Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby Skippy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:39 pm

Okay, I'm going to give this a try after spending a lot more time with the album. I want to preface this list by saying that I genuinely like every track. Unlike other albums, where there has almost invariably been at least one dud, MF is nearly perfect and there's not a single song that I skip unless I just don't have nine minutes and five seconds of listening time available.

1. Word Crimes - At first, I liked Tacky better, but now that I'm more familiar with it and have caught all the lyrics, it's the best song on the album and one of Al's best ever.

2. Jackson Park Express - Incredibly clever, full of great twists. Love the concept and never feels like nine minutes. Another instant classic.

3. First World Problems - Love the Pixies style and the topic, while a familiar internet meme, is still funny and Al does a great job with it.

4. My Own Eyes - As accurate as style parodies get, and a welcome rock track that we haven't had in a while. Hilarious lyrics.

5. Tacky - Still great. Lots of funny jokes on the topic and benefits from the catchiness of the target. Are there people who don't dance to this song? How do they manage that?

6. Lame Claim to Fame - Catchy as hell and I love the concept. Some subtle, clever jokes and never wears thin.

7. Mission Statement - So subtle. So brilliant. It's hard for me to put it this low, but that's just how good this album is.

8. Foil - The video put this song in perspective for me, and now that I see what it's actually doing, I love it. Sort of a new concept for a parody, which is nice to see.

9. Sports Song - As a college football junkie, this song hits the sweet spot. A nice jab at the irrationality of sports fans.

10. Now That's What I Call Polka - Suffers a little from the smaller-than-usual number of targets. There's some good stuff in here, but there are enough targets that weren't ingrained in my skull that it isn't as satisfying as a "Polka Power" or "Polka Your Eyes Out." But still quite good. Could do without the fart noise.

11. Inactive - Not much material to work with to craft jokes, but I do like what's here. I feel like Al could've done more to alleviate the repetition in the chorus, but it's still a solid song. It doesn't bother me that he's gone down this road before, because this is the superior attempt.

12. Handy - I enjoy it, and it's still growing on me, but it's the weakest parody. I don't feel like it will have as much staying power as the rest of the album and will probably end up being the lone skipper of the batch. That said, it's certainly the best "dud" of any album.

I know recency bias is an issue, but I've been listening to this album since it leaked and it's only gotten better. It's still too early to say, but this really feels like his best album ever.
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby bearclaws » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:01 pm

1. Word Crimes - As a grammar nerd, I've been waiting for Al to make a song like this. I'm really impressed with how many grammar rules he was able to fit into this song, and where he put them. It's not a simple list song that is easy to parody. It also helps that it's a parody of one of the catchiest but most lyrically appalling songs of last year.

2. Jackson Park Express - One of his most quotable songs ever! "I would make any sacrifice for you - goat, chicken, whatever"

3. Tacky - The delightful video helps this one. I also love the comic sans line and the sheer variety of tacky behaviors this song mentions.

4. Lame Claim to Fame - Man, he's come up with a lot of lame ways to be connected to a celebrity. Very clever and just gets funnier over time.

5. First World Problems - "First World Problems" jokes are old, but I love the Pixies style pastiche and the way he says words like "tiramisu" and "OMG" like Frank Black. And there are some hilarious problems here, like having to buy something extra for free shipping on Amazon. It's like "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?", but with more biting social satire.

6. Mission Statement - Subtle and hilarious. The juxtaposition of CSY, known for their deep lyrics, and meaningless corporate jargon is such a great joke.

7. Foil - Took me a while to get, but I feel like this song is trolling everyone who thinks Al only does parodies about food with its crazy left turn halfway through the song. And the video makes me like the song more.

8. NOW That's What I Call Polka! - Some solid jokes in this polka. I particularly like the "Best Song Ever" noises and the call-and-response bit he does with "Thrift Shop". The polkas are never among the best on the album IMO, but this is one of the better polkas.

9. My Own Eyes - Not a bad song at all, so I feel bad about ranking it so low, but that's just how good this album is. The lyrics are more "weird" than "funny", but the mime getting hacked to death with an imaginary cleaver is pretty great.

10. Handy - I don't see a whole lot of humor in this, but I do like the clever ways in which he uses the original song - "Glue dat, glue dat / Screw dat, screw dat" and "don't even care if I hammer my thumb OW!"

