Originally Published June 20, 2011
‘WEIRD AL’ YANKOVIC has seen his entire business model crumble in recent years. Not just the typical tale of music industry woes, Yankovic’s bread-and-butter has always been the pop music parody, but in a world where something ripe for parody will be handled with immediacy by one of countless YouTube spoofers or within a few days by the crew at Funny or Die, the traditional cycle of all things Al has been severely interrupted.
ALPOCALYPSE (out today via Volcano Records) is the first album by Yankovic to be directly impacted by the internet in a huge way, with the aforementioned immediacy the reason that five of the twelve songs here were already released as INTERNET LEAKS (2009). Even the most recent single from ALPOCALYPSE, the LADY GAGA sendup Perform this Way already seems a little dated as Gaga is already onto other singles from her latest album, and Al is just releasing his video this week.
Of the five main parodies on the album (Gaga, TAYLOR SWIFT, B.O.B. feat BRUNO MARS, MILEY CYRUS, T.I.), only two have real replay value. On the Swift parody TMZ, Al sends up Harvey Levin and Co., while the dated T.I. parody Whatever You Like (same as the 2008 single) places the focus characters in the middle of our shit economy – something still sadly relevant.
As always, there’s a polka medley here, and Polka Face is the highlight of the album. JUSTIN BIEBER, KE$HA, KATY PERRY, LADY ANTEBELLUM, FLO RIDA, and LIL WAYNE are among those that get the accordion treatment, and it’s just what you hoped it would be.
It’s hard to believe that Al’s last album, STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNWOOD (the highest charting of his career) was released five years ago already. Sadly, that was possibly the last “Weird Al” album that I will ever buy on CD. As I kid that grew up with Al a constant fixture on MTV, ALPOCALYPSE is amusing, but it’s just not the same anymore. But, that cover art is fantastic. Possibly the most “metal” thing you’ll see this week.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars