Tuesday, January 23, 2007

earCandy: Weird Al Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood (2006) 4/5

I have to admit that I'm a longtime Weird Al fan - I've even seen him in concert in Montreal, where I managed to jump on stage and steal his spatula, which I still have and regard as a highly sacred artifact. I also have to admit that it's his early catalog that really got me feelin' him and, frankly, a few of the more recent albums have been a little thin. That said, Al is back with a vengeance with Straight Outta Lynwood!

The first single, White & Nerdy (a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty), is not only a brilliant parody touching on a lot of things that people that read and write blogs probably know a little too much about ;-) (check out those lyrics here), but it also shows that Weird Al actually has some serious chops - I mean, he can actually rap, seriously, it's at once awe inspiring and deeply troubling.

As a Canadian, I thoroughly enjoy Canadian Idiot (a parody of Green Day's "American Idiot") - for some reason this sort of thing seems to amuse us :-) (lyrics here). Usher's Confessions is lampooned in Confessions Part III - I laugh just thinking about the line "Like remember when I told you I knew Paulie Shore (Paulie Shore) - That's a lie, I don't know what I said that for" (and lyrics). Pancreas is distinctly Beach Boys sounding, although I don't think it's a direct parody, and Polkarama! continues a long history of polka mashups of a popular tunes (50 Cent's "Candy Shop" being a standout).

Unfortunately, a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" (called "You're Pitiful") kept the album from being released on schedule and was not included on the album at the request of Atlantic Records (although Blunt himself was okay with it). However, you can listen to it online at Al-oholics Anonymous, even if it's just to hear the line "never had a date that you couldn't inflate". :-)

In any case, it's a very funny album, especially if you're familiar with the songs being parodied. One can only hope that this is the start of another upswing in Al's career, and that would make a lot of us very happy - so go buy it already!
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1/23/2007 10:13:00 p.m.  


Anonymous John said...

Poor Stanley Spudowski though… ;)

I did love Nature Trail to Hell!

January 24, 2007 5:47 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

It's "good, clean family fun!" :-)

"One More Minute" is another great Al original.


January 24, 2007 6:08 p.m.  
Blogger Tino Buntic said...

Your sister's pretty!

January 25, 2007 12:01 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

What can I say, Tino - it runs in the family :-) .


January 25, 2007 12:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Liam said...

I'm not what you'd call a longtime Weird Al Fan, I got hooked when Running With Scissors came out. To be honest I enjoyed that album and then Poodle Hat a bit more than Straight Outta Lynwood. Obviously there's anything wrong with SOL, and I think White & Nerdy was the highlight for me. Love the polka songs too ;)

January 25, 2007 9:00 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

White & Nerdy is certainly the standout (which apparently wouldn't have even been written if the James Blunt knock-off, which is nowhere near as good a song, was approved for use on the album), but I think a lot of Weird Al parodies can be more appealing due to the listener's familiarity with the original tune (e.g. Confessions Part III).

I'll have to give Running with Scissors and Poodle Hat a bit of a relisten, though (not that I need a lot of excuse ;-) ).

Thanks for writing, Liam.


January 26, 2007 9:17 a.m.  
Anonymous Liam said...

Absolutely agree about familiarity with the original making a big difference, that's definitely been a factor for me. My favourites from the three latest albums:

RWS: Saga Begins, Your Horoscope, & Albuquerque (my fave out of all the 'long' songs).

PH: Couch Potato, Hardware Store, Complicated Song, Ode to a Superhero, Ebay.

SOL: White & Nerdy, Canadian Idiot, You're Pitiful (if it counts). But to be fair I'm not as familiar with SOL tracks yet; they're not as firmly embedded in my mind ;)

And I love all the polka songs; they have a category all of their own.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Weird Al live in March; part of the new tour. He came here (to Perth) a few years ago and it was awesome, the whole crowd sang along for the whole show :)

January 27, 2007 9:58 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Hi Liam,

That's great that Weird Al is going to Perth. I don't suppose you know a very talented piano player by the name of Glyn MacDonald ( glynmacdonald.com ) in Perth, do you? He used to be in Solcola (my band) when he lived in Vancouver and he's a great guy. Let me know on the off chance you know or have heard of him (as he plays there a lot).

PS: I live in Canada, so I know the "you must know Bob from ..." phenomenon, but I thought I'd try. :-)


February 01, 2007 3:01 p.m.  
Blogger Liam said...


'Fraid I haven't heard of Glyn before, but I am familiar with a few of the places he's had gigs at and I do have a few mates in the local music industry so I might ask around a little.


PS: Sorry this took so long - didn't realise you'd replied

February 11, 2007 9:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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August 25, 2009 10:56 a.m.  

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