Hard to say whether this is a music review or a comedy review… either way, it’s a review of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest, Poodle Hat. Poodle Hat, Al’s first album in 4 years, follows the exact same formula as his ’90s albums: mix in about 45% parodies, 45% originals, and a polka medley of songs for good measure. If you didn’t like this formula in the past, I don’t think you’ll start liking it now. This review also covers the latest AL-TV.
Al is in fine form on Poodle Hat. The lead single, “Couch Potato”, is a solid parody of Eminem’s huge hit “Lose Yourself”. The lyrics are great, picking on all sorts of pop culture bits of the day with mentions of Simon Cowell and Tivo. I’m not as fond of “Trash Day”, the parody of Nelly’s ubiquitous “Hot In Herre”. It just didn’t quite grab me in the same way as the others. That’s even more the case for “Piano Man”. On previous albums, with “Jurassic Park” and “The Saga Begins”, Al chose to pick on some older songs, and I’m just not as keen on those parodies. Your mileage may vary.
Despite not liking his parodies of older songs, I do really like “Bob”, Al’s take on Bob Dylan. The singing style and the nonsensical, palindromic lyrics are just plain fun to listen to. I also enjoyed the “Hardware Store” original tune.
“eBay” is a great parody of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”. Al mentions all sorts of things that you could really imagine being available right now on eBay, with the possible exception of “a kleenex used by Dr. Dre”.
“A Complicated Song” is, not surprisingly, a parody of Avril Levigne’s “Complicated”. It’s funny, but I’d put it in the middle of the pack on this album.
Poodle Hat is a good addition to the “Weird Al” library. If you don’t like what Al does, this album will probably not change your feelings. But, with 50,000 sold in the first week (Al’s biggest first week sales), it’s obvious that Al still has fans out there. I think most fans will enjoy this album.
The latest AL-TV can be seen on VH-1 now:
June 17 11:00 AM
June 17 11:00 PM (official premiere)
June 18 3:30 PM
June 19 12:00 AM
June 23 10:00 PM
June 24 4:00 PM
June 26 1:00 AM
The latest AL-TV features interviews with Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion and Eminem. Al’s interviews basically consist of Al asking questions and pulling quotes out of context from a real interview. Some of these interviews were really funny. The rest of the show was basically a commercial for Poodle Hat. It starts off with a video for “Bob” (done in the style of INXS’ “Mediate”) and has Al’s parodies played over top of the real videos for several songs. Eminem didn’t want Al to do a video for “Couch Potato”, so there is no lead video for Poodle Hat. The show ends with the excellent “All About The Pentiums” video.
If you enjoy fake interviews, you’ll probably enjoy AL-TV. I did.