What is this? Yes, it is Cendoo doing something completely different. A written review! But, we can go over how this came to be later, now its time for Weird Al.
Let me just start by saying, I love this guy. He was the first musician I ever got really into and this 1996 album is one of my favorites. Not every song on it is a masterpiece so to speak, however it still has a great collection of tunes that have not aged in the slightest. So, with that being said, let us take a run down of each song.
A parody of Gansta’s Paradise
by Coolio. I think we all know the controversy that came about when this single was released but just in case allow me to sum it up. Basically, Weird Al Yankovic never makes a parody without permission from the artist of the original despite the fact that legally he does not need to because parody songs are protected under Fair Use
. Weird Al was informed that Coolio had given him permission to make Amish Paradise
but once the song came out he got really upset claiming he never gave permission and stating that Amish Paradise
“desecrated” Gansta’s Paradise
. Yankovic did write an apology letter with no resonse so things were tense for awhile. Eventually things settled down between them when Coolio decided to let it go, but to this day it is unsure as to exactly how this misunderstanding happened.
Despite this event and Coolio’s claims, Amish paradise
is a great song and in my opinion, much better than Gansta’s paradise
. The lyrics change the subject of living as a Gansta to living as an Amish man in what is surprisingly a very smooth rap, much more smooth than Gansta’s Paradise
. The rhymes are are brilliant, the music fits the Amish feeling perfectly, and the video is just hilarious. This is one thing I’ve always loved about Weird Al, his videos are always enjoyable with their own comedy (and not just cut back and forth between band playing and semi-fitting situation). But, with Weird Al, the video sometimes half the fun; in this case there are chickens being fed pizza, children with Amish playboy (it’s just a leg) and tourists. Overall, this one some consider his best song, I don’t know if I agree with that but I will call it one of his masterpieces. 5/5
Everything you Know is Wrong
Style parody of They Might Be Giants.
As much as I love this track, it is nearly impossible to explain it without sounding stupid. It’s about a series of unfortunate events that all are basically, “what the heck did I just listen too” moments. The song goes from a car crash, to aliens abduction, to an accordion solo, a paper cut, and an ice machine to name a few.Also, it is very fast pace and will probably leave you re listening to clarify what you just heard. SO, with all that being said, possibly your a bit turned off from listening to it, but that wrong. Despite everything stated, it’s actually a very enjoyable song and one that you could talk about for a long time. The lyrics SOMEHOW flow well with each other and it shockingly never feels clustered. This is actually one of the tracks that got me to buy the album. Overall, 10 on the song 1 on the sanity. 4/5
Parody of U2 Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. I’ll say it right now, I don’t know anything about U2, I know their popular but do not except me to make any type of reference towards them. Any who, as for this track, it’s very average. This one is about going to the dentist for having 12 cavities and how horrible it is to deal with them. It even parodies the title of the U2 song “Num Me, Drill Me, Floss Me, Bill Me” are lyrics in it. Basically, this track is not bad any means, it’s just nothing special. Everything is acceptable and I normally do not skip it, it is just hard to recommend. A standard parody that probably will not be remembered by very many people. But, for what it is, worth at least checking out. 3/5
Callin’ In Sick
Style parody of Grunge. This one is pretty forgettable. The song is about someone who is really not in the mood to go to work and all the things they can do once they’ve called in sick. Personally, I am not a fan of this particular type of humor. He lists things like playing with belly button lint and spending the day in his underwear in the lyrics which isn’t pleasant visual aid. I don’t hate this song, but it was a little uncommon that I wouldn’t skip it when listening to the CD. Not to say it should be tossed in the trash, but when talking about the album this one falls into the grey for me. 2/5
The Alternative Polka
OK, I’ll say it right now, I’m not a fan of these Polka’s. Every album, or at least everyone I’ve owned so far, Weird Al has a track like this where he plays polka music and sings one line from many different songs. In this case the songs used are Loser, Sex Type Thing, All I Wanna Do, CLoser, Bang and Blame, You Oughta Know, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, My Friend, I’ll Stick Around, Black Hole Sun, Basket Case, and Ear Booker Polka. It is kind of interesting to listen too a couple times but quickly looses it’s appeal for me. 2/5
Since You’ve Been Gone
An original. Oh boy this song. I feel like I’m supposed to not like it but I just do. It’s a short A Capella song about how horrible the singer feels after a break up. Seems fairly innocent, but the things listed are the pretty over the top; for example, “stuffed my head inside a blender and turned it on” is one listed. However, the ending line, which I won’t spoil, always seems to make me smile. Which is basically what this song is, just something quick to listen to which makes you smile. 4/5
