Published on March 27th, 2007 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Weird Al Yankovic – Straight Outta Lynwood
The success of Weird Al in the record industry is fully seen with his 2006 release of Straight Outta Lynwood which features some of the best Al songs since Bad Hair Day and its collection of hits. The album is, for the most part, the most solid experience we’ve seen in years and this all comes to a head with the albums first single “White and Nerdy“; which screamed up considerable buzz for both Al and the album showing the world that he’s still got it.
While it takes time to usually issue an album of parodies, so the dated tracks like “Canadian Idiot“; spoofing Green Day’s title track from their Grammy-award winning album can be excused for being a bit late to the scene, but the content in the songs makes up for their tardiness. The thought of launching a pre-emptive strike against our neighbors to the north should put a smile on any American’s face.
After some problems with licensing of the initial single “Your Pitiful“; the release of the CD was pushed back to omit the song (which was subsequently only released online). Several of the songs popped up before the CD’s release in addition to the aforementioned single. “Weasel Stomping Day“; was shown on Robot Chicken as a music video, which is subsequently included on the second disc of the CD/DVD set. The “We Are the World“;-inspired “Don’t Download This Song“; puts Al’s tongue firmly in cheek and calls out to all the P2P downloaders around the world to not download the freely released MP3 from weirdal.com.
With the standard mix of original content and parodies, Straight Outta Lynwood makes up a careful balance, and nearly every song has something to offer the listen and entice them back for a second listen. The only weak point of the original material is the second track “Pancreas“; which is an ode to the digestive organ in the body. “I’ll Sue Ya’“;, while an original track, is clearly influenced by the abusive cords and lyrics of the newly reassembled Rage Against the Machine. The song really comes into its own with the provided video which makes the lyrics stand out as visuals course across the screen.
The main stand out on the album is the 11-minute “Trapped in the Drive Thru“; parodying R. Kelly’s similarly titled “Trapped in the Closet“;, which takes us through one couples journey to just get something to eat and what the lack of onions can do to a man.
Lynwood offers the listener six animated videos at the time of purchase for “Don’t Download this Song,”; “I’ll Sue Ya,”; “Virus Alert,”; “Close But No Cigar,”; “Pancreas,”; and “Weasel Stomping Day.”; Each video is animated by a different artists with the likes of Seth Green & Matt Senreich (Robot Chicken), John K (Ren and Stimpy), and Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton. The DVD also includes karaoke versions of each of the album’s songs and a Dolby 5.1 mix of all the songs for your listening enjoyment.
In the end Lynwood is Al’s biggest commercial hit thus far in his long and illustrious career and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With so much material just ripe for the parody treatment, one can only hope that services like MySpace, allowing the artist to better connect with their fans, only fuels the fire more and we’re treated to more songs in the shortest amount of time possible.