Way back when I was just a li'l itty boy living in the suburbs of an unknown town named after an inflammable material with no real music experience besides the Backstreet Boys and those rock hits on the radio that those lonely little teenagers used to relate too, there was a song I heard that spoke to me. It said "Oh my, my this here Anakin guy. Maybe Vader someday later, now he's just a small fry. And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'" From that day foward I knew that this poofy-haired man was something different. He didn't speak of losing a girlfriend, or about being "the hardest hitting pimp in the USA". No, he spoke of being a cool rabbi, cross-dressing, living in a sewer with a hamster, watching crack ho's fighting on Jerry Springer, and fighting a one-nostrilled man for a lucky, autographed, glow-in-the-dark snorkel. It was a revolution in my mind (of course, I was like a Green Day fan that got into them when American Idiot came out so I thought this was his first album. And if that's not an amazing similie, than I don't know what is.
Like a crazed fan of a boy band, I needed to get the other albums of this accordion-wielding maniac, so I ended up getting Bad Hair Day, Dare to Be Stupid, and The Food Album. By then, "Weird Al" was a part of my life (probably because I listend to The Food Album while playing my favorite video game, Zelda: Majora's Mask, when it first came out, but that is another story in Green_Clash's exotic I-sit-at-home-and-do-nothing-all-day-except-when-I-have-band-practice life.) But, when I was emerged into power chords and songs about being bored that was Green Day, "Weird Al" Yankovic all but faded away from my life (until Poodle Hat came out a few years later but that was a small binge). But after three years, three months, and ten days after I left the "Weird Al" scene, I was once again emerged into it with this album entitled and I quote, In 3-D.
In 3-D is "Weird Al" Yankovic's second, and one of his best, inputs into the world of pop culture. With such classics as "Eat It", "I Lost On Jeopardy", "King of Suede", and "Theme From Rocky XIII" (aka, The Rye or the Kyser), this accomplished piece of work will blow your mind with such deep and often tear-jerking songs about a loser that became a legendary dancer everyone wanted to be, a tabloid about your next baby being an alien, and a trip on a nature trail to Hell... in 3-D! Whoever said sequels were never as good as the originals (you know like Speed II, Predator 2, and The Matrix: Reloaded) was an idiot and this is proof of their dumbicity. Here it is, in all it's glory, "Weird Al' Yankovic In 3-D... the review, which is in 3-D if you're on something...
"WEIRD AL" YANKOVIC IN 3-D
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz
The beginning of the album opens with gongs that seem to mark the end of the world as we know it and they fade out where we here some farting noise in rhythm and a whistle that lowers in pitch like a bomb about to hit Hiroshima, aka, your about-to-be-blessed ears! It then goes into the familiar riff of "Beat It" by Michael Jackson but in fact, it is the better song by "Weird Al" known as "Eat It". "Weird Al" sings about one of the most frustrating tasks in parenthood, getting the son of a b to it his freakin' dinner! The lyrics are impressive, catchy, and some of Al's best. But the real impressive part of this whole song is the guitar solo. Holy shniky does this dude play that guitar fast. He plays it so fast, putting shame to Slash and Van Halen, that his guitar explodes in the end. I remember listening to this back with The Food Album and wanting to be on stage and rock out that solo and having it explode in my hands. That would've been sweet. Well anyway, this classic Yankovic track opens this album great and it'll make you wanting more. Don't be suprised if you push that back button many times.
The first original song on the album, Midnight Star is a song all of us grocery shoppers can relate too. "Weird Al" begins by singing about standing in line with his "twelve items or less" and spotting a tabloid saying that your pet maybe an extra terrestrial. He also says things like eating jelly donuts can help you lose twenty pounds, and they're keeping Hitler's head alive in a jar. Honestly, tabloids really do say stupid things like this. And the cool thing is, they usually have star in the name! The instrumental part of the song sounds nice and catchy accompanied with the great lyrics. At the end, the background vocalists sing "'Choo can read it" and they were right. Excellent song to keep the pace of the album up.
