'Weird Al' Yankovic's 'Mandatory Fun': Track-by-Track Album Review

July 15, 2014 7:30 PM

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'Weird Al' Yankovic's 'Mandatory Fun': Track-by-Track Album Review

It's hard out there for a professional parodist: nowadays, any idiot with a webcam can post his or her version of "Fancy" on YouTube, and if a professional idiot like "Weird Al" Yankovic wants to get us tweeting about his send-ups, he'd better make them extra special. On "Mandatory Fun," the 14th album of his crazy-long, crazy-pants career, the Weird One delivers the reprocessed goods, though it's his original tunes — done in the idiosyncratic styles of his favorite artists — that truly warrant repeat listening. On the parody front, Yankovic wisely plucks low-hanging fruit, turning Lorde's "Royals," Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," Pharrell's "Happy," and the aforementioned Iggy Azalea summer jam into songs about food storage, sloth, tactlessness, and home repair. Best of all is "Word Crimes," a handy grammar lesson based on Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."

It's hard out there for a professional parodist: nowadays, any idiot with a webcam can post his or her version of "Fancy" on YouTube, and if a professional idiot like "Weird Al" Yankovic wants to get us tweeting about his send-ups, he'd better make them extra special. On "Mandatory Fun," the 14th al...

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