Straight Outta Lynwood review by "Weird Al" Yankovic

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  • Released: Sep 26, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (206 votes)
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Sound — 8
Some things in life don't really change -- and that's not such a bad thing in Weird Al Yankovic's case. With his latest release Straight Outta Lynwood, Yankovic proves once again that the often humorless music world is always in need of a few good laughs. His latest CD does not quite meet the same comedic level of some of his earlier releases, but most of the songs do have some memorable lyrics that will have you chuckling out loud. In the past Yankovic has pissed off the likes of Eminem and Coolio with the parodies he did of their songs, and it's likely he may piss off a few more with his latest record. Straight Outta Lynwood has 5 new parodies of contemporary songs like Green Day's American Idiot, which now becomes Canadian Idiot. Yankovic does have an amazing way of adapting his vocal style to fit everything from a rock song like Canadian Idiot to a rap track like Confessions Part III, his parody of Usher's Confessions Part II. Because the lyrics tend to take center stage, it's easy to forget about Yankovic's vocals. That's unfortunate, particularly considering he's tackling more genres of music than many artists would dare to try. The standout track -- and probably the most time-consuming for Yankovic -- is Trapped In The Drive-Thru, a parody of R. Kelly's Trapped In The Closet. If you've heard Kelly's song or perhaps seen his multi-part video series, you probably know that it is one of the most unusual songs around. It basically takes everyday dialogue and inserts them as lyrics in a scene where affairs, shootings, and a midget all play a key part. Yankovic takes the same free-form narrative format, but this time the tale takes place primarily at a drive-thru. By making every little action seem over the top, Yankovic pulls off the parody perfectly. If there's one song that really conveys the talent of Weird Al, Trapped In The Drive-Thru would be it. The song is over 10 minutes long and could be tiring for the average listener, but Yankovic pulls it off pretty well. The songs on Straight Outta Lynwood are not all works of musical genius, but most of them at least have a few laughs along the way. The song Do I Creep You Out has the hardship of overcoming a poorly written song in the first place. The original by Taylor Hicks called Do I Make You Proud is a bore, and that's a pretty tough place to start. Even with a few witty lyrics sprinkled throughout, it's still not a track that you'll probably find yourself wanting to listen to more than a few times. Hearing music behind a song like the one by Hicks actually helps you to appreciate Yankovic originals like Virus Alert.

Lyrics — 9
Weird Al Yankovic can make or break his career with the words he writes, and he does a satisfying job of supplying both odd and comical lyrics in Straight Outta Lynwood. What is the most impressive aspect is the fact that Yankovic has a few songs on the latest record that have over 100 lines of lyrics. An example is White & Nerdy, a parody of Ridin' by Chamillionaire. Because it's a rap song with a quick-time delivery, Yankovic has an even tougher job on his hands and he amazingly does some of his best work on it. He raps, I've been browsin', inspectin'; X-Men comics, you know I collect 'em; The pens in my pocket, I must protect 'em; My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored; Shoppin' online for deals on some writable media; I edit, Wikipedia. Imagine a song full of colorful lyrics like those and you've got White & Nerdy in a nutshell. Don't Download This Song is a satisfying ode to the unforeseen horrors of downloading. Yankovic sings about how a simple download is pretty much the end of all things good in the world -- of course, tongue-in-cheek all the way. He sings, Oh, you don't wanna mess with the RIAA; They'll sue you if you burn that CD-R; It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a 7-year-old girl; They'll treat you like the evil, hard-bitten criminal scum you are. Yankovic really gets the point across in the song, and even goes so far as to mention Metallica's Lars Ulrich (who infamously protested downloading) toward the end of the track. They are things that need to be said, even if it's in a comical format.

Overall Impression — 9
Probably the most impressive aspect of Straight Outta Lynwood is the amount of effort that Yankovic put into the album. If you peruse the liner notes, you'll see that he played 8 different instruments for the song Pancreas. The CD also has an accompanying DVD, which has a behind-the-scenes section that drives the point home. You see Yankovic going over each song with a fine-tooth comb, instructing his band exactly what needs to be played and how to play it. Even if you don't find one song on the CD that entertaining, you're likely to respect Yankovic for his musical skills after watching the DVD. The DVD would not necessarily be a must-have if it was sold on it's own, but it does have a few videos that are worth the watch. The video for Weasel Stomping Day was conceptualized partly by actor Seth Green, the same man behind the Cartoon Network's show Robot Chicken. Full of slightly disturbing, but fascinating stop motion animation, Weasel Stomping Day could easily be one of the segments shown in Robot Chicken. That unique addition is the must-see item on the DVD. Weird Al Yankovic is pretty reliable in what he puts out every few years. If you haven't been a fan of Weird Al, then this CD is not likely to change your mind. But Straight Outta Lynwood has plenty of the trademark Yankovic offerings that have made him an interesting fixture in the music industry: adaptable vocals, the ability to write memorably and witty lyrics, and that ever-present accordion. Some may call these traits cheesy, but these traits could also be the things that have kept the fans so loyal for the past 25 years. If you're on the fence about Weird Al, the latest CD will be something that evokes more than a few laughs -- and that's not something you'll get on your average emo or death metal record.

