Thursday, May 07, 2015

Ranking Al: #90-81

90. "If That Isn't Love"
(Style parody of Hanson; from Alpocalypse, 2011)
It's a pleasant enough song, with Al going back to the well of half-assing a relationship by doing the bare minimum and demanding praise for it. ("I almost never pretend you're someone else when I'm making out with you.") I don't know if he gets the sound of Hanson right, but Taylor Hanson is playing piano on the song. (If you never knew, Weird Al directed the video for "MMMBop.") As usual, what sells it is that Al delivers the lyrics with almost pained earnestness.

89. "Fun Zone"
(Original; from UHF, 1989)
Al apparently recorded this in 1985; it was meant to be the theme to a failed Saturday Night Live replacement called Welcome to the Fun Zone, and when you listen to this instrumental, you can almost see the variety show opening sequence, can't you? He reused it as Stanley Spadowski's theme music in UHF, and it's just a short, fun bit of music.

88. "Stop Draggin' My Car Around"
(Parody of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks; from "Weird Al" Yankovic, 1983)
Half the fun of Al's first album is hearing popular songs played at a faster tempo with an accordion in place of a guitar lead. Al sings this one as a full on lament, a cool guy with a crappy '64 Plymouth that's constantly getting towed away and impounded. He really sells it, too.

87. "Achy Breaky Song"
(Parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus; from Alapalooza, 1993)
Look, we were all thinking it. I'll never forget the first time I heard "Achy Breaky Heart." I came into the living room to talk to my Mom about something, and she was watching the end of Entertainment Tonight, where whichever interchangeable empty suit was saying "We'll leave you with Billy Ray Cyrus performing the song that's been number one in the country for three weeks now..." After about 10 seconds, my Mom asked the question already forming on my lips: "Why?" I thought I'd never hear it again, and then suddenly it was everywhere. I know Billy Ray and even Al himself felt the song was a little mean-spirited, but we needed it to be. We needed justice for our achy breaky ears, Al.

86. "My Own Eyes"
(Style parody of Foo Fighters; from Mandatory Fun, 2014)
I really do love the Foo Fighters sound; they're one of the few bands from the mid-nineties that I can still dig on. Al gets the sound right, and I love the ridiculous lyrics about the strange things the song's narrator has seen. (Personal favorites; an old man dying of Bieber Fever, and a mime hacked to death with an imaginary cleaver.)

85. "Another Tattoo"
(Parody of "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars; from Alpocalypse, 2011)
I'v actually never heard the song this is parodying, but the music sure is pretty. I love that Al juxtaposes the pretty music with an increasingly bizarre list of tattoos.

84. "Truck Drivin' Song"
(Original; from Running with Scissors, 1999)
A parody of those CW McCall-style country truckin' songs. The song's narrator is hauling while wearing high heels, a dress, jewelry and full make-up. Al walks a tightrope here, but I think he really pulls it off; a lesser comedian would have made cheap jokes about a man in women's clothes, but Al pokes fun at a pretty homophobic/transphobic genre of music (singing in a deep, cartoonishly manly voice) and then ignores any explicit gender implications by making the narrator's main concern how hard it is to drive while decked out in gown, heels and crotchless panties. I think it's incredibly funny.

83. "First World Problems"
(Style parody of the Pixies; from Mandatory Fun, 2014)
Love the off-kilter guitars in this one. Remember 20 years ago when rage was, er, all the rage in music? Well, my generation grew up and this is what we're complaining about now. It's hilarious because it's only a slight exaggeration.

82. "Homer and Marge (Love Goes On)"
(Parody of "Jack and Diane" by John Cougar Mellencamp; appears on the album The Simpsons: Testify, 2007)
Just a brief bit of silliness from the Simpsons episode "Three Gays of the Condo" that I've always liked. Al had wanted to parody the original on his first album. By this point, I didn't love The Simpsons, but the song reminds me of a time when I did.

81. "Weasel Stomping Day"
(Original; from Straight Outta Lynwood, 2006)
It's meant to sound like a song from a demented Rankin/Bass holiday special that perhaps happened in some alternate universe. And whatever that sound is, this song absolutely nails it. The sick sound effects are just the right punctuation of cheery gore. (I think my wife utterly hates this one.)

Until next time.


Roger Owen Green said...

First World Problems is #1 on the Daughter's list! Probably Top 50 on mine.

SamuraiFrog said...

Some of these songs seem low to me, and then I look at the whole list and think, Okay, this is the halfway point out of 165 items, and everything can't be tied for the top 10... I guess....

Roger Owen Green said...

true, and you have all the polka medleys (except one, I think) still coming.

Roger Owen Green said...

And there are some I'd missed that I liked straight off. #81 - yes, it is very Rankin-Bass. It's so over the top, unlike some of the more grizzly Al songs.