Straight Outta Lynwood Full Album Reviews

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Postby Elvis » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:52 am

Obviously I can't review the whole CD with extras yet, but I'll go back and edit my post on September 26, or follow up this post. Needless to say, this post and topic is FULL of spoilers, so if you haven't seen or listened to the CD yet, don't read it.

Front cover: Easily the best cover since OTDE. I think I actually like it better than OTDE. The only minor issue is that the really cool grafitti is covered by Al's really big name. But had I not seen the grafitti, I wouldn't care. 10/10
liner notes: I like most of the pictures and the lyrics are complete. I especially like the fact that the list of performers is broken down by song. I hope that's a trend that continues. Just the picture of the band in drag is really scary. :blink: 9/10
back cover: Cool picture of Al, but he looks a little creepy. 7/10

Pre-track: "Youre Pitiful" - I like this song and think it would have made a totally great first single. 10/10

1. "White & Nerdy" - Everything I expected this song to be and more. I wasn't familiar with Chamillionaire, but I sought out the original song so I wouldn't be scratching my head when I heard Al's parody, and turns out I really like it. Not bad for a white and nerdy guy, huh? My favorite line is the one about editing Wikipedia. :lol: I can't wait to see the video. Assuming this parody was the one to replace "You're Pitiful" -- thank you Atlantic Records!! 10/10

2. "Pancreas" - I hear a lot of Beach Boys in this song, though I am told it is a style parody of Brian Wilson -- one in the same to me. I always love songs that are educational and funny. I think TMBG have a few, and I've seen it done on "Animaniacs", and Hard 'n Phirm do this too. Al's originals are usually the weakest tracks on the album for me and take a while to grow on me, so I'm pleased I like this one right off the bat. 9/10

3. "Canadian Idiot" - I think it really helps to know a little bit aboot Canada and Canadian culture. I'm hardly an expert on Canada, but I understood a lot of the references. (Thank you Arrogant Worms!). I can easily see Canadians LOVING this song. I enjoyed it too. 10/10

4. "I'll Sue Ya" - Okay, my guess would be this is a Rage Against The Machine or Kid Rock style parody. I'm not even very familiar with either of with them, so I could be wrong, but that's what it reminded me of. A nice social commentary on our frivoulous lawsuit happy country. About the Jersey line, :stern:. Only Jerseyites are allowed to poke fun at our state. The Ben Affleck line made me laugh out loud however. 8/10

5. "Polkarama!" - Best. Polka. Intro. Ever. I loved the chicken dance intro. :lol: Once again, I wasn't familiar with most of the songs. I had a plan to listen to all the original songs before hearing the polka, but sometimes plans don't go as you wanted. The songs I did know were well done, so I can only guess the others are as well. I think this will grow on me. On second listen I'm already enjoying it more. 7/10 (6/10 without the intro).

6. "Virus Alert" - A style parody of something for sure, but I have no idea what. There's a joke e-email that I get forwarded to me every couple of months that uses this same joke, however I think Al executed it better. 8/10

7. "Confessions Part III" - I was so worried this would be another "Trash Day" (skip song), but I've Very pleased that it's not! Very clever, and I laughed at most of the confessions. The ending was very funny too. I won't be skipping this one. 8/10

8. "Do I Creep You Out" - The weakest of all the parodies. Not a skip song, and a pretty accurate parody, but not terribly funny. The pit stains thing was creepy though, so I'll give it that. 6/10

9. "Weasel Stomping Day" - Immediately reminded me of The New Main Street Singers from "A Mighty Wind", so this may be a style parody of folk music in general. The lyrics were very disturbing though. I see the juxtaposition he was going for here, but sorry, there's nothing funny about animal cruelty. :stern: music: 9/10 lyrics 2/10

10. "Close But No Cigar" - Pleasantly surprised that I like this one. 8/10

11. "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" - Okay, I was laughing so hard at times I was crying at times. I think Al sucessfully made this one funnier than the original, which I thought would be impossible to do. And the radio solo was brilliant! :lol: 10/10

12. "Don't Download This Song" - The best original on the CD. A style parody of group charity songs. The Lars Ulrich and Tommy Chong lines are classic. I'm looking forward to raising my lighter and singing along to this one at the concerts. 10/10

bonus material:
Menus - Very cool. I like the gunshots and street lights going out. 10/10

