Weird All Yankovic // Mandatory Fun
The parody artist returneth.
Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic has been in the parody business for 38 years. No, that's not a typo, the man known for reworking songs like Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" into an Amish anthem has been changing popular songs into quirky odes to whatever crosses his mind since 1976. Fortunately, the 54-year old musician and humorist is still going strong into 2014 on Mandatory Fun, as Weird Al continues to put his own spin on big hits, turning those summer jams that burrow into your mind into a something amusing. Pharrell William's "Happy" becomes "Tacky," a gleeful three minutes that skewers the distasteful with lines like "I will livetweet a funeral, take pictures with the deceased." Elsewhere, Weird Al provides a grammatical lesson via Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" on "Word Crimes." And of course, it wouldn't be a Weird Al album without a polka mash-up of several top-40 tracks. Sure, there are a couple of missteps ("Sports Song"), but Mandatory Fun is, well, lots of fun. – Alex Bieler