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Polka Party!

"Weird Al" Yankovic

Polka Party!

Reviews

  • Currently 3.0/5 Stars.

Type: Album

Sampling: 44,1 kHz

Source: CD

Tracks: 10

Language: English

Total size: 78.06 Mb

Year: 1986

Total price: $1.20

Genres:


#
Title
Price
Bitrate
Duration
Size
1
$0.12
320
03:21
7.65 Mb
2
$0.12
320
03:43
8.5 Mb
3
$0.12
320
03:51
8.8 Mb
4
$0.12
320
03:19
7.59 Mb
5
$0.12
320
03:16
7.47 Mb
6
$0.12
320
03:24
7.8 Mb
7
$0.12
320
03:37
8.26 Mb
8
$0.12
320
03:23
7.76 Mb
9
$0.12
320
03:04
7 Mb
10
$0.12
320
03:09
7.22 Mb


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"Weird Al" Yankovic started his career playing popular songs on his accordion while singing goofy lyrics to them. He recorded some of them, and sent a tape to Dr. Demento, who has hosted a long-running radio show celebrating funny and strange songs. "My Bologna" became one of the most popular songs to be played on the program, eventually leading to a record deal. His first three albums sold progressively better, leading to "Dare To Be Stupid", which featured his real breakout hit "Eat It", a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It". Following the success of the album, his record company pushed for another record. Al wasn't particularly ready, but he complied, and the result was "Polka Party".

It's difficult for anyone to follow something that was very successful, expectations are set extremely high, and the perception is that it needs to be topped. With very little time to create the new album, Al just did what he had been doing, he made a "Weird Al" record. It could not possibly have meet expectations, so it was largely panned by critics. Looking at it as a "Weird Al" album instead of a "Dare To Be Stupid" sequel, perhaps will result in a more accurate analysis of the work.

Al has a basic formula for his albums, which has been very successful throughout his career: they are roughly half parodies, half original songs and, of course, a polka medley. Many of his originals are what he calls 'style parodies', songs that are not a direct parody of a song, but rather they are written and performed in the style of a particular band or performer. "Dog Eat Dog" is an example of this; it was done in the style of Talking Heads. You can clearly hear the band's influence on this track, but aside from this, it's not a lyrically interesting song. An original that fares better is "Good Enough For Now", a country style song where the singer declares that his love isn't his dream girl, but she'll do for the moment. This track is spot on, to the point where it's almost more country than spoof.

Another classic from the album is "Christmas at Ground Zero", a Christmas Carol about celebrating the season while the nuclear apocalypse strikes. This should be in regular rotation with everyone's Christmas playlist, the jingling bells and backing choir immediately bring "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" to mind.

The parodies are a bit hit and miss here. The best of the bunch is the spoof of James Brown's "Living in America", called "Living With a Hernia". As always, he gets the music perfectly, and he channels Brown on some of the yells of pain. This song will also teach you about all the types of hernias there are...when I got one and my doctor was explaining to me, I couldn't help but him this song. Other parodies include "Addicted to Spuds", a takeoff of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love". Early in his career, food was Al's go-to when he needed a song. Again, he gets the music right, but subject matter doesn't really make a full length song work.

Of course, every album must have a polka medley, a mash-up of popular songs done in a polka style, prominently featuring Al on his accordion. They are always excellent, and make for a great time capsule of popular music. Interestingly enough (to me, and probably nobody else), he starts with Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", then transitions to Phil Collins' "Sussudio", for a one-punch of Genesis lead singers. Also here are Find Turner, INXS, Eddie Murphy, Lionel Richie, Falco, Tears For Fears, and the big finish of Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach". These are always great and worth a listen.

"Polka Party" has been much maligned after being rushed out and not meeting the expectations set by "Dare To Be Stupid". In truth, this was not his best work, but it's not terrible either. There are some really funny songs on here. If you have kept away because of bad reviews, I'd recommended giving it try.

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