Friday, June 17, 2011

Poodle Hat (2003)

PARODIES: 4. In 2003, my friends Steve and Josh played me this album, skipping around to give me a sense of it. My sense of it then – and now – is that the parodies are particularly weak. The lead parody of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is pretty much the same song about watching a bunch of TV that Weird Al has made about 25 times before (trust me, I just listened to all 25 previous versions). Similarly, the parody of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” exemplifies the idea of reaching for low-hanging fruit by spinning verses about being constipated, decapitated, and related (to the woman you’re dating). The Nelly and Backstreet Boys parodies are pretty good, but purely in comparison to their dire companions.

ORIGINALS: 8. I’m a bit mad that my main impression of this album was colored by the sub-mediocre parodies. The originals, almost all of them style parodies, have an abundance of nuance and – you know – funny bits. Each one is a tour-de-force: a 9-minute epic aping the ADD style of Frank Zappa, a goofy series of romantic come-ons set to a funk vamp seemingly out of Beck’s Midnite Vultures, a series of nonsensical palindromes put in the mouth of ‘60s Dylan (you know… Bob. Get it?).

POLKA MEDLEY: 7. Another medley that’s solid without being particularly noteworthy. This video's cool though.

OVERALL: 6. Man, the crappy parodies really bring down the album overall, but the originals are so good, I’m tempted to make a Weird Al-originals-only cover band to highlight this side of his output.

1 comment:

  1. Poodle Hat, more than any other album, suffers from a imbalance of shitty parodies and brilliant originals. You didn't even get into Hardware Store, one of the most ear-orgasmic songs Al has ever produced.

    I'm in on the Al originals cover band idea. I just need to dust off my accordion and re-learn the riff to When I Was Your Age.