Everytime I listen to a new Weird Al Yankovic album I know fewer and fewer of the songs he parodies. I’m just not current enough with all the new music that’s out there, especially the hip-hop stuff. But you know what? It never matters. He’s still hilarious. His new release, Straight Outta Lynwood is no exception.
On his last couple albums Al has turned his lampoon to more hip-hop artists. On Lynwood Chamillionaire and Usher bear a good portion of Al’s brunt, with White and Nerdy parodying Chamillionaire’s Ridin and the master stroke of Confessions Part III skewering Usher’s Confessions Part II. The rockers aren’t spared however with Green Day’s American Idiot getting a make-over as Canadian Idiot. No culturally relevant, self-respecting satirist would be able to live with themselves without taking a shot at American Idol. Al gets his licks on Taylor Hicks’ Do I Make You Proud with Do I Creep You Out. However, the last parody may be the most unnecessary and the most inspired. The ten minute opus Trapped In The Drive-Thru is a brilliant send-up of R. Kelly’s hip-hopera Trapped In The Closet. If you’ve ever seen or heard Trapped In The Closet then any parody of it would seem superfulous. It is possibly the most ridiculous, absurd, bizarre, jaw-droppingly astonishing production ever created by sober, clear-thinking, individuals who are serious about the crafts of music and film. Of course R. Kelly is none of those things. Really, it can’t be explained. I warn you, however. If you want to witness it for yourself, being that it is an R. Kelly production, I very highly recommend you find a heavily edited edition. Or you can listen to Trapped In The Drive-Thru and get a bit of a taste of how absurd it really is.
There are several Al originals, including a couple style parodies; the Brian Wilsonesque Pancreas and the unabashed salute to Cake, Close But No Cigar. And of course the ever-present polka medley. As usual many of the songs are about themes that are current to the times, such as computer virues (Virus Alert) and internet music thievery (Don’t Download This Song). And no Weird Al record is complete without some out-and-out silliness. It doesn’t get any sillier than Weasel Stomping Day. Trust me. All in all another solid effort from the king of spoof.
Here’s the video for the anthemic, Farm Aid-styled Don’t Download This Song.