Ooh, synthesizers. The Brady Bunch is a great parody of the song "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats where Al names off shows that he doesn't mind watching but he won't by any means watch The Brady Bunch. The way the verses go in the beginning are just like the ones in "Couch Potato" which he would do over a decade later. He names off tons of staple TV shows in one of his famous voices. Halfway through, Al starts talking about what The Brady Bunch is all about and it makes you think, with such a simple concept and annoyance of the whole family, why did you spend so much of your TV watching time on this show. Oh yeah, Marsha gets hit in the face with a football, ha ha! The highlight of the song for me is Al's voice at the final chorus where he let's it go. 'It's The Brady Bunch-yahhh!
Buy Me A Condo
Reggae rasta man... Buy Me A Condo starts off with a reggae beat with Al singing like a rastafarian who wants to get a condo and change his whole lifestyle. The first time through it's hilarious, my favorite line being "Get da wall-to-wall carpeting" for some reason but after a while, it becomes a little repetitive. But the lyrics will keep you alive until it picks up and the drums become more active. Good song but may have been better if it was a bit shorter.
I Lost On Jeopardy
The second best parody on the disc, I Lost On Jeopardy is the adventures of a man who thought he would compare his knowledge with "a plumber and an architect, both with a Ph.D." on Jeopardy but ended up losing horribly on TV. The song opens with a steady beat with the synthesizers and the drums and the guitar comes in sometimes with a bending string and the bass comes in with a slap or two. It's quite good music wise but where this song shines is the lyrics and the memorable chorus (Maybe it's just me but when they say "I lost on Jeopardy" is a highlight of the song". It also shows how stupid some of these shows can be when Don Pardo comes in to tell Al that he didn't win a case of turtle wax, a year supply of Rice-a-Roni, or a lousy copy of the home game. At the end of it all, Al says "I hope I do better next week on the Price is Right" which has some of the worst awards on a TV show. Sometimes you win the incredible vacation to Hawaii and then sometimes you win an ugly dining room set. Anyway, great song and a good message, you go on a game show, you may be shunned by your family forever.
Polkas On 45
This song is the first polka medley on any "Weird Al" CD and it is also one of the best. If you've ever heard any "Weird Al" Yankovic CD (besides the first), you'll know that there is one song that mixes a whole bunch of popular songs into one big polka jam. Polkas On 45 (named after 'Stars on 45') is a fast paced adventure through many genres, many times, and most of all, it shows that some of those songs that you love so very, very much, really sound stupid. It opens with 'Jocko Homo' by Devo, "Are we not men, we are Devo!" and then goes right into the classic 'Smoke on the Water' by Deep Purple where Al quickly goes through the riff on his accordion. Then there is the strange song 'Sex(I'm a...)' by Berlin, "I'm a little girl, when we make love!!" and after that, we hear the classic 'Hey Jude' by the Beatles. After the "Better, better, better, YEAH!!", we get The Door's classic 'L.A. Woman', "Got my mojo rising!". Immedietly afterwards, your heart will heighten when you hear the familiar riff of the seventeen minute epic 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' by Iron Butterfly played on the accordion with Al singing the drunken slurred words.
You are then smacked in the face by Hendrix to one of his best songs ever, 'Hey Joe', which Yankovic makes sound like a joke when he yells "Gonna shoot my old lady" and there's a pause for a gun shot and then Al yodals lady for a few minutes. Right after that, there's a short line from the Talking Heads song 'Burning Down the House', "I'm an ordinary guy, burning down the house!!". The song then pauses for a split second and then bounces into 'Hot Blooded' by Foreigner, complete with boiling blood. The Police are next in line to be made fun of with "Every Breath You Take" where you can here real breathing in the background! You think it's over... but it's not! There's a small interlude and then I here a very familiar line from my favorite band, "Darling you got to let me know! Should I stay or should I go". Yes, Al, The Clash 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' is appropriatley made fun of, complete with "whoa, whoa, whoa"'s. After that is 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' by the Rolling Stones, "But it's alright now, in fact it's a gas!" and after that is the finale song, 'My Generation' by my other favorite band, The Who. The best part, the "talking about my g-g-g-g-generation!!" and the end "HEY!" I cried then...
