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They're All Essential
on 15 December 2010
The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic was always going to be a problem. How to condense 30 years of laughs into just 2 CDs? Well the answer in this case was to let Weird Al choose for himself and so he has. Some people would say that his most recent album release 2006 Straight Outta Lynwood is over-represented here, but as a big fan I feel that it is important for people to realise this is more than a museum piece retrospective. This is an artist who in my opinion is turning out better and better songs all the time. Granted the middle school belly laughs about snot and food and TV shows is fading into the background a little, and that will never please some people of course. The humour Al sings about now may be more subtle but it is no less universal;everyday moments of angst and shame and longing and regret. This collection brings together the old and the new in a great volcano of spirit and shameless silliness.
From "Another One Rides the Bus" which was his breakthrough piece to "White and Nerdy" where Al rises to geek superstardom and finally becomes either cool or so above cool that coolness becomes irrelevant this is an album for anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out. It is a joyous celebration of the mildly dysfunctional and a wonderful way to banish a bad mood. There is a good mix of parodies and original compositions on the album and the content represents what Al himself feels to be his greatest works. Who am I to disagree? There is something here for everybody from one of the greatest performers of the last 50 years. Family friendly multi generational appeal.. you cannot go wrong with "Weird Al" Yankovic (thats Yankovic by the way, sounds like ~vick, not ~vich ok? ;))