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"Weird Al" Yankovic's "Alpocalypse" Reviewed

Weird Al does it again with his latest lampoon of the rich and powerful, if only to note that they are kinda goofy and the world is full of minor irritants. Alpocalypse is Al Yankovic's 13th album and he has his musical parodies down to a fine art.

1. A couple of straight up parodies of current hits.

2. A couple of inspired by songs where the melody isn't quite lifted.

3. A polka medley of current pop

4. An original or two.

5. Some action and some cartoon videos.

It looks so easy and it isn't easy at all -there is nothing harder than writing funny music because, well, because the joke gets tired after awhile. The Lonely Island, Al's only real competition, have real difficulties sustaining it and they get guest stars galore to bail me out. Yankovic goes it alone and not everything Yankovic does actually works. What fails is a disaster but when he gets it right… boy my boy!!

On album thirteen, "Perform This Way" is a straight up no chaser parody in both song and style, and the subject is also a very affectionate take on, Lady Gaga. The video, with Al's head superimposed on various people's bodies, is excellent. "TMZ" is Taylor Swift's "You Ought To Be With Me" and neither the subject matter, a very smart take on the Paparazzi, though the cartoon video isn't much. Just as good is "Craigslist" -when I wrote a review of the single. I mentioned how much the keyboardist sounded like Ray Manzarek on this Doors parody, only to be advised by a reader that it was Ray! A testament to Al's chameleon abilities as much as Al's morphing into Jim Morrison in the video. And if you include the original pisstake on power ballads everywhere "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me" (the video's crap though) you have the heart of Alpocalypse.

Unfortunately, there are a handful of misfires. I liked Miley's original, but "Party In The CIA" won't do at all, neither will the T.I. B.o.B. or the original "Ringtone".

But what is so impressive is how he rhymes, how amusing he can be, and the sheer depth of music he is skilled at. Nothing is beyond Al's reach and his voice, while never imitating, is protean enough to sing just about everything: he can do bombastic metal with the same ease as tween boy pop.

Just about irreplaceable, Al's album is a lot of fun (again) though you might be better off with just four songs. Grade: B+

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