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[Album Review] Mandatory Fun by "Weird Al" Yankovic - Comedy


Nikonis

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"Weird Al" Yankovic released his 14th album, Mandatory Fun, on July 15, 2014. I've listened to the album since the album was available for download at 9:00pm on Monday, July 14th (Midnight East coast time) and will attempt to provide a brief review for everyone here in The Band.

 

Track List (Ratings in FireBrick Red)

1. "Handy" (Parody of "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX) - 8/10
2. "Lame Claim to Fame" (Style parody of Southern Culture on the Skids) - 5/10
3. "Foil" (Parody of "Royals" by Lorde) - 9/10
4. "Sports Song" (Original song by Al) - 7/10
5. "Word Crimes" (Parody of "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams) - 10/10
6. "My Own Eyes" (Style parody of Foo Fighters) - 7/10
7. "NOW That's What I Call Polka!" (A polka medley including - 10/10
    "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
    "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People
    "Best Song Ever" by One Direction
    "Gangnam Style" by Psy
    "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
    "Scream & Shout" by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears
    "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra
    "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Kesha
    "Sexy And I Know It" by LMFAO
    "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
    "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
8. "Mission Statement" (Style parody of Crosby, Stills & Nash) - 4/10
9. "Inactive" (Parody of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons) - 9/10
10. "First World Problems" (Style parody of Pixies) - 6/10
11. "Tacky" (Parody of "Happy" by Pharrell Williams) - 10/10
12. "Jackson Park Express" (Style parody of Cat Stevens) - 7/10

 

 

REVIEW

The first few times I heard Handy I was not impressed. After getting past the music and listening to the new lyrics, which is what most of Al's parodies are really about, my rating of this song went up a few points. The new lyrics are about a handyman who is quite "handy" at the various jobs which handymen perform. Handy is still not one of my favorite songs but I can appreciate the work and creativity Al put into the parody.

 

Lame Claim to Fame is about people who believe they are awesome because of some lame reason like they sat next to Brad Pit or Bill Nye. I did not like this song but am not sure if the reason is because of the lyrics, the music or because the song is a style parody. Either way, my opinion on this song has not changed through multiple plays.

 

In my opinion, Foil is the first of the "Great" parodies included on this album. It is about the uses, both economical and silly, of seram wrap foil and aluminum foil.  The lyrics are creative and close enough to the original version of the song which, in my book, makes this song awesome.

 

Sports Song is another one of the tracks which I started off unimpressed with but learned to enjoy after listening to multiple times.  The song is about how many sports fans love their team and think that all other teams are below them.

 

Word Crimes is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Rather than trying to explain the epicness, especially for a reader and writer, I suggest you check out the video which I have included below.

 

My Own Eyes is about things that people see or have seen.  It's a decent song with great music and, being a style parody, is mostly original material by Al.  Not my favorite but still enjoyable.

 

Al's polkas switch things around by changing the music while keeping the original lyrics. I have never disliked Al's Polka medlies and NOW That's What I Call Polka! has not broken that record.

 

Mission Statement is about a company or organizations mission statement and uses big company words.  I really can't get into this song and often find myself wanting to skip to the next song when it comes on.

 

Inactive is about the stereotypical lazy people and does a great job of creating mental images while sticking to the feel of the original song.

 

First World Problems is a song about issues that most people don't worry about but spoiled people in first world countries may consider bit problems such as not being able to eat out for breakfast because you slept in past noon. It is the 'meh' song to me in this album, not bad but not great either.

 

Tacky is another awesome parody where Al creates mental imagery while sticking to the upbeat feeling from the original "happy" song.

 

Jackson Park Express was another one of those songs I didn't like at first but after focusing on the lyrics and hearing it a few times I think it has a similar overall feel to his older song "Albuquerque"

 

 

VIDEOS

Al released the one of eight videos for his new album each day until they are all released.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWo8apgLys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0shG9zC6oU

 

 

Overall Album Rating

The album has a few songs that I just couldn't connect with but I get that from most of Al's albums so it was to be expected.  The majority of the songs are good, great or just plain awesome and the album would probably get an A- from me.

Edited by Nikon
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So while on the ambulance, my partner showed me a video handy and it was hilarious. It made me laugh so much. Also Tacky was another funny video that got me laughing.

 

Good review Nikon!

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