1. "Don't Download This Song" video - Had seen this before, and although it got a bad rap with the fans. I felt that was unfair. I really like it, and any video with dancing sharks is okay with me. 8/10

2. "I'll Sue Ya" video - Wow, really cool! Great job by the animator. The only complaint is that the drummer and guitar player don't look anything like Bermuda and Jim. Would a little research on what they look like have hurt? :rolleyes: I assume it's the animators, and I guess that's there call, but it's lame and bothers me enough only to give an otherwise perfect video a 9/10.

3. "Weasel Stomping Day" video - I dislike the video even more than I dislike the song. Probably won't actively watch this one again. 1/10

4. "Close But No Cigar" video. I owe John K. a big apology. I was really worried from the screen grabs he had posted on his blog, and thought the video was gonna suck. Boy am I relieved to be very wrong. The best video on the DVD. 10/10.

5. "Pancreas" video - :blink: I hope Al didn't pay a lot for this video. Looks like something you might find on YouTube. In fact, I've seen much better stuff on YouTube. 0/10. That's right, zero.

6. "Virus Alert" - Cool video. And he actually got Jim, Steve, and Bermuda correct, though what's up with the keyboard player? Lots of cool jokes to look for and I love the reference to "Spatula City." You can tell a real fan made this one. 8/10

Surround sound, insrtrumentals, and other remixes - Don't really see myself listening to these. Nice to have, but not necessary. I wouldn't miss them if they weren't there. The karaoke feature is really neat, but again, I wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there. 3/10

Overall: 9/10. Again, I'm really thrilled that I liked the originals as much as I do on first listen. They usually are the weakest part of the CD and take a while to grow on me. All the parodies were really good, and the polka was decent. It will grow on me too. It always does. After the newness wears off, I think this CD has potential to beat out OTDE as my favorite CD. I'm so happy. Huzzah!! ^_^

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Postby Themagic#27 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:57 am

OtDE is your favorite? Cool! That was the first Al-bum I ever bought! :)

Though, my personal fave HAS to be RWS, haha, mainly for having one of my all-time favorite tracks of Al's on it-- The fabulous Albuquerque!

Good review-- sounds like a great album! I'm really looking forward to it!
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Postby Demented Dustin » Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:34 am

Thanks for the great review Dave! As many years as we have been Al fans and have corresponded I would have guessed that OTDE was your favorite album as it is mine as well. Maybe because we both are around the same age but your taste in Al music is similar to mine so I am very excited for this thanks to your review.
I was worried because I was hoping for another Green Day song than AI, a different Usher song, a different R Kelly Song, and some different songs in the polka though a few made it. It seems I was going for the most popular and well known songs being a DJ. AI seemed like the last choice as it was a song that was not nearly as popular as BOBD or Holiday or When Sept Ends. This album for me means a refreshing look at some songs that have not been quite as much overplayed as the ones I was hoping for. I am still surprised no Fall Out Boy songs made it to the polka-lyrically their songs would have been fantastic to parody or polka. Waiting for 9/26/06!
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Postby TheMeccaOfAlbinoPoodles » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:06 am

Here's track-by-track, full album review at release (see sig).

White/Nerdy: Great lead single, 9/10 if not just for the Picard bit. :lol:

Pancreas: The most bizzare song on the album, but it's okay. 8/10

Canadian Idiot: Sort of underwhelming, it's basically the same joke over and over. 7/10

Sue Ya: I wasn't 'with' the style, but really really funny Affleck thing. 7/10

Polkarama: I'm gonna say this with every album, but best polka yet. Feel Good, Inc could've been longer. 9/10

Virus Alert: It's alright, a bit catchy. 8/10

Confessions Part 3: It's kind of funny, I bet it's funnier if you've heard the original. 7/10

Creep You Out: Weakest parody on the album. Never hit with me I suppose. 6/10

Weasel Stomping Day: Effing brilliant! Can't wait to see it animated. 8/10

Close But No Cigar: My favorite original on the album. As with WSD, can't wait to see how John K handles the song. 8/10

Trapped: GREATEST WEIRD AL PARODY EVER WRITTEN. I've never laughed as hard as I did when I first listened to this.
I don't even like liver! 100,000,000 / 10

Download: Already heard it, it's okay. 8/10

Overall? I don't know yet. On average it should be 7.41/10. This, however, in my opinion is going to be Al's best album.
Not bad, but it'll probably rise with the 5.1 recordings and stuff.
5.1 for Polkarama? Awesome.
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Postby 32CharactersIsAWholeLotForUserID » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:20 am

Can't wait for my pre-order to arrive.

