every nerd joke imaginable.

2 Pancreas –It's educational (I guess). I'm not very thrilled with this one. I just don't think it's all that funny. The style seems to be an amalgam of assorted old-timey styles. I think.

3 Canadian Idiot—Making fun of Canadians is always fun, though not as much fun as mocking the French. This parody of Green Day's “American Idiot” is more of a parody of America's Canada bashing. It's pretty good.

4 I'll Sue Ya—This is a funny original about our litigious society.

5 Polkarama!—Before I listened to this, I wanted to say, “Al, you've done about a zillion of these dumb polka medleys. Give it a rest already.” Listening to it really didn't change my mind. It doesn't help that I don't know any of the songs Al uses.

6 Virus Alert—This is pretty funny. It's about an evil “Stinky Cheese” virus that does all kinds of silly things, like forwarding your porn collection to your grandma and creating a hole in the fabric of space/time.

7 Confessions Part III—This is a parody of Usher's “Confessions Part II.” I don't know that one either. I really have to listen to more popular music. This one is pretty funny, too. These confessions are extremely silly and bizarre, like I “Really like to dress up like Shirley Temple and spank myself with a hockey stick.”

8 Weasel Stomping Day—I saw the video for this one on Cartoon Network's Robot chicken the day before the album was released. It's pretty funny, and it has a nice tune, but it promotes cruelty to animals. I know it's a joke—and a pretty funny one at that—but still, don't stomp on weasels, kiddies.

9 Close But No Cigar—This has a nice tune too. Thematically, it reminds me of Al's “Good Enough For Now.” It's pretty funny, but it's an awful lot like something he's done before. P. S. Mama Cass didn't actually choke to death on a sandwich;that's just an urban legend.

10 Do I Creep you Out—This is a parody of “Do I Make You Proud” by Taylor Hicks. This is a song about a pretty creepy stalker type, like in Al's previous song, “Melonie.” Again, it's good, but not terribly original.

11 Trapped In The Drive-Thru—This is a parody of “Trapped in the Closet” by R. Kelly. After about the first three minutes, I felt like screaming, “Please Dear Lord, Let it End!” Then it kept going on for another seven minutes.

12 Don't Download This Song—This one has been available for download for weeks. It's a good song, though.

This isn't just a regular CD: it's a DualDisc. That means there's a DVD on the other side. So here's my take on the DVD side:

It has the complete album in 5.1 Surround Sound, PCM Stereo, and Instrumental/Karaoke. Since I don't have Surround Sound or stereo, I took a quick listen to the Instrumentals. It uses some nice background pictures of a young Al.

There are also videos for all of the original songs on the album. As I mentioned, I've seen the videos for “Don't Download This Song” and “Weasel Stomping Day.” I liked them both, especially “Weasel Stomping Day.” The video for “I'll Sue Ya” is even better than the song, because the animated Al just looks so darn angry. “Close But No Cigar” features a cat and was animated by the creator of Ren '& Stimpy, which really says a lot. I didn't really like the song “Pancreas” all that much, but the video was OK. It used a lot of really weird stock footage. “Virus Alert” was freaky as heck, and featured a brief cameo by Dubya. I loved it!

Finally, there's a documentary called “Al In The Studio.” It's pretty standard making-of type video. I can't really think of anything else to say about it.

I loved the videos. I thought the songs were a mixed bag. Some I liked. Some I knew I'd like once I listened to them a few more times. Some I know I'll never listen to again (the polka). Add it all up, and this is a pretty good album. I give Straight Outta Lynwood four yo-yos. Expect a review of Hello Radio: The Songs of They Might Be Giants later today.

No comments: