A Non-professional Review of the Alpocalypse Cd & Dvd Set

The cover to Alpocalypse featuring the four horsemen.

What do you do when you’ve been releasing comedy songs since 1978 and made good money from it? You release your 13th album because you still know how to poke mainstream media in the eye.  That is exactly what three time Grammy Award winning “Weird Al” Yankovic has done with his new album and music video DVD, Alpocalypse.  The victims of this music collection include Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Brintey Spears, Lady Antebellum, Justin Bieber, P!nk, Katy Perry, Owl City, Ke$ha and other artists you may or may not have heard of.  For some geeks, Weird Al is the window to some songs that we may not get a chance to check out (since we may avoid certain music categories).

I have to admit that I was initially disappointed by the fact that about half of the songs on Alpocalypse had been previously released on the 2009 Grammy nominated internet-only album, Internet Leaks.  I had already downloaded the songs that I felt were the highlights.  But after several trips in the car I was happy that I had CNR blasting at full volume out of my windows.

In honor of the title, the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be our rating system.

 

CD Songs:

–Perform this Way (parody of “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga) Yes despite Gaga’s manager’s attempt to stop this parody from being made, it did get the green light from the costumed one herself.  Gaga didn’t even know that Yankovic was trying to get permission for the parody until the twitterstorm hit the intertubes.  The action of the fans helped prevent the album from being delayed.  The song parodies Gaga’s various costume styles and stage antics.  The best line from the song is “I’m sure my critics say it’s a grotesque display.  Well, they can bite me baby – I perform this way.”   This song gets three and a half horsemen.

CNR (original song by Al Yankovic) I felt strange reviewing this song since I thought it was the best song on Internet Leaks (and thus already downloaded from Amazon).  This is a style parody of the band White Stripes.   The excellent lyrics finally puts to rest who would win the strongman battle between internet sensations Chuck Norris and Charles Nelson Riley.  Best line from the song is the whole song.  Because CNR is a sign of the apocalypse himself, this song earns five horsemen.

TMZ (parody of “You Belong To Me” by Taylor Swift) This song fits.  The moment you hear the parody you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself when the radio stations were constantly over-playing the original again and again.  Yankovic calls out the scumbags who run TMZ and other celebrity gossip shows (and shame on the general public for watching these shows so much).  The best line from this song is the background announcer stating “Everything celebrities do is exciting” with a fake sincerity.  Had the original not been played so much it may have received a higher rating, but I give it two and a half horsemen.

Skipper Dan (original song by Al Yankovic) Another Internet Leaks hold over.  However this song actually benefited from it’s inclusion on the new album.  When I heard the song for the first time, I thought ‘eh’ and didn’t really play it again.  I didn’t purchase the MP3 or play the youtube video again.  Thus it didn’t get repeat play that CNR or Craigslist did.  However while I was driving in my car or listening to the album at home, the true meaning of this song suddenly hit me.  It wasn’t just about this guy who’s life turned out the way he wanted.  It was about all of us who trudge through a mundane day at a mundane job.  There are times I look up at the office and wonder “how the freek did I get here?”  So now I appreciate Skipper Dan a little bit more.  The best line from the song is “Somebody shoot me ’cause I’m bored to tears.”  Originally this song would have received one horseman, but now I give it two horsemen.

Polka Face (polka compilation) It has been a tradition that almost each Weird Al album has a polka melody on it.  Only the “Weird Al” Yankovic and Even Worse albums do not contain polkas.  This polka starts off with the traditional Liechtensteiner polka and then spins off into portions of “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga (which is also where the title of the melody comes from), “Womanizer” by Brittany Spears, “Right Round” by someone called Flo Rida (I hadn’t heard of him until now either), “Day ‘n’ Night” by Kid Cudi, the gawdawful “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, “Baby” by Justin Bieber (I think that was the only word in the original song), “So What” by P!nk (you mean I’ve been spelling it wrong all this time?), “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry, “Fireflies” by Owl City, “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx, “Replay” by Lyaz, “Down” by Jay Sean, “Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz, “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (which I had hoped would have been in it’s own parody) and finally the Whatever’s Left Over Polka by Al Yankovic.  It’s pretty standard especially since it contains stuff you’ve never heard of.  This song earns two horsemen.

Craigslist (original by Al Yankovic) Another style parody (knocking on the 60’s music group, The Doors) that

Interior shots of the CD/DVD cardboard packaging on Alpocalypse.

was also an Internet Leaks refugee.  The song spoofs various ads that one might find on the Craigslist site.  The best line in this song was the open letter to the snotty barista.  This song was posted at two and a half horsemen on the site.

Party in the CIA (parody of “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus) I know that Perform This Way was the lead track (and most talked about just before the CDs release) but this song is what makes the album a classic for me.  This is the song that I want to listen to over and over again.  It’s peppy and disturbing (in a good way unlike Perform This Way) at the same time.  Just the title alone tells you it is going to be about espionage and undercover operations and you can hear it before the music even starts.  The first time I heard this song, I immediately started thinking about the parody youtube video that I wanted to put together.  The best line is “We only torture the folks we don’t like.  You’re probably gonna be okay.”  Yeeaaaaaaayyaaaa it’s got four horsemen today.

Ringtone (original by Al Yankovic) While Skipper Dan redeeming itself by repeat listening on the album, this Internet Leaks holdover still falls flat after many chances.  So far the most annoying ringtones that I’ve heard from various cells have been the free ones that come pre-packaged on the phone itself.  Even then the annoyances have been minor (unlike the major annoyance that we will be talking about soon).  I would not have been sad had this song been replaced by a new original from Yankovic.  There are no best lines in this song and none of the horsemen wanted to be associated with this song.