I find it hard to believe there are songs parodied on this album that people haven't heard. You have to not have a television and radio, or live in a concrete bunker buried in the center of the planet not to have heard every song on this album a dozen times.

Or maybe I just listen to too much top-40.
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Postby mrmeadows » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:25 am

Okay. . .these are my initial reactions after only listening through once. These reviews may change for better or worse over time:

COVER: I'd say it's my 4th fave, after WAY, OTDE and EW in descending order. I'm with Elvis in not being crazy about the name/title placement. Otherwise, a great cover. 8/10

WHITE & NERDY: Had no idea about this song (or Chamillionaire) before the announcement, but of course I went outta my way to find out! Excellent parody, although a little disappointed that he cut a verse out of the song. He kept his "Lose Yourself" lead parody intact, and he could have easily filled another verse with nerdy stuff. Oh well, still sounds great. 8/10

PANCREAS: Love the Brian Wilson-ness of it. It's a pitch-perfect style parody! Wonder what Brian will think? Lyrically, it's alternately funny and strangely beautiful. 9.5/10

CANADIAN IDIOT: Points off for the not-that-creative parody concept, but bravo for the actual lyrics. They're hilarious! Al succeeded in having it both ways by penning a back-handed Canada-friendly song. Great work. 8/10

I'LL SUE YA: Wasn't looking forward to this one so much, but boy was I wrong. In the running for favorite original on the album. Spot-on RATM style-parody with hilarious lyrics (considering what I was afraid would be tired subject matter). 10/10

POLKARAMA!: Not as bad as some are saying, but not the best either. I, too, love the "Chicken Dance" intro, and some renditions are better than other. Wish there was more Gorillaz, and I agree he kinda dropped the ball a tad with the "Gold Digger" finale. Still, a fun track. Love the "Speed of Sound" accordion solo bleeding into "Float On". 7.5/10

VIRUS ALERT: This will have to be the one to grow on me, I guess. Stylistically it's interesting--even kinda catchy--but lyrically it's meh. Perhaps it goes on too long and doesn't really go anywhere. Currently the front-runner to be the "skip over" track on the album (but I'll give it a chance.) 6/10

CONFESSIONS, PART III: Was disappointed the Usher parody wasn't of "Yeah!", but now I'm kinda glad it wasn't! This may be my favorite parody on the album. Just a funny, funny song. I almost think this should have been the lead over W&N, even if the original wasn't the biggest hit. 10/10

WEASEL STOMPING DAY: Cute--in a sick, twisted way. Bizarre little song, even for Al. Gotta think he did this with Robot Chicken in mind, but I like it. The crushed weasel sfx are a bit much, but they probably play with the video (which could be worse!) Hey, it's less than a minute and a half, so no harm here. And hey. . .I love animals, too! Al doesn't mean it! 7/10

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: I'm with someone else who posted saying they didn't even pay that much attention to the lyrics the first time around. . .because it's such a great-sounding song! Might be the stongest original musically, although the lyrics didn't jump out as being the all-out funniest Al's ever written. Still a good one! 8/10

DO I CREEP YOU OUT: I like the parody concept a lot, and the song is pretty good. Al's singing is on target, but it seems like yeah. . .it could have been a little funnier. Seems like it was a bit rushed. Are we sure this wasn't the last-minute replacment for YP? 7.5/10

TRAPPED IN THE DRIVE-THRU: What can I say? A masterpiece. The only song that gives "Confessions" a run for it's money for best parody. Certainly, pound-for-pound, the most laughs in a single song on the album (of course, we're talking 10 minutes). Manages to poke fun at the already unintentionally funny TitC while still seeming fresh. Love the banter with Al and wife at the beginning, and the genuine bitterness in his voice when they bicker about cooking something themselves ("She says, 'Why don't you whip up something in the kitchen?' / I said 'Yeah? Why don't you?'") My only fear is that this one might get old after repeated listens. God, I hope I'm wrong! 10/10

DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS SONG: Really great song, which I had of course heard already. I think I've already voiced my opinion of this one, but it's a big 10/10.

