Review Summary: This album may as well be titled "Better than the originals"
You know you've really achieved a feat when Kurt Cobain finds himself laughing uncontrollably at your parody of his own song. It may seem impossible, but it did happen: Weird Al's parody tune "Smells Like Nirvana" was a song that everybody loved, almost to the Point where people considered it to be better to the actual track. Yankovic managed to achieve not only this, but also to have Off the Deep End
constantly be hailed as the peak of his career, and it's not hard to see why.
I'll admit I'm not a fan of Weird Al, but I do enjoy his music if I'm in the right mood, and I do own this CD. And this might just be the best parody album I've ever heard. I don't listen to a lot of parody music, but it's no wonder Yankovic is often considered the master of parody- his comical image, his clever sense of humour, his thin and nasal voice certainly all seem to add to the hilarity, and the result has an air of class and charm to it that only Yankovic himself seems to have. While plenty of other parody artists have a rather mean-spirited sense of humour, Yankovic's comedy is mostly family friendly and everyone can find something in it that they'll like.
There's a lot of good stuff here- the aforementioned "Smells Like Nirvana" starts the album off on a great note and is sure to have people laughing right off the bat. The biggest highlight is "Polka Your Eyes Out", which is one of his many polka medleys that cover popular songs on the radio, including "Unbelievable", "Enter Sandman" and "I Touch Myself" in a polka styling. To hear Metallica in a polka style? Even funnier than the polka cover of "Born to be Wild" at the end of Borat
. There is also "Trigger Happy", a parody of the Beach Boys- not any song in particular but rather a stylistic parody. As someone who loves the first few BB albums (before they suddenly got weird), it's truly hilarious and a song I'm sure Bryan Wilson would even be proud. "I Can't Watch This" is a parody of "Can't Touch This" about all the crappy shows on TV, and as predicted, is even better than the actual song. And how deserving is Gerardo's unspeakably awful song "Rico Suave" of the Weird Al treatment? Listen for yourself to "Taco Grande", which will have your lungs hurting from laughing so hard by the end. The only weak spot is "I Was Only Kidding"- I do like Al's originals ("Germs", for instance), but this one isn't that funny and does kind of drag the album down a bit.
There is one rather dramedic song- "You Don't Love Me Anymore", about how Yankovic's girlfriend keeps trying to kill him (one if the ways is by putting cobras in his sock drawer, and that's just the start). It is indeed hilarious but also kind of sad, and provides a sweet ending to the album. Actually I was lying. It's not the last song- well, it is, if you remember to turn the CD off after it ends, or ten minutes later, you'll have the piss scared out of you by ten seconds of cacaphonic grindcore! The ten second track is "Bite Me", a parody of "Endless Nameless" by Nirvana, which in itself is six minutes of cacophony, and was placed there to scare people who neglected to turn off the CD player. Well played, Al.
This isn't meant to be a serious album, and if you keep that in mind, you'll get a good laugh out of this disc. I isn't something I listen to regularly, but I do enjoy a good, spirited listen if I really need a laugh. It's for sure worth a purchase, and just be sure to turn the CD player off at the right time!