Weird Al is BACK! Well, he never actually left. Weird Al Yankovich has been making fun of pop music for the past three decades and was at his peak in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He had a brief comeback with his 2006 album Straight out of Lynnwood which features my favorite song of his, “White and Nerdy” (for obvious reasons). However Alpocolypse was a little underwhelming and pretty much flew under my radar until about a year after its release. However, a few weeks ago Al pulled a Beyonce or as he would say it, “Beyonce pulled a me”, by dropping a new album and 8 new music videos just out of nowhere. Mandatory Fun has to be the greatest album he has put out since Poodle Hat. Not only that, but the single “Tacky”, a parody of Pharell’s “Happy”, has topped the charts on both iTunes and the Billboard 100. This in the first time in nearly 50 years that a comedy album has been number one.
This album is what I have been missing from Weird Al: the wackiness, the unpredictablity of the songs, and the humor that is both kid friendly but so close to the edge of being adult. What I also loved about this album is that you don’t have to know all the songs he is parodying to enjoy them. He also brings some great orginal songs to the table as well. These are “style” parodies. I think the best of the style parodies hands down has to be “My Own Eyes”. This song parodies the style of the Foo Fighters, it starts off with a soft vocal track with some bass guitar under it then the whole band kicks in with a blast of instruments and the singer begins to amplify his voice exponentially. Not only is it a spot on style parody of the band it is also pretty damn funny. Think “what has been seen can not be unseen” but in song form.
The best thing about Weird Al is that he is also so up to date on pop culture and music, it is his job after all. That is why the song “First World Problems” is probably the best thing to happen to the internet ever. It is a style parody of The Pixies. What makes it even better is the music video where Al is wearing a douchey blond wig and spouting out all of his anger towards having a good life. We are all guilty of getting upset over minor things in our relatively great lives so this song will make you laugh and maybe give you some personal revelations.
The song “Tacky” is fun because it not only does the music video feature comedians in ridiculously tacky garb (although i really want Jack Blacks outfit) the song also talks about the tackiest of tacky people in the world, it is a laugh riot. The song “Foil” s parody of the song Royals by Lorde is a classic Weird Al song. Starts by talking about what else, but food. then it slowly descends into madness and we are treated to several conspiracy theories and ridiculous internet rumors that could cause a man to put foil on his head.
The only songs that were a little disappointing were “Sports Song” and “Lame Claim to Fame” They weren’t bad and i think Sports Song is actually clever, its just they didnt have the same punch that the rest of the album has.
I have been a Weird Al fan since I found my moms cassette tape of his greatest hits when I was nine, and this Album is on par with all the fantastic songs on that tape. Al is a musical legend. I give Mandatory Fun: 9.5 Accordions out of 10