OVERALL: Only weak song on here for me (on first listen) is "Virus Alert", which does have tremendous growth potential. Everything else is above-average or better. Wish the polka was more of an instant winner, but again. . .it still isn't bad at all. I think Al's last couple were so strong that this one just pales a bit. Should listen all the way through a few more times, but my knee-jerk overall rating would have to be: 8.5/10

Whew. Now I can't wait to get the actual dualdisc and see the extra video stuff! And maybe the 5.1 stuff will change my mind on some of the songs! Anyway, a great album. Up there with his best work, although I don't think it will dethrone RWS as my all-time fave.

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Postby richegreen » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:48 am

alright, I'll give it a crack. The album's had its mandatory 2.9 listens (Drive Thru was permanently deleted after the second listen, which I had to force myself to finish even that time). Just so the confusion of my Poodle Hat review doesn't repeat itself, my favorite song gets 13/13 and my least favorite gets 1/13.

1. White and Nerdy - I was really worried when I seeked out Ridin Dirty, cuz I really didn't like it, and didn't think I'd like Al's version either (I expected another Trash Day, which like Dave said, would turn into a skipper). Boy was I wrong. It's a little bit Gee I'm A Nerd, a little bit Pentiums, and even a bit Pitiful, with the Amish Paradise concept of reversing the role of the singer, but oh man did he nail it. Gotta love any song that mentions Wikipedia (are there any others?) Just a shame he'll never be able to do it live..... - 12/13

2. Pancreas - sorry, but no. I've always been more of a fan of the Trigger Happy-type Beach Boys songs, and the Lord Only Knows type songs have always been skippers, and the lyrics are too childish to be fun. After all those Pancreas references over the years, it was just a matter of time before it evolved into an entire song - 2/13

3. Canadian Idiot - the lyrics are amusing, but it's such a forced idea, and Al missed a GREAT opportunity for an accordion solo (this is the third album in a row with accordion only on the track where you'd expect it)....of all the parodies, this was the song I was the most familiar with, and therefore the most excited about, which is why I felt somewhat let down. For anybody taking bets, I predict this as the opening song on the next tour - 7/13

4. I'll Sue You - oh hell yeah, now this is more like it! An undoubtable Rage Against the Machine tribute, the band got the style down perfectly, and even went with a subject I could see RATM appreciating. Some of the best one liners on the whole album too - Delta, Ben Affleck - even if it didn't make me laugh out loud, I'd still love it for the blender effect of Bombtrack, Killin in the Name, Fistful of Steel, etc. This is gonna be a REALLY fun live song - 13/13

5. Polkarama - When I saw the listing of tracks, I made sure to not get my hopes up, since most of those I couldn't see working as a polka at all, and they didn't at all. I KNEW that The Killers were going to show up somewhere on this album, but Al really picked the wrong song to go with (Brightside was almost as popular, and would have worked great in a polka), and the same sentiments for many of the songs. It earned a higher spot simply for Candy Shop and the chicken dance intro, but the rest just felt really spliced together, and half of the charm of his polkas are the flow - 5/13

6. Virus Alert - I didn't think much of it on my first listen, aside from "what the heck is he trying to do here?" but then on my third listen, it hit me - that was James Young's voice....he's doing a subtle but effective Styx tribute, and then I couldn't help but NOT notice the resembles. Sometimes Al's most brilliant work is when he doesn't make it QUITE obvious at first what he's trying to do. The lyrics are a bit weak, but then again so are most Styx songs anyway, but that's not what I'm listening to here - 11/13

7. Confessions Part 3 - Oh boy, another parody of a song I'm barely familiar with. It has its moments (the hockey stick comes to mind), but it just isn't quite my style. The ending was great the first time, but it's one of those jokes that's just gonna get in the way on future listens - 6/13