Another Tattoo (parody of “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B.) Another parody song that made me want to check out the original song at least once.  It flows and ebbs smoothly like the original song and basically works for the most part.  Yes it is a song about an obsession over getting more tattoos (which can remind you of some people).  The best line is the Star Wars reference in the song (Yes I’m going to make you listen for it wuahhahahaha).  This entry rates two horsemen.

If That Isn’t Love (original by Al Yankovic) If anyone believes that the original songs written by Yankovic are not funny, I’ll point them towards this song.  When I first hear this song I was wondering what song it was a parody of.  According to the credits, it is an original.  Yes it is a style parody of Hansen.  But Yankovic thought of it, wrote it down and performed it.  The best line is about how much milk he is willing to leave in the fridge for his love.  Three horsemen for this song.

Whatever You Like (parody of “Whatever You Like” by T.I.) Yes the name remains the same, but that is the only hold over from the original.  Where the original explains how his girl can have what ever riches the singer is singing about, this song talks about how economical Yankovic can be.  The best line in this song is “Yea, it’s all about the Washingtons, that’s right.”  Three horsemen could afford this song.

Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me (original by Al Yankovic) Do you remember the song Virus Alert from Yankovic’s last album Straight Outta Lynwood?  It was basically a warning to everyone to stop sending those fake, out-of-date and inane virus alert emails.  Well Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me kicks up a few notches and screams out the warning this time.  Not only is Yankovic pleading for idiots to stop forwarding virus alerts, but all of the other stupid, moronic, idiotic, fake, untruthful and asinine emails that clog up our inboxes.   (something I wish some family members would get the hint at)  It was so refreshing to hear that someone else is just as bloody annoyed at these smegging things as I am.  Yes, the whole song is the best line.  There are Four horsemen to end the album with a warning.  STOP FORWARDING THAT CRAP TO ME!!!!!!!!!

 

DVD Videos:

A quick note.  The Perform This Way video was not on the DVD.  I don’t believe it was done in time to make it to press.  I’m certain there will be a future ‘best of’ DVD set in the future.  However I thought it was funny when Madonna showed up during the line about how “original” Lady Gaga is.

A second note on the DVD.  My copy at least would always run a continual play.  I could start a video in the middle of the selection and it would continue onto the next video without prompt.  Has anyone else experienced this?

CNR (animated and directed by JibJab.com)  This animated video fits the song perfectly.  Charles Nelson Riley declares it so.

TMZ (animated and directed by Bill Plympton) Where as some videos enhance the song, this video seriously detracts from it.  Plympton is well known for his artistry.  However the video deviates from the theme of the song and focuses on the ass shot of the actress portrayed in the song.  It seemed like it was just stuck in a loop and over-used.

The Alpocalypse booklet, CD (red) and DVD (green).

Skipper Dan (animated and directed by Divya Srinivasan) Pretty plain and basic, like the song.  However it follows the song fairly well.

Craigslist (directed by Liam Lynch) A live action video that contained psychedelic highlights commonly seen in videos by The Doors.  The video compliments the song very well.

Party in the CIA (directed by Roque Balesteros and animated by multiple artists)  Just as the song was extremely awesome, the video enhances this as well.  I like how they integrated Yankovic into the animation.

Ringtone (directed by Josh Faure-Brac and Dustin McLean, lead animator is Steven K.L. Olson) I feel bad for this video.  It tries to work with the material presented and follows the song very well.  However with the song failing so badly, this video can only take it so far.

Another Tattoo (animated and directed by Augenblick Studios)  The animation seemed a little rough, but that seemed to fit the song.  It was able to focus on the tattoos just as the song did.

If That Isn’t Love (animated and directed by Brian Frisk) This video surprised me by how well it worked.  It accomplished its goal in making the song better.

Whatever You Like (animated and directed by Cris Shapan) The use of live images into animation was very well done in this video.  Once again, it enhanced the song.

Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me (animated and directed by Koos Deeker) When I first heard this song, I wondered how it would be presented.  I feared a Virus Alert repeat.  However Deeker was able to concisely deliver the message that this song portrays.  Probably the best video after Party In the CIA and CNR.  I plan to send a link to this video to all of those who annoy me with useless junk.

 

Packaging and Booklet:

The CD only item protected the CD in a standard jewel case.  However I was disappointed to find out that the CD/DVD combo came in a cardboard package.  I’m worried that the cardboard will not protect the two disks as well as I would like.  Plus the cardboard is already starting to show some wear and tear as I get some use out of the set.  I am curious on how the factory scenes in the packaging and booklet fit with the album theme.  I’m glad to see that the lyrics are included in the booklet as I know a log of Weird Al fans who love to sing along.  I noticed that TMZ was listed as a parody of “You Belong To Me” (where as the actual title is “You Belong With Me”).  I did like the photo of Yankovic lounging with the other three horsemen in the back of the book.

 

Conclusion:

If you are still claiming to be a member of the Church of Yankovia then you already have this set (and probably has it as worn as mine is) and you are probably reading this review to see if it matches your own perceptions.  For regular geeks, picking up this set will help you increase your geek cred (roll 2D10 for final results).  Ok mundanes, yes you will want to pick up this CD.  Despite the inclusion of Ringtone this album is fun and entertaining.  From here you can start your path to the Dark Side of Geekdom.  We look forward to seeing you on the flip side.

Stark

Married Geek, Love my kids Geek, Star Trek Geek, Convention Geek, more about me on my website.

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