Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ranking Al: #125-116

125. "Ringtone"
(Style parody of Queen; from Alpocalypse, 2011)
Yeah, ringtones are irritating. No, there's nothing in that that's inherently funny. And Al doesn't quite get the sound of Queen. But it's kind of okay.

(Weird aside: Al mentions Ebola in the song, and there are a couple of people in the comments section of the linked video who think Al predicted Ebola. In 2011. A disease that caused a media panic in 1995.)

124. "Isle Thing"
(Parody of "Wild Thing" by Ton-Loc; from UHF, 1989)
Just a rap about watching Gilligan's Island. Let's just call Your Mileage May Vary on Al's songs that are tributes to various old reruns. Honestly, this song makes me nostalgic now, because my Dad had the cassingle of "Wild Thing" and GI was one of those shows I grew up watching in the middle of the day on WFLD-32.

(Aside: the reason I love ME-TV so much is that it's WFLD-32, still showing mostly the same shows that were on in the middle of the day on my local channel (before it became the Fox affiliate), right down to the same woman doing the voiceover and the presence of Svengoolie.)

123. "Party at the Leper Colony"
(Style parody of Bo Diddley; from Poodle Hat, 2003)
Not a great song, necessarily, but I do love that in 2003 Al just decided "I'm going to write a song about the most cartoonish assumptions about leper colonies, but in the style of Bo Diddley."

122. "Spam"
(Parody of "Stand" by REM; from UHF, 1989)
In the grand comedy tradition of people finding Spam weird and hilarious. It seems oddly quaint to hear it today. The parody's not much, but I'll bet replicating the music was fun. There's a lot that goes on in this song, musically. Lots of moving parts.

121. "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long"
(Parody of George Harrison's cover of "Got My Mind Set on You" by James Ray; from Even Worse, 1988)
As a parody, it just kind of lays there. The music's pleasant, but I like the original a lot. The most interesting thing about it is kind of stupid--Al is clearly singing "This song is just six words long," which is seven words. I've always wondered if that was part of the joke, because The Artist Formerly Known as the Serious One sings "I've got my mind set on you" instead of just "Got my mind set on you," which is also seven words. I don't know, I'm trying to find something interesting to say about this song beyond, eh, it's okay but not really funny.

120. "Close But No Cigar"
(Style parody of Cake; from Straight Outta Lynwood, 2006)
Before anyone starts playing the video--animated by John Kricfalusi and Katie Rice--it's a bit more on the adult side. I said a few times that I don't like that bit Al does where he points out a woman's flaws and then jerks her around. I know he's often parodying a certain attitude or continuing a hackneyed comedy trope, but it's not a comedy trope I've ever found that funny. I think this is one of the times where he really gets it right, though, with a song about a guy who breaks up with a series of perfect women because of totally inconsequential flaws. The juxtaposition of extremes just makes it really, really funny. I love two Cake songs, but I don't know them well enough to comment on how much this song sounds like their music.

119. "Such a Groovy Guy"
(Original; from "Weird Al" Yankovic, 1983)
A parody of narcissism on the dating scene. It wins points by being a song about how cool a guy thinks he is with an accordion lead. It's just so incongruous.

118. "Syndicated, Inc."
(Parody of "Misery" by Soul Asylum; from Bad Hair Day, 1996)
Another song about watching reruns on TV. Using the song "Misery" lends it this elegiac air, and in doing so, it's kind of a perfect grunge song. I'm going to keep doing this thing for the rest of my life even though it's not much of a thing. In that way, Al is able to comment on an entire genre instead of "just" parodying a song. Also, nice to have an accordion solo. Al didn't go to the accordion a lot outside of the polkas during the 90s.

117. "Cable TV"
(Original; from Dare to Be Stupid, 1985)
It's a cute song that sounds a little, tiny bit lounge-y to me. It's another of Al's songs about how weird and wonderful cable TV can be, and the increasingly bizarre programs he now has access to. (When I was a kid, 83 channels (83!!) sounded amazing; today it sounds cute. Also, the idea that fifty bucks a month for cable is an insane amount of money is sadly quaint.) This is still early Al, though, and his song doesn't sound especially cynical, which is one of the reasons it's so charming. He's glorifying mundanity, but darned if he doesn't sound like he really thinks this mundanity is indeed glorious.

116. "A Complicated Song"
(Parody of "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne; from Poodle Hat, 2003)
This is the Al song I think I've seen the most varying opinions on. Some people hate it and think there's no central concept; I fall into the camp that thinks it's hilarious. The worth of the original aside (but for the record: eh), I just think the lyrics are really funny, particularly in the last verse where Al gets decapitated. I mean, it's insubstantial, but it makes me laugh.


Roger Owen Green said...

I had actually never heard Complicated Song. It's VERY funny, and I would probably put it it even higher on the list, quite possibly. Perfect mix of lyrics and song.

Roger Owen Green said...

Oh, and I searched your blog for this post and discovered that you had Complicated Song at #11 in 2009, on Al's 50th birthday. Of course, my Beatles list is pretty fuzzy too.