“Weird Al” Yankovic: Alpocalypse
Like it or not, Weird Al is one of the most enduring modern musicians. As far as I can tell, this is for two reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that he has wit perfectly suited to rewriting the time’s top hits to parody them without being too cruel. The second, and less acknowledged, is that he’s a skilled enough musician to carry off his work, sometimes bringing up non-pop culture issues like government interrogations and Craigslist creepiness.
After a mini-battle with Lady Gaga, Weird Al was able to get his “Born This Way” parody, the aptly titled “Perform This Way,” on his album, and it’s one of the better selections. It’s a gentle jab at Gaga, but more than that, it mocks the idea of celebrity in general. Another gem is “Party in the CIA,” which doesn’t require any knowledge of Miley Cyrus’ career as the lyrics take on the ethics (or lack thereof) of certain agents.
But as anyone who remembers Weird Al as a soundtrack to junior high will tell you, polka medleys are arguably what Weird Al does best. In a matter of a few minutes, he’s able to cram together the latest hits and make them his own. “Polka Face” transcends genres by fusing pop, country, and hip hop with, well, polka. Alpocalypse proves Weird Al still has a good eye for what’s popular, and it’s perfectly okay to enjoy this record without too many people judging you.