Unfortunetly, right after the epic 'Polkas On 45' comes the weakest track on the album. Mr. Popeil opens with an upbeat rhythm but unfortunetly, it never really strays from that and it's not a fantastic rhythm. The lyrics aren't anything special either. "Weird Al" Yankovic could've done something real good with this one where he talks about an inventor who makes "useful" items of varying uses. There are some good lines here and there including "It slices, it dices, look at that tomato, you could even cut a tin can with it, but you wouldn't want to". There's not much variety and the lyrics are hit and miss. So, not the best... in fact it's the worst but it's still a fun song for the first time through. Don't expect to repeat it like "Eat It" though.
King of Suede
The Police has nothing on Weird Al. This parody of "King of Pain", King of Suede is about, what else, the King of Suede. The song begins with a solemn tune played on a piano and Al talks about the guys who sells weird coats to you. The music excelerates to a stronger feel which I enjoyed but umfortunetly, there are some flaws in the lyrics. You see, the song is over four minutes long, but nothing really happens besides him describing himself. None the less, this is a great song that is refreshing after Mr. Popeil.
That Boy Could Dance
Ahh, after two, not-as-tight, songs, this brings back the power. In That Boy Could Dance Al describes a loser kid who they called "Jimmy the Geek" to upbeat, 80's like music. The lyrics in this song are hilarious from start to finish. The boy was ridiculed by the other children, but he soon became the envy of the children when he broke it down on the dance floor, hence the title. This boy, the boy that know one knew, was stupid, a jerk, untalented, ugly, had a complexion that resembled the surface of Mars, and he had a problem tying his shoes, but man he could dance. And there's a sax solo, too, how does that not rock. In the end, the boy is on top of the world, owning half of Montana. Now all the children who made fun of him as a youth, now want to be him, what a message Al, almost makes me wanna cry.
Theme From Rocky XIII
ADRIAN!! Ah, the famous cry of Rocky Balboa, now down the drain. Theme From Rocky XIII is the story of the once famous champion of the world, The Italian Stallion who has lost the Eye of the Tiger. Now fat and weak, Balboa is now working at a local deli. And the biggest question is not who he shall fight, but it is if the people want the rye or the kaiser. No more gloves, no more eggs, just the services of the people and... the damn bread. But of course, he's still pounding that liverwerst in his spare time. And remember, the tuna smells funny tonigh but you can't go wrong with the rye or the kaiser... this summer, rated R.
Nature Trail to Hell
So it's come to this. One of the best ending songs by Al. Nature Trial to Hell is one of his few darkly humored songs and it's probably the best of them. It begins with scary sound effects in the background. From the beginning, you know this will be a big ending to this album. Nature Trail to Hell is a slasher flick like no other. According to the dark side of Mr. Yankovic, two cub scouts or threee get chopped up in every scene and there's a bigs suprise in the end. Right after the hilarious verse comes the sensationally amazing chorus where Al yells "Nature Trail to Hell... IN 3-D!! The effects in this movie are so amazing, the severed heads just plop into your lap. And it's good clean family fun, with all the blood and the gore and the 3-D and such. My favorite lyric from this song is definetly, "If you like the Six O'Clock News than you'll love NATURE TRAIL TO HELL!" After all this massive awesomeness comes a badass organ and guitar solo accompanied by insane gouls yelling. And then comes the highlight of the entire song. The bridge where a series or blood curtlingly funny scream come in. Classic. And then there's this happy li'l bridge that throws you back into the craziness with a Jim West pick slizide! Oh yeah!!
This is the perfect way to end the album, with one of Weird Al's most original and funny songs ever. And there's an even perfecter ending to the song, a long totally cliche... did I mention real freaking long piano note. Man, you know the dude who played that used those foot pedal things, cause if you let your finger of the key for a second, you would be screwed. And if this wasn't enough, if you play the song backwards, you will clearly hear the line "Satan likes Cheese Whiz." That bastard! So there you are, quite possibly "Weird Al's" greatest record ever. It began with one of his best singles and ends with one of his best dark humored songs, and maybe his most excellent song ever. Yes, when you listen to this album, you will be in you own little piece of heaven. Is it perfect... almost. In all seriousness, I wish I could give this album a five but it just scrapes the rim of perfection, or something like that. Well, I thank you for your time my friends. I had fun, but the time has come, for me to go... So, my friends, I bid you, a fondoo... or however you spell it...