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Mandatory Fun

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,376 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 15, 2014
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Digital Booklet: Mandatory Fun
Digital Booklet: Mandatory Fun
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 15, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00L326LTI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,376 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Weird Al's 14th (no joke!) studio album, and allegedly his last traditional release. It's also one of the most consistent albums he's ever put out, with no real clunkers (No Larrys, Mimes, or Phony Calls.) You can listen to the entire CD on repeat and never reach for the skip button. Can't say that about many modern releases in any genre. Track by track, there's a lot of good stuff here.

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)

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)

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. (8/10)

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.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Weird Al for many years now and I am blown away by the fact that he manages to remain consistently funny and relevant to this day. Overall this album is no exception. Here's a breakdown of my initial opinions of the singles in this album.

Album Winner: Word Crimes
Great: Inactive, Tacky, Sports Song, NOW That's What I Call Polka!
Good: Foil, Handy, My Own Eyes
Filler: Lame Claim to Fame, First World Problems
Where do I even put this?: Mission Statement
Eh: Jackson Park Express

Word Crimes: By far the best song on the album. It might even be one of his best songs period. Educational and hilarious. Expect this to be played in classrooms by awesome teachers and professors all over America. A fantastic grammar-Nazi parody of "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke.

Inactive: Probably my second favorite song on the album. My only complaint is that it's kind of hard to make out what he's saying some of the time. The couch potato parody of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.

Tacky: Classic Weird Al right here. Listening to this will surely make you feel "Happy" (by Pharrell Williams).

Sports Song: Every sports song ever (now with lyrics!) If I were into sports I'd be tempted to blare this at a big game.

NOW That's What I Call Polka!: The obligatory polka medley. I won't spoil the songs he uses but this polka is on par with Weird Al's past polkas. If you like the other ones you'll probably like this one.

Foil: While I prefer The Key of Awesome's parody of "Royals" by Lorde, Weird Al's take is still charming.

Handy: Believe it or not, I had never heard "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea until after listening to this parody.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It's oddly gratifying to see "Weird Al" put out what is clearly one of his best albums at this stage of his career. Whether it's his inspired parodies, which perfectly pair his particular lyric style with the music of the originals ("Tacky" brilliantly spoofs Pharrell Williams's "Happy," for one) or his originals that mimic bands like Southern Culture on the Skids ("Lame Claim to Fame"), Pixies ("First World Problems:) and Crosby, Stills, and Nash ("Mission Statement"), Yankovic sounds energized and totally locked into what's made him a musical-comedy institution over the last 30 years.

"Weird Al" is at his best when he brings joy to his approach to songs. On his lesser songs of the past decade, the songs I didn't like as much were the ones where he just sounded bitter. On Mandatory Fun, however, the songs come from a really positive perspective, and the lyrics return to ideas like skewering the idea of modern fame, which makes it feel current. Additionally, he wisely chooses the big dance-pop hits of the last year or two, understanding that rock is not the big genre these days. So "Weird Al" definitely doesn't feel out of touch this time out - he is of the moment, nailing song after song and sounding damn good to boot.

The centerpiece here is "Word Crimes," which perfectly parodies Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." This will undoubtedly be on all future "Weird Al" Best Of albums. It's a masterpiece among masterpieces, and in under 4 minutes shows exactly why Al's kept us coming back for all these years. He's had some great singles in recent years, but I'd have to say this is his best full album since Off the Deep End and Alapalooza.
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Topic From this Discussion
Track list
Here is the tracklist:
1. Handy
2. Lame Claim To Fame
3. Foil
4. Sports Song
5. Word Crimes
6. My Own Eyes
7. NOW That's What I Call Polka!
8. Mission Statement
9. Inactive
10. First World Problems
11. Tacky
12. Jackson Park Express
Jun 30, 2014 by Justin A. Ostoforoff |  See all 19 posts
Love Al's work, but please!
But it's not out on Grooveshark.
Jul 3, 2014 by Kyle O. |  See all 3 posts
That's actually the first thing I asked myself when I saw this was up for pre-order. I hope we get an answer soon!
Jun 18, 2014 by Paul Keeler |  See all 39 posts
Already the lowest #1
Now that would be an interesting induction ceremony/concert. Weird Al, playing a parody, then all of a sudden the act he's parodying joins him on stage to jam
Jul 2, 2014 by A. Verchimak |  See all 6 posts
Dual Disc
As it turns out, it's been confirmed that this CD is it. No deluxe edition will be immediately available. To me, that means that all videos for this album will soon be compiled on a Mandatory Fun DVD/BR.
Jun 18, 2014 by Mason Koen |  See all 10 posts
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