8. Do I Creep You Out - I never would have believed that a Taylor Hicks song would be my second favorite parody on this album. I like it, mainly because some of the lyrics hit really close to home with me, and it gives a nice call back to Melanie, one of my classic favorites - 9/13

9. Weasel Stomping Day - the big question that comes to mind here is, did Al write this for Robot Chicken and just feel obligated to include it for us? Because both musically and lyrically it is seriously out of place on the album, and feels like it NEEDS a video to go along with it, otherwise it's just a sick and cruel (and unfunny) joke. The Simpsons did it better with Whacking Day - 3/13

10. Close But No Cigar - ah, another subtle style parody, this time with Cake, another of my favorites. I had NO idea before listening that it was gonna be a style parody at all, so it was a nice surprise. The theme of the song has been done before, but Al's got a knack for taking tiny things and making them into a big deal, and this song can make me smile after multiple listens. - 10/13

11. Trapped in the Drive Thru - okay, I've heard enough of the original to get what Al is doing here. Unfortunately, I never liked the original, and this basically boils down to one 10 minute long joke with no real punchline, and the actual punchline is a ripoff of Steven Grdnic's "Fast Food". The only saving grace this song had for me was the Black Dog insertion, but even that isn't funny once you know it's coming. I'm sure this song works really well for some listeners, but it's already on the list of songs I never want to hear again - 1/13

12. Don't Download This Song - I'm more familiar with this song than anything else on the album, seeing as it was released much earlier. While a great idea, it just doesn't really hold up well on frequent listens. A nice way to end the album proper, and yeah, I still laugh at the Lars and Tommy lines, but I think I may stop at Cigar unless I know I'll be in the mood - 8/13

13. You're Pitiful - I HATED HATED HATED the song this was based on, so it never really had a chance. - 4/13

Overall - yeah, sorry to say, but it was a disappointment. I wouldn't call it Al's WORST Album, but he's really been slumping this decade, and even Poodle Hat, which I felt was about 50% greatness and 50% crap, had 4 songs which I enjoyed more than even the best song here. I might just be getting old, since most of the songs parodied here (and that includes about half of the polka songs) I'm either unfamiliar with, or detest, and I think he was really reaching out to a younger generation than I am. Al has shown, particularly with his style parodies/tributes (Pancreas aside), that he's still got the ability to write some brilliant material, and even managed to turn a gangsta rap song into something I can enjoy, but most of this album just really didn't work for me, and I don't expect it to end up on my Top 10 of 2006 list.

I also should make mention of how Al did try some new things out this time around with the album format. There's an obligutory food song, but NO TV or Movie song, or a classic rock parody. Strangly enough, this album is chock full of nerdy songs - there are *4* songs with this theme in mind (5 if you want to see Creep as being from a loser geek's POV). And I actually laughed as I lurked in this forum reading posts about how all these track listings MUST be fake because Al would NEVER put two parodies in a row. Well, he did. Personally, I think it's great that he's changing things up, and even though this album didn't work out for me, I hope it put Al back into a working mode, and motivates him to start releasing albums every year or two, like back in the old days.

Overall Grade: C

oh, and just for the record, OTDE is my favorite album too. I used to love every song EXCEPT Kidding, until I heard the song it was based on, and then it became Al's one perfect album for me!
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Postby Funbox » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:26 am

Hey. I'll take a stab at this.

1) White & Nerdy - I think that the lyrics on this song are absolutely fan-freaking-tastic. An Al song never made me laugh as hard as this one did on my first listen, and the only thing I can think of that's disappointing is how it's lacking a third verse. But honestly... it's great. I wanted to drop the 10 and make it a 9 because of the third verse thing, but then I realized how much sheer fun I've had listening to this song millions of times... so it gets the 10. Singing along to this song is more fulfilling than any other Al song ever I think, and I loved the original song this was based on. THIS is the album seller he needed, and I really, really hope that he succeeds with it! 10/10

2) Pancreas - Interesting, interesting, interesting. One of Al's not-funny-but-fun-to-listen-to songs (which are obligatory on any album), while it's not a bad song per se, it's just one I can't relate to as much as the rest. It's not a song I'll skip unless I can only rush through half the album in a given timespan. On a regular listen, I'll definitely listen to this song to keep it "complete". 7/10

