Gosh, it's going to be a little tough commenting on this while still swimming in a giddy wave of new-songness.
I really liked the song, and not just because I was among those who thought James Blunt was a shoe-in on the new album. The music was recreated very well, and Al has captured the unique lift in Blunt's voice. Although perhaps a couple of lines seem a bit like filler, there are some real laugh-out-loud moments in the lyrics, which always helps. The inflatable date line and the reference to "Halo 2" were especially good. And of course there's the "false start." What can I say besides it was inspired?
On another level, I liked the parody because it showed that Al hasn't lost his touch in finding just the right nigh-oversaturated hit song to tackle. "You're Beautiful" just exited the top twenty on the "Hot 100" after bouncing up and down it for the last seven-and-a-half months, including a stay at #1. This song is still a hit and still relatively new, while it hasn't yet reached the point of overstaying its welcome on the radio (I'm sure others would argue that it's close to that point, though). Every time Al releases a new album at least one critic whines that he's not being "reactionary" enough. This is probably the quickest turnaround Al has had in releasing a parody, and it was (IMO) the perfect choice. His radar is still spot-on.
As for what its role is in regard to the new album, I wish I knew. This seems to have been among the once-eleven tracks that were all ready to go, yet now it's sort of off on its own. Was this in fact the track causing the crazy "label politics?" Is this going to be a single sent to radio? Online exclusive? I guess I'm just so jazzed about this song that I'm dying to know what's up with it.
Anyhoo, great job guys!!!
(edited to correct some grossly miscalculated math)