Parody of Lump by PUSA. Another great single. Now, I’ll probably get hate for this but, I don’t like the movie Gump at all. But we’re not here to talk about this, the only reason I mention it is because you’d think it would tarnish my enjoyment of this song, but quite the opposite is the case. This song brilliantly and hilariously retells the events of the movie and highlights how ridiculous its events are which I was especially amused by. What more can I say? It is an awesome song, not a masterpiece but a great listen and I would tell you to go listen to it but I’m sure you already clicked play before even reading this. 5/5
I’m So Sick of You
Style parody of Elvis Costello. A song about someone who is super sick of their girlfriend/wife (it is unstated in the song) and all of her gross habits. The lyrics lists a lot of these habits from biting toe nails, having crusty makeup, and drinking milk from the carton to name a few. Again, not a fan of this type of humor. However, even without that this is still a fairly forgettable track. It is not complete rubbish as I did listen to it a few times and enjoy it a bit but it is not one I’d go back to and is probably one often skipped. 2/5
Parody of Misery by Soul Asylum. This song isn’t a masterpiece or a single, but its actually one of my favorites. It is about really a family that loves TV and I mean REALLY REALLY loves TV, like that is all they believe in. It mentions a lot of classic shows that I never heard of like Laverene and Shirley. The music is harmonizing and some of the nicest I’ve heard from Weird Al, even have a harmonica solo. Overall, very solid, very nice, I think it is worth a listen too. However, it is nothing groundbreaking so I can imagine it might not be as memorable to everyone. 4/5
I Remember Larry
Style parody of Hilly Michaels. A song about remembering a former neighborhood prankster named Larry. The lyrics are telling of some of the crazy pranks pulled and always with a positive upbeat attitude despite some of the pranks going way to far like dumping toxic waste on a lawn. Throughout it, Larry is referred to as a “funny funny guy” even at the end where Larry is bagged and left in the forest. This song is enjoyable but kind of a gag, which is appropriate given the topic. I enjoy it, probably wouldn’t list it as a selling point of the album but it is still cool to listen to once in awhile. 3/5
Parody of Waterfalls
by TLC. This is probably one of the favorites among a lot of people, and I can see why. The song is about prank calling and why you should not do it. It mentions the classics like refrigerator running ,Prince Albert in a can (which I still don’t get) and even has a Simpson clip, one of the classic Bart/Moe crank calls. Great humor, great use of the music as well. What more can I say? Defiantly one of the better tracks. 4/5
The Night Santa Went Crazy
An Original. Well, this one is just great. It is a song telling a story about how one day Santa “released he been getting the raw deal” and just goes on a mass murder spree while drunk on whisky. The work shop get’s bombed, the reindeer have horrible deaths which have some brilliant lines, and it ends with a little epilogue. Blitzen went to therapy after being barbecued, the elves got jobs for the USPS and Mrs. Claus is talking with a lawyer about movie rights. (someday!) Overall, this track is fantastic and a great ending to the album. The music is still Christmas themed despite the lyrics, which are hilarious and brilliant in their own right, and it is just a jolly time to listen. Although, I still wonder what Weird Al has against Santa Claus, he even punches him when singing Fat live. 5/5
Seems kinda low, but this album is actually a really great find. The three singles, Amish Paradise, Gump, and The Night Santa Went Crazy, are some of my favorite songs by Weird Al. Even though it has it’s share of “eh” nothing ruins the album and there are plenty of worth while tracks. Also, yes I know I said I don’t like the polka but I also know that they are actually pretty popular and for what it is worth, this one was at least one of the better in my opinion. I’d say pick it up if you can. Weird Al fan will not be disappointed.
Thought we were done? Well you would be if you’d stop looking away to go look up these songs but regardless, here are two tracks that were originally going to be for this album but instead later released in other ways.
Music video embeding disabled by Vevo. So CLICK HERE
Released later on as it’s own single. Ever see the movie Spy Hard? Well I haven’t so don’t ask me about it. But judging this song on its own, I like it a lot. The music is does have a nice spy feel to it and the lyrics have just the right amount of humor. It is not my favorite Weird Al single, but it is still a very good one. 4/5
The Night Santa Went Crazy (Extra Gory Version)
Later released on The Essential. If you thought the original song wasn’t dark enough, this one has got you covered.For the most part it is the same some, but with two things changed. First off, while the original had Santa ending with 700 years in a federal prison, this one kills him, “yes Virginia, now Santa Claus is dead. Some guy from the swat team, blew a hole through his head.” Also, the epilogue has changed it’s beginning. Before, it stated where two surviving reindeer went and that the elves went to work for the postal service; in this version it mentions how their are no more presents for the kids and that the elves are waiting in line for unemployment checks, but the movie line stayed. Really, I’m not sure what to make of this. Someone once told me that this was the original and the album version is the censored cut, but that lacks proof. Even more confusing is that when Weird Al sings this song live, the killing Santa line is there but the rest is the cleaner version, an odd mixture. Overall though, it is what it is, and their is nothing wrong with it. Still the same great some, but for those who wanted something a little more hardcore then this is for you. 5/5
That’s all for now. I do not know if I will make another written review like this but anything thing is possible. Till next time, you all stay cool.