- Best Comedy Album
I am delighted to be kicking off ELAH's Grammys coverage this year with Weird Al's first #1 album. I actually remember someone asking me if I thought this would be up for an award this year, and I remember saying probably not, merely just forgetting that this was a category. Given that fact though, I have to say this would probably be my pick.
If you can believe it, this is Weird Al's 14th album. He self-produced this one and released it on RCA over the summer, but it took about two years to finish. There are parodies (imitative work meant to comment or trivialize the original) and pastiches (visual art imitating the style or character of the work, celebrating the work). What was cool is that artists saw this as an honor.
In the first week, eight music videos were released, one a day.
And, sadly, this may be Al's last album - he's moving with the unfortunate times and sticking to singles and EPs from here on out.
"Lame Claim to Fame" is up next. I don't recognize the title at all, which was unexpected. And it's a little weird that I can't place the original melody either. But this is kind of fantastic. It's a cool and weird story wrapped up into one bundle of a song. Basically, how many stars can we name (by association) in one tune. It's cute man, and a nice nod to the singer's life.
I never thought I would like "Fat," but it still cracks me up. I had the same initial thought for "Foil" which is a great job off of "Royals" by Lorde, but it's so damn clever. There's words used in this comedic song that I'm pretty sure I've never heard used outside of a novel. It's downright brilliant. And then the story starts to unfold… he's protecting himself from aliens. I honestly didn't expect that direction, but I can't understate how great of a build it is.
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"Sports Song" was bound to be funny one way or another. "We're great and you suck." Okay, yes, it's so simple… so why isn't this being used at every sports game everywhere? At least in high schools?? And the fact that "figurative" is being used to a melody… I'm impressed.
I've been looking forward to hearing "Word Crimes" for a while now. I know it made a big splash upon release, but I wanted to concentrate and really hear it. I truly believe that Weird Al could bring back School House Rock-esq learning techniques in one fell swoop. Yeah, half of it is putting us down for how we speak, but man I will watch what I use from here on out. I'm also quickly realizing how little I really learned about grammar mechanics growing up.
"I saw a junkie eat a tuba." Yes, that's the line I just heard. "My Own Eyes" is confusing and kind of great. It's got the same feel as the good Foo Fighters stuff, and you can dig the lyrics about the insanity around us. I don't know how completely relatable it all is, but the sound is damn fantastic.
I thought we were going into Blind Melon as "Mission Statement" came on, and as much as I enjoy them, this song is my favorite from the album without even hearing the whole thing. Please go watch the video if you have a few minutes, because it's just so fantastically done. Business people, in any industry, have got to see this and (hopefully) have a good laugh at themselves and the industry buzz words we throw around so often. Actually, this will take you downright back to vocabulary words from those college BBA courses. Just… go remember for a few.
"Inactive" is a play off of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, and I can't say I love this one. Mostly, I'm defensive of Imagine Dragons' music and oddly obsessed with the original song. I get this, but for some reason the mesh of the subject with this particular tune bothers me a little. I'm not upset, but it's not one I'm going to keep digging on for a while.
In a wonderful take on a recent trend of a phrase, "First World Problems" is basically a listing of a bunch of them. It's amazing. We're all such selfish jerky people, and this is our theme song. I hate the vocals on this, but it fits so actually I guess it's perfect. Now I want to go donate my salary to a third world country.
"Tacky" is another one that's going to make some people feel bad if they actually take the damn time to listen to it. It's hilarious, and obviously not one commenting on Pharrell's original vision in "Happy." It's simply catchy and hilarious. It also doesn't seem to drag out quite as long as "Happy" (oh you all have thought it at some point too). And now I won't be able to see a few people I know without thinking of this song. If you think this might be you, then you're probably right.
Final song up (I can't believe this is over already!) is the nine-minute-long "Jackson Park Express." It's lovely, and I didn't think any song on here would have any business falling into that category. But there's a full story happening along the way... oh wait, there's the weirdness. It takes a turn when he start talks about melding bodies. Okay, this seems a bit more fitting in its own twisted way. And it doesn't stop. Not for quite some time.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Sports Song"
- "Word Crimes"
- "My Own Eyes"
- "NOW That's What I Call Polka!"
- "Mission Statement"
- "First World Problems"
That was a riveting album, even if it did end on a sort of odd note. But man, this guy is a genius, I stand by that forever. He is clever and witty and this album was most definitely worth the long wait and clearly tons of work that went into its creation. It's been a great kick off to my Grammys season, and I hope you guys are getting pumped too!
Want to hear every song nominated this year? Throw my ongoing catch-all playlist, Grammys 2015, on random and check it all out!