Sunday, June 19, 2011
Polka Party! (1986)
PARODIES: 5. On first listen, I despised this album. On second listen, I’m willing to give it a little more slack. The parodies sort of have a theme this time around: 3 of the 4 parodies are theme songs from then-current movies. “Living With A Hernia” riffs successfully on the James Brown song from Rocky IV, but who gives a shit about the song from Ruthless People – then or now? The non-movie parody, “Addicted To Spuds” (Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love”) is like “I Want A New Duck,” in that it’s fairly dumb but ingratiating in its silliness.
ORIGINALS: 5. “Christmas At Ground Zero” is a giddy exercise in Cold War sick humor set to a Phil Spector-style soundscape, and it’s the clear highlight of the album. The rest of the originals range from forgettable to decent. The Talking Heads style parody “Dog Eat Dog” – though apparently well-liked by other hardcore fans – to me, sounds exactly like the band being mocked without proceeding to do anything interesting with the impersonation.
POLKA MEDLEY: 8. Another solid batch of hits anthologized, with artists ranging from Genesis’s Peter Gabriel to Genesis’s Phil Collins. A little on the short side.
OVERALL: 5. Not quite the utter debacle I thought it was on first listen, this still earns its reputation as Al’s least inspired album.