Posts filed under Music

Weird Al's "Mandatory" Fun Comes Naturally

Everybody MUST have fun, and they will like it!

Updated! 7/15/14 1:26pm - Added the brilliant video for "Word Crimes" below!

Second update! 7/16/14 3:49pm - Added another peach of a video for "Foil" below!

Fourteen albums later and Weird Al is just as sharp as he was back in the 80s. His latest album, titled "Mandatory Fun" (which also seems to have a title and album cover art inspired by one of my previous employer's lunchroom murals, which makes me giggle) is solid from start to finish. I can't remember a Weird AlBum that has given me so much glee with each and every track since Alapalooza.

No doubt if you were on the interwebs at all yesterday or today, you've seen the video for "Tacky", his spot on parody of Pharrell's "Happy". But here are some of the other offerings on the disc:

"Handy" - A send-up of Iggy Azalea (don't worry, I had to look that up) and her song "Fancy" which is the hard sales pitch for the self-proclaimed best handyman on the block. 

"Lame Claim to Fame" - A Weird Al original akin to "Dare to Be Stupid" that pays tribute to all those friends you have that have six-degrees of six-degrees of separation and use it for social status.

"Foil" - Probably my favorite track on the disc next to "Tacky" which is a clever take on Lorde's acclaimed "Royals" which begins with the practical uses for aluminum foil and then takes a turn to hilarious result. Update: The music video for "Foil" went live, here 'tis!

"Sports Song" - A marching band fight song that you'll soon be hearing clips of at sporting events to be sure. To put it in a rudimentary way, "We're the best and you suck."

"Word Crimes" - Which takes the Robin Thicke/Pharrell team-up and turns blurred lines into lessons in proper grammatical use. This song shall henceforth be used as the Still Playing with Toys style guide. Update: Staying true to his word, Weird Al has released the second video in as many days, check it out:

"My Own Eyes" - Would you believe that he's seen these things? Would you believe it if he said he saw them with his own eyes?

"NOW! That's What I Call Polka!" - Always the delightful track on Weird Al's offerings, his mega-mix of bubblegum pop songs mashed into one romp doesn't disappoint. Bonus points for Gangam Style working in a Jerry Lewis "Hey sexy lady!"

"Mission Statement" - Have you ever worked in a corporate environment and had to read the mission statement filled with buzz terms that sure sound great but don't make a whole lot of sense? Weird Al turns them into a beautiful and catchy Crosby, Stills & Nash "Judy Blue Eyes" melody. Value added synergy never sounded so serene.

"Inactive" - Oh Imagine Dragons, I bet you never thought your "Radioactive" single would be in everything from car commercials to stadium rock applications. Nor did you imagine Weird Al would turn it on its head as a tribute to supreme laziness.

"First World Problems" - How many are you guilty of, be honest? 

"Tacky" - Pharrell's catchy ear worm gets the Weird Al treatment, and if you haven't heard the song nor seen the video, stop what you're doing and do so now.

"Jackson Park Express" - Closing out the album is an epic seven-plus minute love story of a man who meets a girl on a bus, and the two read a little too much into each other's body language.

Overall a great album, one that kept me entertained (over two full listens) in morning traffic this morning and kept a smile on my face. Welcome back, Al.

Posted on July 15, 2014 and filed under Music.