3) Canadian Idiot - The first time I heard this I didn't find it funny because I didn't catch all the jokes as I was listening. Then I read it with the lyrics. Then I memorized the lyrics. Now I love it. Like W&N, the only thing I can complain about is its length. Too short!! 8/10

4) I'll Sue Ya - I DID NOT expect a style like this from Al. This song had me laughing out loud just like White & Nerdy did. This song was extremely clever and Al totally hit the nail on the head with it. I think it also represents pretty well the fact that Al can tackle any genre he wants. This song's frickin' great. My third-favorite on the album. 9/10

5) Polkarama - I won't lie to you. The first time I heard this I was disappointed. Almost to the point where I'd give this song a mediocre 5/10 rating. It FEELS really weird and doesn't flow the way the old polkas do. However, on the second time, everything (minus the awkward ending) definitely clicked in place somehow. It's a less insane polka this time, and I kind of like it. It's not my favorite one, I'll admit it, but it's not bad at all. Some parts are excellent, such as the Speed of Sound bit. WTF at the ending though, Al! And the very beginning too... 7/10

6) Virus Alert - Hey, guess what. People aren't liking this too much so far, but what would you say if I told you this was my favorite song on the whole album? Next to White & Nerdy, this is absolutely my favorite. Ever since Bad Hair Day, there has been an original that stood out long and far away as my favorite from the album - a slightly hyper and crazy fun song that I love to death. BHD's was EYKIW, RWS's was YHFT, Poodle's was Hardware, and SOL's is this one. The musical style! It's excellent! And why are people complaining about the lyrics? I read the ones someone posted in a thread... it's actually very good! I LOVE THIS SONG. HE BETTER DO THIS LIVE. 10/10

7) Confessions Part III - I hated the Usher song, and I thought I wouldn't care about this either. The song took an entire minute before it got to the dumb bits, and the first confessions kind of sucked. But then it gradually became funnier and funnier, and by the time he mentioned "I blew my nose and wiped it on your cat" then I flipped. Listen, I don't care. If a song makes me laugh like this one did, it's a great song. Pure and simple. Here comes a good rating. 8/10

8) Weasel Stomping Day - this is like TWAST from RWS... I don't even really consider it a FULL album song because of its length, so I won't review it as such. It's nice, but I really need to see some kind of music video going with it to appreciare it. Till then... [/b]6/10[/b]

9) Close But No Cigar - very fun song to listen to, but I didn't laugh. It's cool... like with Pancreas, not all of Al's songs are funny. Twisted, sure... not funny though. Didn't matter. I don't listen to all music to laugh, and I will not punish Al for making a song that musically sounds great and didn't make me laugh. It sounds good, so it's fine. Good stuff. Good Cake style parody. 7/10

10) Do I Creep You Out - Eh. I bet this song will succeed in appealing to the American Idol crowd, but I'm definitely not a part of it. I never heard the original before this, so I didn't have high expectations. Once again not a bad song, but I can't relate to it... You're Pitiful would've gone SOOOOOOO much better right here instead. 6/10

11) Trapped in the Drive Thru - Dude... what can I say. This song is a work of art. Everything positive people have said I'll say are right on the money. Fantastic, fantastic song. He nailed all the stupid bits from Closet perfectly and got great cliffhangers... "DID I MENTION THE DRIVE THRU?" and he built suspense over completely idiotic parts... perfection. I am giving it a 9 only because there's two songs I love to death which I have to reserve the 10 for. Otherwise this song would get it. 9/10

12) Don't Download This Song - This song is beautiful. While I love the song and all, I never saw it hitting my little playlist of my favorite Al songs of all time or anything. But honestly... it fits perfectly as the last song on this album, and with the message it conveys, even with how stupidly it's done (which makes it brilliant), it gets an extra bonus point from me due to how perfectly it FEELS after having listened to the rest of the album. Not to mention that lyrically it's fantastic. 9/10

I loved this album and I wasn't disappointed at all. Only a few things needed to be done to make it perfect. First, White and Nerdy and Canadian Idiot should've been a bit longer, and second, DICYO should've had You're Pitiful in its place. That would have possibly given this album the title of my favorite ever. But hell, it's pretty close as is. Maybe it's just the part of me that's excited to hear new material talking, but who gives a crap? I had a blast listening to this album. It's excellent. 9/10 as an Al album, and as an album in general, 10/10.

