Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Alpocalypse is coming! RUN!!!!

With Alpocalypse, Weird Al has pulled off that rare feat - the "There is no way anyone should be doing albums this well this far into their career" trick.  "White and Nerdy" may have caught fire a bit more, but Straight Outta Lynwood was somewhat uneven.  Alpocalypse sounds solid all the way through.

The disc opens with a track that is superb alone, but becomes a laugh riot with the video sending up the many insane guises of Lady Gaga.  "TMZ" apes the country-lite lilt of Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" to lampoon celebrity obsession, just as he segues into the longtime requisite polka medley "Polka Face".

Al has always done "style parodies" when doing his original songs, which often shine a cut above the straight-up parodies.  "Craigslist" spins a white stripes-crunchy rocker riffing on the random everything, the kitchen sink, and then something else instead ethos of the website.  And even when Al is going back on an old theme (here it's twisted "love" songs) he still does the theme better than most, so it isn't a bad thing.  "If That Isn't Love" pieces together lyrics about how he won't talk about his wifes' spastic bladder at parties, or kiss her when she's had an omelette (and he shortly after points out how he hates omelettes, you see).  It's absurd, goofy, ridiculous, yes, but it's done with the sly wink and integrity that Al has built over the years so well.

"Whatever you like" provides this album's foray into rap parodies, turning a bling and glitter story into an entertaining tour through all things discount, top ramen, hyundai, coupon clipping, and everything else on the cheap end of the spectrum.  An easy idea maybe, but again, pulled off effectively, so it makes it all the funnier.
The album closer "Stop forwarding that crap to me" seems a bit dated in places as it references various internet annoyances (including the youtube that's been forwarded too many times, the endless chain letters, etc.) - so not the best way to end, but not a bad tune overall -and the style itself where he skewers the "epic ballad over-singing" technique many artists use - is worth the price of admission itself.

Weird Al may be somewhat behind the pulse ("Party in the C.I.A." is a bit less funny with Miley Cyrus receding from the spotlight recently) but 30 years in, he is still in touch with it enough to deliver a fine album.

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