94 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I_need_a_drink
    I think the real question here is.What the hell could you teach a library?.....I mean it's full of books....Anyway Al's the man "dare to be stupid" is probably my fav ....so far haven't heard the new stuff.
    fishergirl106
    sexmeister wrote: kk who ever things weird als music is fun or whatever is a ****ed in the head the song white and nerdy the fagget it clearly making fun of white people and u idiots thing it funny like no pride in your skin colour or something or r u just like almost every other idiot who tries 2 blacl
    umm... you clearly dont get that weird al makes parodies of famous songs. he's umm not trying to diss white people with "white and nerdy"... umm.. gosh.. i really dont understand how you are offended by this! lmao
    LORD V4DER
    sexmeister : kk who ever things weird als music is fun or whatever is a ****ed in the head the song white and nerdy the fagget it clearly making fun of white people and u idiots thing it funny like no pride in your skin colour or something or r u just like almost every other idiot who tries 2 blacl
    Hey man, lighten up...UH-OH! ANOTHER SKIN JOKE!
    FooFighter09
    sexmeister wrote: kk who ever things weird als music is fun or whatever is a ****ed in the head the song white and nerdy the fagget it clearly making fun of white people and u idiots thing it funny like no pride in your skin colour or something or r u just like almost every other idiot who tries 2 blacl
    dude he makes fun of people because they can take laughing at themselves obviously you can't
    Devon_555
    mmanson wrote: rockstarbowker wrote: mmanson wrote: it wouldnt piss em off if they wrote good music or excuse me for most of em actually wrote their own music. eminem and all of the rappers/ gay rockers suck. when did he do smells like nirvana was cobain alive well n e way i dont think him, grohl, or noveselic is mad over it. im not really a wierd al fan but i think its funny when someone makes fun and shows people what they really are and when they see it they realize that is them and they get mad. posers Cobain was alive and he really liked it and thought it was funny. see. everyone else needs to stop being fake. raps not "bad" its lame. Green day is not punk and never were.
    You sit there and call everyone fake but your the poser saying that you aren't. If you thought everyone was a fake and you weren't why even be on this site?
    Kutanmoogle
    sexmeister wrote: weird al is a loser he makes fun of his own skin colour that fag deserves a boot up that ass and people actually listen the that garbage that he calls music
    sexmeister wrote: weird all id a stupid dumb BITCH he maked fun of his own skin colour he desveres a boot up his ass and i cant believe people actually listen the to the garbage he calls music
    I like how you switched it up. Great creativity, unlike ol' Al [/sarcasm] You're a fool. Weird Al's music is fun.
    Freeze1186
    Formalities555 wrote: He's a genius lyricist and singer . . .especially singer . . .Maybe he ought to write some original music though?
    Dude, like half of the songs on every Weird Al album are original music that Al wrote.
    mmanson
    rockstarbowker wrote: mmanson wrote: it wouldnt piss em off if they wrote good music or excuse me for most of em actually wrote their own music. eminem and all of the rappers/ gay rockers suck. when did he do smells like nirvana was cobain alive well n e way i dont think him, grohl, or noveselic is mad over it. im not really a wierd al fan but i think its funny when someone makes fun and shows people what they really are and when they see it they realize that is them and they get mad. posers Cobain was alive and he really liked it and thought it was funny.
    see. everyone else needs to stop being fake. raps not "bad" its lame. Green day is not punk and never were.
    Mizuti
    weird al rocks. bought this the first day it was out. one little note: did anybody else notice the darker tone of the album? it seemed a little angrier than his older stuff. example "weasel stomping day", "close but no cigar", and "dont download this song". might just be me though.
    Fossilized Love
    Danny. S: Become a multi-millionaire, then you can talk shit. Man Guy: Your ego speaks lengths you can't fill. In other words, you're a jackoff.
    Man Guy
    i am the greatest in comedy music, because i actually write my own music
    punkrockjoe
    white and nerdy is damn funny. very clever I'm sure someone this clever could actually write real songs if he put his mind to it.
    FatMatt420
    Oh man, Weird Al. It's been a long time since I've even heard about him. I'm actually glad he came out with another album, but I don't think any song on his new album could compare to his classic "Jurassic Park" song. "Jurassic park is scary.. in the dark.. all the animals are RUNNIIING WIIIIILD!"
    Peeex
    Weird Al is awesome! I don't consider him a great musician, but he sure is one of the funniest comedians alive!
    nerk13
    I love Weird Al! His songs are absolutely hilarious, and he sings them quite well. White and Nerdy is a funny video, me and friends were watching it this morning and laughing, mostly because he kept mentioning all the stuff we love. I guess that makes us white and nerdy...
    mindbender747
    punkrockjoe wrote: white and nerdy is damn funny. very clever I'm sure someone this clever could actually write real songs if he put his mind to it.
