Weird Al Yankovic Alpocalypse
  • FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

I'd like to tell you that my sonic interests were birthed in listening to the tunes of Reed and Bowie (they came later, don't worry). But I can't lie. The first CDs that broke my bank (piggy —totally smashed) were Jock Jamz, ZZ Top's Greatest Hits, and of course, 'Weird Al' Yankovic's Bad Hair Day. Al's cornrowed head dizzily spun in my Walkman, as I sang along, undoubtedly ruining "Forest Gump" for my parents, during months of car rides. And though I've grown to consume more aesthetically intricate music, I remain a closeted Yanko-holic.

While my friends and colleagues anticipated Bon Iver's latest sonic tickle, I revisited the complete, 'Weird' catalogue. Prepping for the release of Alpocalypse, my ear buds echoed the dial tones of "Phony Calls" and the moans "Toothless People". Five years since his last studio release, Straight Outta Lynwood, it was about damn time that he released a full-length. Maybe that's precisely why Al fans are so faithful. Although whacky in all respects, he has routinely prescribed relieving ridiculousness for nearly 30 years.

And to think that the release of the tumultuous 12-track was nearly stalled by a stubborn lady called Gaga. The horned diva's representatives were weary about permitting Alpocalypse's opening track, "Perform This Way", the one that parodies her latest title-track as well as her devious eccentricity. Luckily, the disapproval was merely miscommunication, and Gaga supported the mockery (Yankovic spelt out the "Gaga Saga" on his blog).

With all controversy and 'fanboy' venting set aside, Alpocalypse can be viewed as a display of an ageless, maniacal talent. Yankovic may not genuinely compose chord structures, but his power to avert our distaste of popular tunes outweighs this blemish.

Of course, "Perform This Way" is a standout, but to commend it would be a critical cop-out. Beneath this gossiped turbine of Alpocalypse is a wild array of awesomeness. If Yankovic isn't mocking the artist of the borrowed melody, he's slashing at ludicrous reality. "TMZ", which flows to the tempo of Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me", teases our celebrity obsessions "You picked up some transvestite/seconds later, its on their website," is one of many lines of hilarity.

The B.o.B./Bruno Mars recreation, "Another Tattoo", is an additional under-hyped gem. As a bearer of bizarre body art, I am honored to be sonically scoffed at by the legendary parodist. In the heartwarming love song "Whatever You Like", Yankovic raps about the finer things that he gives his "honey", like Walmart digs and mac n' cheese.

Yankovic's Alpocalypse opus is his 5-minute, 15-song mash-up, otherwise known as "Polka Face". Sure, I've been showered with toilet paper at epic Girl Talk shows, but his standup Mac-mixes of hip-hop and 80s rock are no match to Al's accordion recreations of the overplayed radio wonders Kid Cudi, T-Pain, and Ke$ha (just to name a few).

Although it's not the best album of the year, thus far, it's certainly the most amusing. You don't have to be a Yank-thusiast, like myself, as listeners of the most melancholic tunes will mutually enjoy the 12-track carnival vacation, that is Alpocalypse.

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