11. Sports Song - Partially because I'm not a sports fan, and I've heard better satires of sports fans/teams. This one is pretty funny, just not hilarious to me personally. The way I feel about this one is probably the way people who don't work in offices that use corporate jargon feel about "Mission Statement".

12. Inactive - The only song I skip every time. It just sounds like any other YouTube parodist to me, and Al usually goes way above and beyond other parodists by adding in a good dose of Al weirdness. If it were anyone else, this would be considered a good parody.
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby symphy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:11 pm

1. My Own Eyes – (Style parody of the Foo Fighters) – Whether you love this song might depend a bit on whether you like the specific 90s alternative wall-of-sound style he’s using. I do, so I do. As is often the case of Al songs, the lyrics are essentially just a funny bulleted list of unexpected things the singer would prefer to “un-see”. But the hook is SO. CATCHY. that I can never listen to it just once. We’re talking Frank’s 2000” TV-levels of replayability. Favorite song on the album. (10/10)

2. Word Crimes – (Parody of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke) – Leave it to Weird Al to offer a nearly g-rated parody of the most famous r-rated video of all time. But it works. One complaint about Al is that he doesn’t often parody his subjects themselves (with notable exceptions such as Smells Like Nirvana) but rather just writes new, unrelated lyrics to their existing melodies. Sometimes, this can feel lazy (isn’t parody supposed to, you know, parody something?) In this case, though, it works beautifully, because all the possible content parodies about the controversial song have already been made, so there’s no feeling of missed opportunity. This direction feels fresh. Importantly, Al’s version just as catchy as the original, with all the little details and asides you’d expect, and the (amazing) video will almost certainly be posted on countless Facebook pages for years every time someone makes a grammatical error. (9/10)

3. Jackson Park Express – (Style parody of Cat Stevens) – Only Al could get away with lines such as “I like your boobs” and “I want you inside me” and still have an album suitable for families. If you like the Cat Stevens folky storytelling style, you will almost certainly like this. It’s a surprisingly sweet, even wistful song, that takes its time to tell its tale and yet somehow always seems shorter than its nine-minute running time would imply. If this is truly Al’s last traditional studio album, it’s a fine way to go out. (9/10)

4. NOW That’s What I Call Polka – (Polka medley) – I must admit, I love it when I actually know and can sing along to all the songs in Al’s medleys, and this one didn’t disappoint. The transitions were excellent (especially into Gangnam Style) and I laughed out loud at “This is Super Awesome!” I missed some of the pacing variety found in some of his other medleys, but that’s a minor quibble. (9/10)

5. Foil – (Parody of Lorde’s “Royals”) – This one is really short, but in a good way. Comedy shouldn’t overstay its welcome, and there’s no way of making the breakdown portion of the original song be “funny” anyway. The twist halfway through the piece from food to conspiracy theories is rather inspired, and I think I’ll have “Aluminum Foy-illl (Foy-illlll!)” in my head for days. Possibly every time I use foil in the future. The video is also amazing, and helps the song's repeat listening value. (8/10)

6. Mission Statement – (Style parody of Crosby, Stills & Nash) – This track is kind of remarkable. There’s nothing funny about any individual phrase, not really, but as a collective whole, it works quite well. The harmony constructions are pitch-perfect (literally and in the parody sense) and it’s simply a beautiful song to listen to. No one listens to a Weird Al tune because of the timbre of his voice, and yet this one might find its way into genre playlists of mine that are comedy-free. Nice work here. (8/10)

7. Tacky – (Parody of Pharrel’s “Happy”) – This is really, really cute and catchy. It might be being released just a tad late to be relevant (now that we’ve all heard the song a million times), but the clever cameo-studded video certainly should help its staying power. (The video, by the way, is a parody of the 24hoursofhappy project, and is actually quite brilliant.) Well done. (8/10)

8. Sports Song – (Style parody of campus fight songs) – If it wasn’t for a line in the middle in which the singer admits that the home team isn’t that great either, this one would probably get a lot of play at high school and college stadiums. And, maybe it still will! It’s kind of awesome. It’s not the sort of song you’ll want to be in the mood to listen to very often, but to pump you up before some college football, it’s great. (8/10)

9. First World Problems – (Style parody of Pixies) – Another very funny song. I remember the first time I listened to the album all the way through, I was impressed at the strength of all the originals, even the ones like this one near the end of the album, which traditionally tend to be weaker (not counting the always-strong finale). The lyrics are particularly clever on this one, and it might make you feel a little guilty, in a good way. (7/10)

