When ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic releases new material, the world literally stops and pays attention (and if you pay attention to “Word Crimes” you’ll know why I used the word literally there). In all seriousness, ‘Weird Al’ has broken the internet with his daily release of song parodies off his brand new record, Mandatory Fun. The Singles Party had the unenviable task of picking just two songs to review. The group decided to go with his Pharrell parody “Tacky” and his Robin Thicke spoof, “Word Crimes.”
Nick Porcaro: I was all about Weird Al growing up—I even owned a copy of Running with Scissors—but his über-cheesy parodies just aren’t doing it for me anymore. Maybe his style hasn’t aged well, or maybe I’m a cynical bastard. Who knows? Count me out on this one. Verdict: Abstain.
Lauren Stern: I may have missed the mark, but I had no idea Weird Al was going to release videos all week in conjunction with his new album Mandatory Fun. It was definitely a surprise as I listened to the album on Tuesday morning and couldn’t stop laughing. That being said, I can’t choose between “Word Crimes” and “Tacky.” Both are phenomenal in their own way (though I will say the video for “Tacky” was more entertaining.) I highly recommend adding these to your playlist as well as the rest of the parodies off of Mandatory Fun. Verdict: Add to Playlist
Kelly O’Dowd: Weird Al makes me happy. Over the years I’ve fallen in love with him (“Amish Paradise”) but also just groaned (“Eat It”). But overall, I can’t be sad when listening to him. These two songs belong in the former category. I still can’t get over how well his parodies work. “Tacky” is less catchy that its “Happy” counterpart, however clever it may be. And it’s not Al’s best work. It’s the video that makes the song. “Word Crimes” however. OMG. Have you readers noticed my titles for this site? Not only am I the Book Editor, but I’m a Copy Editor. I’m one of those people who get angry when you use quotation marks wrong, and don’t get me started on the whole Oxford Comma debate (pro comma). OF COURSE THIS IS MY JAM! No really. This is the best song in the world. And it wins every single “Singles Party” column this year. NOTHING CAN TOP THIS. NOTHING. It’s also the only good thing “Blurred Lines” begat. Verdict: “Tacky” watch the video “Word Crimes” add to playlist.
Lisa Pikaard: I hate Weird Al’s music pretty much always. I don’t find him funny nor his videos entertaining. His voice grates on my nerves but then a friend of mine posted “Word Crimes” on my Facebook wall. I didn’t want to even approve the post but I caved in and clicked the link because I knew we’d be writing about it here. I hate to admit I’m wrong bu,t wow was I wrong. That song is phenomenal. Keep in mind I have two English degrees. I loved this song. I am crazy about grammar and was so happy to see this video. Any video that has a dance party with a semicolon, exclamation point, and a question mark is amazing in my book. I also loved the part about the oxford comma (I’m all for using it by the way). In the end, this video was shared, liked, and will forever be promoted by me. I am a fan of this song. It brings me such joy to watch it. As for “Tacky,” just no. This song brought me crashing back to reality and my former opinions of Weird Al. Game over. I was never a fan of “Happy” nor will I ever be a fan of “Tacky.” It was cute to see all the other comedians crash the video but that was the only positive part about the song for me.
Verdict- “Word Crimes” ALL DAY EVERY DAY! Add it to my playlist. “Tacky” One and done.
Bill Bodkin: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, when he’s on point, is a national treasure. When he’s not, he’s still entertaining, so going into both songs I was pretty much convinced I’d like them both. To me, “Tacky” and “Word Crimes” are ‘Weird Al’ at his best (although “Foil” might actually take the prize as best song on Mandatory Fun) — it hits you from all sides with humor. It has the sophomoric jokes, the obvious “lay up” jokes and then there’s his intricate wordplay and brilliantly subtle humor. He employs all of these in both songs and I laughed my butt off. Seriously, these are both must-listen songs, not just because of their humor, but also because they’re actually brilliant structured parodies. Nothing’s ever a stretch here, he nails every song perfectly. And of course the videos are just pure art. Verdict: Add both to the playlist.
Al Mannarino: I have always had a soft spot for Weird Al. Is it because we share the same name? Perhaps. It could also be because he is the king of parody, and he has been the master of craft for over three decades. I admire what he is trying to accomplish with his latest album, Mandatory Fun. By releasing a new music video once a day for eight days straight, he not just putting buzz around his album, he is also bringing back the lost art of the music video. Although videos are more popular than ever because of YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine, music videos have become a lost art. Luckily, Weird Al is here to save the medium by creating hilarious and original content for our enjoyment.
That is just what he did with his first two videos of his eight part campaign. The video for “Tacky,” Weird Al’s parody of Pharrel’s “Happy” is a little late to be relavant, but the star studded video is definitely worthy of a few watches and could be considered one of his best music videos to date. He followed “Tacky” with “Word Crime,” the parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” would also be considered dated if it wasn’t for how freaking clever and amazing the lyric video is. These two videos make me excited to listen to the rest of his album and I can’t wait to see the next video.
Verdict: Watch these videos…NOW! (And add to playlist).
Final Verdict: We’re all on board for “Word Crimes” but we can’t say the same thing for “Tacky.” We advise you to give this a listen before making your own decision.