The new Weird Al album was released today. Sure, it’s not a movie or TV show or book, but it can be spoiled nonetheless. So don’t read this thread if you haven’t listened to the CD yet and don’t want the jokes ruined.
Now for my thoughts. I’m a big fan of Weird Al, so please don’t mistake me for one of the Al-bashers in the recent thread who thinks he’s one step above (or below) fart jokes. But while I liked most of it, I did find a stinker or two on the new album.
I didn’t like “Couch Potato” at all. First, it’s a complete retread of “I Can’t Watch This” from Off the Deep End. In the older song he hates TV, in this one he loves it, but both basically come down to referencing various shows as the source of their humor. So what’s the point of doing it again?
Maybe to update the references. That brings me to my second point: This song will be very dated five years from now. The Osbournes was last year, and Are You Hot? isn’t coming back, so it’s almost dated already. “I Can’t Watch This” suffers a bit from the problem as well, but it’s worse in “Couch Potato”.
Thirdly, the actual jokes. Touched by an Uncle? “Jumped the shark the first minute”? “Tivo thinks I’m gay”? Please. I’ve heard all these lines more than once before.
Fourthly, the choice of song to parody. I’m sorry, I know Weird Al needs lead time to put out an album, but when commercials for an Adam Sandler movie parodied a song six months ago, pick a different target.
Each of these by itself isn’t a terribly big deal, but put them all together and this song just left me cold.
Fortunately, I was much happier with the rest of the album. A song consisting entirely of palindromes? Sheer genius, and surprisingly well done. Many groans to be found in “Party at the Leper Colony”, but I enjoyed it. “Hardware Store” was good, but the long long list of items toward the end made the song for me. “Ode to a Superhero” is inspired. I also liked “eBay”; as with “It’s All About the Pentiums”, you can tell he knows what he’s talking about. And the long dragged out “eBayyyyyyy…y…y” at the end cracks me up every time.
I was a bit worried with “A Complicated Song”. The first verse and chorus were good enough, but I shuddered to think how Al was going to drag the subject of constipation out for the whole song. Thankfully, he had the good sense to change topics for the second verse and again for the third. If only Saturday Night Live knew as much about when to move on.
The polka had its moments, especially the “Last Nite” portion, but it’s not one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because a lot of the songs in the polka sounded the same to begin with. Honestly, I’ve heard all of them many times, but I still sometimes couldn’t tell when the polka switched songs. Like the title says, it’s mostly generic “angry white boy” stuff. No sudden changes in tone like from “The Dope Show” to “Mmmbop” or from “All I Wanna Do” to “Closer”, as in previous polkas.
Finally, “Genius in France”. I desperately want someone to tell me I’ve been whooshed here, and I didn’t get the joke. Because all I see is gratuitous France-bashing. Some people find that funny, I know, but I don’t think Weird Al could have done anything more tired and unoriginal, especially at this time. If I want to hear about how the French are idiots, I can listen to talk radio. Please tell me there’s something more to this song that I’m missing.
Bonus content: Big thumbs up here. The home movies were hilarious, the lyric display feature should be on every CD. Only downside is that there’s a lyric display, and karaoke tracks, but you can’t use them both at the same time! Whose bright idea was that?
So overall, I liked the album. A few disappointments, but nobody’s perfect, and the rest more than made up for it. What does everybody else think?