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Thoughts Outta Lynwood

October 23, 2006

I got a chance to listen to Weird Al’s new album when I was in California the week before last. Poodle Hat didn’t really do it for me, but the excellence of ‘White and Nerdy’ and the general solidness of the rest of the album made it a must-have once I got back to Wisconsin. Here are some general thoughts on Straight Outta Lynwood:

  1. White & Nerdy (Parody of “Ridin” by Chamillionaire) – Man. I’m not really a rap kinda guy, but this is so damn good it’s hard to ignore. Above and beyond the applicability of the lyrics to friends and family, his talent is so obviously displayed on this track it’s almost shocking. Combined with the supremely excellent video, there’s a reason this leads of the album. If only listen to one song off of this disc, make it this one.
  2. Pancreas – Eh. Al’s fascination with parts of the body has never really jived with me. It’s artfully done, and sounds good, but it’s not that funny to me.
  3. Canadian Idiot (Parody of “American Idiot” by Green Day) – Excellent. Sticks very close to the source material sound-wise, and makes fun of one of the funniest nations in North America. Reminds me a lot of “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi” for some reason, and I mean that as a compliment.
  4. I’ll Sue Ya – A funny song that suffers by being kind of annoying to listen to. The lyrics are great, but this is one of my least favorite songs on the album musically. It goes for the big hair/hard rock vibe, but thanks to Guitar Hero I’ve been listening to so much good Rock it doesn’t work that well for me.
  5. Polkarama! – I always enjoy his Polkas, so yay. Just the same … *sigh*. I recognized less than 25% of the songs in the polka. I am so fucking old.
  6. Virus Alert – Only medium funny, but the lyrics flow well, and I really like it musically. It’s a sort of retro-inspired song, a throwback to his stuff from early albums, and it works really well.
  7. Confessions, Pt. 3 (Parody of “Confessions, Pt.2” by Usher) – Very funny, and a good soundalike. Considering my annoyance at the source material, the fact that he makes it work for me musically is much appreciated. It’s also interesting because I normally don’t like his ‘complaining’ songs, and I really enjoyed this.
  8. Weasel Stomping Day – Heee! Best pure-funny song on the album. Ala ‘Harvey the Wonder Hampster’ and the Theme Song for the Weird Al show, this is a minute and a half of pure weirdness. Great.
  9. Close But No Cigar – I just don’t like his songs where all he does is complain about someone who he may or may not be in love with. In the spirit of “You Make Me”, “I’m So Sick of You”, and (essentially) “She Never Told Me She Was a Mime”, I say FEH on this song.
  10. Do I Creep You Out (Parody of “Do I Make You Proud” By Taylor Hicks) – Another kinda eh song. The lyrics aren’t that funny. The music sucks, but that’s the source material I’m sure.
  11. Trapped In the Drive-Thru (Parody of “Trapped In the Closet” By R. Kelly) – I’m glad Brian was around to explain the background to this one for me. I’m not sure why Al bothered parodying it. Midgets and crazy preachers in the original song make it kind of a joke already. Just the same, this song easily ties with “White & Nerdy” as the best song on the album. The constantly building tone is very compelling, and the completely mundane lyrics are hilarious. Great stuff.
  12. Don’t Download This Song – A great way to end the album. Not as good as “Drive-Thru” and “Nerdy”, but a really solid song. Funny lyrics and dramatic music make for a great curtain call on “Straight Outta Lynwood”. Nicely done.

Overall, a great piece of work. At only three years between his last CD and this one, this could have been weak … but wholeheartedly not. Definitely worth picking up.

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3 comments

  1. FYI, you have a family connection with Al. He and Uncle Dan G. worked together at KCPR, the campus radio station at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

    Explains a lot, doesn’t it?


  2. Umm, “You Make Me” IS a love song, not a complaining-about-someone-who-you-may-or-may-not-be-in-love-with song. It’s about how his feelings for the person are so intense that they blur his sense of purpose and reality. In an interview somewhere, Al stated that “You Make Me” was his first and only real love song.

    I would have liked “Close But No Cigar” a whole lot more, but the video for it by the Ren and Stimpy guy really ruined it for me.

    Did you check out the “Al in the studio” feature on the DVD side? Apparently “I’ll Sue Ya” wasn’t so great for him, either. Screaming like that gave him a major headache.

    “Virus Alert” really worked for me. Maybe I’ve gotten more e-mails from clueless family about the dangers of the latest virus than you have. They all read exactly like the lyrics to this song.

    How can you not love Al describing the gravitaional properties of his pancreas? Okay, actually, I didn’t love this one, either. It would have been funnier if it had been about his spleen. Spleens. He-he!

    I think I did worse on the recognition scale for the polka than you did. I blame the suckingness of modern pop music for making me never ever listen to it. Or maybe it’s all great, and I’m just a musical recluse. I’d buy that, if it weren’t for the fact that every time I walk near a radio playing the Top 40, I wince and my ears start to bleed.

    One thing I was hoping for that didn’t materialize on Straight Outta Lynwood was a “Summer blockbuster movie plot to a classic rock and roll hit”. “The Saga Begins” was way better than the actual movie, and I got a real kick out of the Spider-Man/Piano Man one on Poodle Hat.


  3. Interesting. I’ve *always* considered You Make Me a satire. Hmm. Have to go relisten to that.

    I totally agree about the movie tie-in. That would have been great. I pretty much like all of his movie-related songs. “Yoda” is also hawesome, as is “Jurassic Park”.

    All in all, I’m just glad to have an Al album in my regular rotation again.



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