Ferguson: More ‘Mandatory Fun’ from Weird Al

Music review: “Mandatory Fun” by Jennifer Ferguson

Music review: “Mandatory Fun”
by Jennifer Ferguson

In a time when artists take themselves and their so called “art” too seriously, and freak out when the rest of the world doesn’t, there is an opposing force to knock them down a few pegs.

That force comes in the person of Weird Al Yankovic, who has been known since the mid-1980s for his popular parodies of well-known artists as well as his pop culture observational original tunes. Recently he released his 14th studio album “Mandatory Fun,” which features parodies of Iggy AzaleaLordeRobin ThickeImagine Dragons, and Pharrell Williams.

Unlike some his past albums, Yankovic looked to older acts like the Pixies, Cat Stevens, and the Foo Fighters rather than currently popular artists. This added to the variety of styles and topics addressed in the music.  This is his first album to hit No. 1 on the billboard charts in its release week. 

Many wonder how he has stayed relevant for so long, and media outlets identify the surge of interest in comical videos online — which he has done his whole career. He is now using social media to distribute his videos farther than ever before and reach a new generation of fans.

One of the lead singles is a parody of Happy” by Pharrell Williams called “Tacky.” This addresses the tacky issues connected with what people do that they think is cool but really just makes them look dumb. The world has come to a point where people think everyone is fascinated by their every idea or thing they do. He talks about the people who think they are breaking someone’s heart with one bad review, when they are the only one who does so and the people who post every meal they just to try and get people talking. It is interesting in a world that is so social media driven that someone would suggest dialing down the stupidity for a thought-provoking message.

Weird Al Yankovic's "Mandatory Fun," released by RCA Records, is a tribute to things gone bad with today's pop culture, social media-driven society. But the artist himself is using social media to remain as popular as ever.

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun,” released by RCA Records, is a tribute to things gone bad with today’s pop culture, social media-driven society. But the artist himself is using social media to remain as popular as ever.

Speaking of social media edict, many people have a pet peeve for those who use bad grammar, short hand that no one understands, and using the wrong word for what they mean. Yankovic voices this annoyance in a parody of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke called “Word Crimes.” The chorus sums up the song in a nut shell “I read your e-mail, it’s quite apparent, your grammar’s errant, you’re incoherent. Saw your blog post, it’s really fantastic, that was sarcastic, ‘cause you write like a spastic.”

Everyone from friends to future employers can see what you post online, thus you need to present the best form of yourself. Yankovic makes a valid point about the need to speak and write clearly online because it can make the difference between getting an OK job and a great one.

In a time of YouTube celebrities and minimal or stupid acts making someone famous, Weird Al goes on the offensive with “Lame Claims To Fame.” He poses the idea that rather than find their own way to make their mark, people would rather lay claim to something fleeting like eating next to a star or owning something that was once used for something cool.

It is funny to think about, but people will use something like this to make themselves seem cooler. Instead of supporting these lame claims, let’s encourage people to go out and be the person everyone wants to be like.

Overall, the album has a great vibe and addresses many relevant issues while putting a smile on your face. He is one of the few artists that can make you laugh and think at the same time.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
© 2020 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.