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The problem with most CD reviews is you only get the opinion of the one critic doing the review. So we thought it might be fun to try something new here by giving the exact same CD to two different critics (or more) and see what they each come up with and just how much difference a single critic's opinion can make. 

Note: due to the nature of this series, the reviews may tend to be more in the first person than you are used to with music criticism.

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood Review

Zane Ewton kicks off with his review:

Every few years "Weird Al" comes around with a new album that has some fresh parodies and everyone says in unison, "Hi Al, we missed you!"

Sometimes Al gets a hit that sticks around longer than the original, and sometimes the disc appeals to mainly the hardcore Yankovic fans. Straight Outta Lynwood is one of the better overall albums of Al's career, focusing mostly on his original songs, a few spot-on parodies and the prerequisite and usual highlight, polka medley.

Yankovic's band is always in top-form, providing perfect impersonations of pop's top hitmakers. They also add a whimsy to the originals that make them fun, and worthy of a few listens, even if Al's lyrics aren't quite up to par. "Weasel Stomping Day" is gloriously silly, specifically on the heels of the Usher parody "Confessions Part III".

Al misses the mark on "I'll Sue Ya", a pretty good riff on Rage Against the Machine that is unfortunately about 10 years late. He is redeemed on the absurd "Trapped in the Drive-Thru", a parody of the even more absurd "Trapped in the Closet" by R. Kelly.

The tracks that standout are those that gleam with silliness. "Canadian Idiot" is a fun skewering of Green Day's "American Idiot", including a bomb dropping finale. "Polkarama" is a polka blast through artists ranging from the Pussycat Dolls to Franz Ferdinand. In a polka song I is clearly evident how dumb pop music is. Coldplay is as dumb as the Black Eyed Peas; both lyrics sound profoundly retarded stripped of their original glossy productions.

We have Weird Al to thank for these kinds of observations. He may not always hit a home run, but Al always provides a gleefully fun time. With Straight Outta Lynwood he almost hits it out of the park. It's the best thing he's done in years, which is saying something since Al is always pretty darn good.


Now Jofo gives us her take on the CD (actually- DualDisc):

Weird Al is as timeless a classic as black pumps: no matter how may pairs ya already own, one more would sure be a lovely thing to add to the collection! 

OK, to sing the praises of Weird Al in general & this album in particular. There are no artists outside of metal that my kids like as much as I do, besides Weird Al. I have never brought any CD into the house that every single kid in the house fought to keep in their room & listen to first, besides Weird Al. There are few DVDs in existence on this planet that my kids, ranging in temperament & age from friendly, extroverted pre- schoolers to sullen, introverted college age all want to watch together. The world is a much better place with Weird Al making music in it. Not surprisingly, this CD/ DVD was no different. 

This is one of those CDs that I am so thankful the pub sent out, even though there is really no need for anyone to review it. It follows the same patented Weird Al formula, clever & funny original songs, clever & funny satires of whatever the radio is playing these days, & a clever & funny treatment of whatever else the radio is playing these days set to a polkalicious medley. The only songs I know that have been released by pop artists in the last 10 years are songs Weird Al has lampooned, sparing me from having to listen to any of that tripe while educating me on what the kids are listenin’ to these days. That alone makes his releases an educational public service worth listening to, as far as I’m concerned. Why waste brain cells on the mind stultifying real thing, spare yourself the physical agony, & listen to Weird Al’s CD’s instead of the pop/ hip hop radio stations that pollute the landscape & environment. 

I don’t know what else to say. Whether you have kids/ don’t have kids; like songs on the radio/ hate songs on the radio; none of that really matters. Weird Al has released a new CD, which means it’s time for you to go shopping. 

rating:  (no surprise there. )

CD Info and Links

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood

Label:Volcano 3

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