10. Lame Claim to Fame – (Style parody of SCOTS) – This one gave me my first real chuckles on the album. It’s a very clever pop-culture-filled recitation of genuinely lame ways to have a brush with celebrity. Nice production values too. (7/10)

11. Handy – (Parody of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”) – As usual, Al captures the cadence and feel of the original quite nicely, and the lyrics are clever, if not laugh-out-loud funny. Weird decision not to parody the original song’s most memorable motif (the “I-G-G-Y” bit), but the “glue-dat” and “screw-dat” moments made me smile. (6/10)

12. Inactive – (Parody of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”) – This is a solid parody, good for a Wall-E-esque chuckle, and as is the case of everything else on the album, the production values are flawless. One thing is suffers from is the fact that the song itself is pretty slow-moving, which is always harder for comedy. The lyrics are fine, but the funniest part of the song is the concept, so once you get the concept, there’s nothing really more to laugh at. (6/10)

One thing I've noticed about this album more than others is that, at least among forum reviewers, there's a lot of disagreement over best and worst songs. For example, "My Own Eyes" has been ranked #1 by some and #12 by some, "Sports Song" is either adored or despised, and even "Handy" has its staunch defenders and harsh critics. That's actually kind of cool for the album to have no universally loathed tracks (like Larry, Mime, Phony Calls, etc.) There's something for everybody. :)
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby cromulnt » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:52 pm

I'll give this a tackle. I think my top 2 and bottom 3 are solidly locked in, but 3-9 have fluctuated quite a bit and may very well continue to. "Jackson Park Express", "First World Problems", and "Sports Song" were the ones that really grew on me after multiple listens.

1. My Own Eyes
2. Word Crimes
3. Jackson Park Express
4. Foil
5. First World Problems
6. NOW That's What I Call Polka!
7. Sports Song
8. Tacky
9. Lame Claim To Fame
10. Handy
11. Mission Statement
12. Inactive

Oh, and by the way, "Phony Calls" is not loathed in MY universe!
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun [Spoilers]

Postby weird user » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:07 pm

weird user wrote:Here's my list for now. I'll probably do a revised list later (some songs I have only heard once, and feel I should listen to them again a few more times).

My "first draft" ranking:
1. Tacky
2. Handy
3. NOW That's What I Call Polka
4. Word Crimes
5. Lame Claim to Fame
6. Jackson Park Express
7. Inactive
8.Sports Song
9. My Own Eyes
10. First World Problems
11. Foil
12. Mission Statement


Okay, after listening for a week, here is my revised rankings:
1. Word Crimes
2. Tacky
3. Handy
4. Lame Claim to Fame
5. Sports Song
6. Jackson Park Express
7. NOW That's What I Call Polka
8. Foil
9. First World Problems
10. My Own Eyes
11. Inactive
12. Mission Statement
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby SharriSCOTS » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:19 pm

1. Lame Claim to Fame
2. Word Crimes
3. Jackson Park Express
4. Tacky
5. NOW That's What I Call Polka!
6. Foil
7. First World Problems
8. Sports Song
9. My Own Eyes
10. Mission Statement
11. Handy
12. Inactive
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby CheeseSandwich » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:48 am

1. Word Crimes
2. NOW That's What I Call Polka!
3. Foil
4. Tacky
5. Handy
6. Sports Song
7. My Own Eyes
8. First World Problems
9. Lame Claim to Fame
10. Inactive
11. Jackson Park Express
12. Mission Statement

Personally I like all the songs on this album, but that's bow I would rank them
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby joseyklein » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:54 am

Word Crimes
Tacky
Now That's What I Call Polka
My Own Eyes
Lame Claim To Fame
Jackson Park Express
Foil
Handy
Mission Statement
First World Problems
Sports Song
Inactive


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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby Jettkoral » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:01 am

Lame Claim To Fame
Foil
Word Crimes
First World Problems
Tacky
My Own Eyes
NOW That's What I Call Polka!
Jackson Park Express
Handy
Inactive
Mission Statement
Sports Song

*subject to change
Last edited by Jettkoral on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rank the songs on Mandatory Fun

Postby Well, Well, Well » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:05 am

one of those changes should be to say whether Inactive is your least favorite song or not!
taste is only something if it is yours.
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