    He does write original songs. "Virus Alert" is an original song, and it is funny cuz it says that the virus will make it where your computer only plays Jethro Tull H
    almighty bowl
    sk8tin4life wrote: my library teacher looks lik weird al cuz she has a mustache nd the same hair
    she?
    break-me-in
    Formalities555 wrote: He's a genius lyricist and singer . . .especially singer . . .Maybe he ought to write some original music though?
    He does... I'm not sure about whether he does on this one, as I don't own it, but if you go and buy some older stuff, he has some completely original tracks. (Don't worry, they're all complete jokes.)
    someguy1
    sassamafras wrote: Ridin dirty deserved its parody...that song is soooo annoying
    shit yes that song totally sucks ass but white aand nerdy is awsome dido 4 your pitiful
    SL!!!
    sk8tin4life wrote: my library teacher looks lik weird al cuz she has a mustache nd the same hair
    best thing anyone here has ever said. lol.
    Cal&Chris_Co.
    Man Guy wrote: i am the greatest in comedy music, because i actually write my own music
    no, not really.
    jables23092
    to all the people saying he should write original music....about half his cd is original...every time....ever remember "albuquerque"?....that was the first weird al song i ever heard...i loved it, but yeah it's an original, he has tons of them just pick up a cd...they are great....oh and on the cd "ill sue ya" isnt marked as a parody but it's obvious it is RATM....especially when you watch the animated videos...but yeah i guess he just didnt bother making it official, just real close....ANYWAYS, get this cd...and "running with scissors", and "poodle hat"...some of his best new stuff
    Big Tommy P
    i still think "What if God Smoked Cannibas" is the best song, might have to get this album
    IrishGuitar77
    YES!!!!! i dc if u guys think bad about him what he does is a joke and its hillarious and he kicks some serious A** so ya
    flame843
    Big Tommy P wrote: i still think "What if God Smoked Cannibas" is the best song, might have to get this album
    That's not actually a Weird Al song...
    outlaw metaler
    Wierd al is the bomb and canadian idiots lyrcis are way more meaning ful than americain idiots Any way he has to have some of the best videoes ever also love the zepplin song on stuck in a drive thru
    Gemini
    Everyone saying he should write his own lyrics is clearly stupid or pays absolutely no attention to the artists they bash. Weird Al does write his own lyrics. The parodies are just a trademark that people tend to LOVE.
    zeppelfloyd
    mmanson wrote: it wouldnt piss em off if they wrote good music or excuse me for most of em actually wrote their own music. eminem and all of the rappers/ gay rockers suck. when did he do smells like nirvana was cobain alive well n e way i dont think him, grohl, or noveselic is mad over it. im not really a wierd al fan but i think its funny when someone makes fun and shows people what they really are and when they see it they realize that is them and they get mad. posers
    Weird Al dosen't make the people mad you idiot. He asks them if he can release the song, he could release it even if they don't want him to but he dosen't wanna make em mad so he asks. only person who got angry was coolio on ahmish paradise cause Al's ppl thought coolio's ppl said he could do it but they were wrong. And hes not making fun of the artists he just makes funny (/better) lyrics. and yes he writes his own stuff. if you don't beileve me then tell me what song hes imitating in weasel stomping day or virus alert. i'll be waiting for an answer on that one.
    MuffinMan
    He does write original songs, their on every album. If you haven't noticed them then you may be a bit dense. And everyone who says artists get mad over his songs: no they don't. He specifically asks permission to do songs, he left "You're Pitiful" off of this album because the record label of the original artist didn't want the parody. Overall I like the new album immensly, but I think Canadian Idiot could have been done a bit better.
    cwotspot
    weird al needs to start writing his own music because this parody crap is getting really old.
    frettoucher55
    LORD V4DER wrote: sexmeister : kk who ever things weird als music is fun or whatever is a ****ed in the head the song white and nerdy the fagget it clearly making fun of white people and u idiots thing it funny like no pride in your skin colour or something or r u just like almost every other idiot who tries 2 blacl
    ok dude it is obvious you are amazingly slow, and the perfect example is that you think the color of your skin is some how important and needs to be protected. your color does not show who you are it is how you display yourself that does and by what you are showing everyone you are the IDIOT. so do us all a favor and stop typing and take a look at the world around you and maybe you will figure out what everyone knows and that skin color meens nothing. weired al kicks a**
    Dorito
    The video for Weasel Stomping Day IS a part of Robot Chicken, and not only did Cobain aprove/like the parody, he played/recorded the guitar for it.
    deej
    alfred is the man. dont nobody be dissing (thats for him to do)
    BreakingTheGirl
    Codezzzz wrote: sk8tin4life wrote: my library teacher looks lik weird al cuz she has a mustache nd the same hair who the hell has a library teacher?
    lol...