The clown prince of music, Weird Al, is back again and in fine form. ALPOCALYPSE is one of his best efforts ever. But, this is partially due to the fact that the new album is both comprised of some new material such as the hot Lady Gaga parody, PERFORM THIS WAY, as well as previously released parody songs such as The Doors' parody, CRAIGSLIST as well as CNR, SKIPPER DAN and other tracks. CRAIGSLIST, CNR and some other songs were part of a music download package entitled INTERNET LEAKS. However, ALPOCALYPSE is a great and long overdue gem from Weird Al, with one great song parody after another, and certainly some of his best songs since his high water mark back in the 1980's.
ALPOCALYPSE is also available in two forms. There is the standard cd release, however I strongly recommend that you spend just $2 more to purchase the deluxe version which includes a dvd of 10 mostly previously released music videos. The Doors' parody, CRAIGSLIST, is masterful and well worth the extra $2 to own and play again and again. Weird Al was so devoted to this project that he actually lost 27 pounds so that he could look more like Jim Morrison for this great parody that is real dead-on. Ray Manzarek from the Doors also provided his distinctive keyboard style to the song as well, giving it a real Doors' signature sound. The song reminds you much of THE END and WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER in style. The Doors were well known for some long epic songs in this same mode that provided an excellent canvas for Jim Morrison to paint his dark and unsettling Poetry on.
The White Stripes based CNR music video is real gem as well. It's one heck of a concept that the late effeminate actor Charles Nelson Reilly was some sort of superman who could run winning races with an engine block strapped to his back or other outrageous superhuman images.
But, it's what's missing from the dvd that is so surprising here. Both of the Lady Gaga parody songs, PERFORM THIS WAY and POLKA FACE are missing from the dvd. PERFORM THIS WAY is being circulated on the Internet right now, while POLKA FACE is another Weird Al medley to hang a bunch of song parodies on. All of this leads me to believe that the Lady Gaga parody songs were quick additions to this package. But it's real shame that the music video of PERFORM THIS WAY isn't included here. It's a great video and Weird Al looks great in drag here. Weird Al continues to raise the bar with better and better music videos.
The new album should do very well because it's distributed by Sony Music on the Jive label. That should put it in most big retailers in decent enough numbers giving it every chance to sell in big numbers. Weird Al should be able to prove that he's more than a 1980's music phenomenon here, able to still offer relevant humor at the age of 51. That's pretty good for what started out as a kid sending funny tapes in to Dr. Demento. Eventually, he got signed to a major record label, and became a big name star by the 1980's.
There should always be a place in music for parody and comedy. And Weird Al is like a parody, satire and comedy institution, joining SNL and MAD MAGAZINE as other comedy icons in that area.
The Bottom Line: This is a very fine album. It was a long time coming, but Weird Al really put in a lot of effort here to create an album that is deserving of a Grammy nomination for best comedy album. By all means buy this album. +++(Three stars, good. Great cover art as well. More excellent self-deprecating humor from the artist, comparing his new album to the ride of Four Horsemen and terrible end time events. That's epic.).