Good job, Al. You've satisfied a fan.
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Postby Weird Alan » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:46 pm

Im gonna write a really quick review for this album, but not track by track, because that's silly.

Straight Outta Lynwood is Al's latest album in his seemingly never ending career of parody albums, and thankfully, Al has suprisingly gotten better with age. However, there is no reason to listen to this album unless you dig what Weird Al brings to the table. Its obvious but true; if you don't enjoy this type of work, SOL will do absolutely nothing to change your mind. Certainly if you're reading this, odds are you are in full understanding of what to expect from pressing "play" on this disc. Luckily, its mostly good news.

It's hard not to be immediately hit with an intense urban flavor while listening to SOL. The cover, lead parody, and even the title of the album all lean towards America's latest genre crutch. The album starts off with the heavy "White and Nerdy", a send off of Chamillionair's "Ridin'". As per usual, Al nails his subject's voice and mannerisms, delivering what is arguably the best track from the album right off the bat. The references are quick and fresh, and the beats sail along smoothly, despite preceeding a song about Pancreases. Both "White and Nerdy" and "Pancreas", a brilliant tribute to Brian Wilson's "Pet Sound" era, quickly get the album going on a running head start.

In fact, most of the original songs on the album are surprising stand outs. From the Cake-esque cowbells and handclaps of "Close But No Cigar", to the Rage Against The Machine attitude of "I'll Sue Ya", there is great attention to detail to all of SOL's originals. Greatly appreciated are the abundance of fresh jokes as well, most of which stay funny several listens in. "Confessions Pt III", parody of Usher's ballad of almost the same title, boasts some of the funniest lines Al has ever written (Now this gonna be the hardest thing I think I ever had to do/Gonna tell you everything I left out of parts one and two/Like remember when I told you that I knew Polley Shore, Polley Shore/That's a lie I dont know what I said that for). Even more, some tracks shine in affectiveness, regardless their short track time ("Do I Creep You Out"), or predictability ("Canadian Idiot").

The album is not without a few hinges, however. "Weasel Stomping Day", despite being executed perfectly, is still as pointless as one could imagine a minute and a half holiday song might be. Far more dissapointing is the album's fumbling of the famous polka medely, now effectionately refferred to as "Polkarama!". On recent albums, the polka medley (a series of popular hits chained together to create one massive polka tune) has been one of the most entertaining and brightest segments of Al's work. With SOL however, Al fumbles to create a captivating reason to stay listening, delivering some of the flatest re-tellings of certain songs imaginable while adding wacky sound effects and calling it a day. Gone are the bite of previous polkas ("Alternatve Polka","Hooked on Polka's", etc), the listener now being treated to a series of songs seemingly done as fast as possible to get to a deflated ending. While "Polkarama!" features a few hilarious moments, it clearly brings down the album as a whole, if for nothing more than failing in an area that Al has shone so brightly in the past.

Most of this is forgiven, however, when "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" comes through the speakers. A parody of R. Kelly's often rediculed "Trapped in the Closet" series, Al reaches deep into his bag of tricks and pulls out nearly eleven minutes of spot on lampooning of the highest variety. This song alone may be worth the price of admission, with the excellent "Dont Download This Song", a spirited song about just that, being the icing on the cake to a mostly biting comedy album.

Many of Al's hardcore fans will be wondering where this ranks in Al's long catalog of pop culture joking, but the truth of the matter is that like many of his albums before SOL, these tracks are a great snapshot of pop culture in the last three to four years. For an industry that often takes itself too seriously in it's self-pitying, Al's hard work should be greatly appreciated by the masses. Despite its underlining messege, you dont have to be white and nerdy to appreciate the madness on this disc...but it helps.

Rating: B
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Postby unexpectedguy » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:02 pm

Is getting lyrics early illegal? If it's not can someone please post a link to the lyrics of SOL?
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