"Weird Al" Yankovic knows better than anyone that the pop music landscape can change in the blink of an eye. It's been five years since the master satirist released his last full-length, "Straight Outta Lynwood," which featured a send-up of Chamillionaire's massive (and only) mainstream rap hit, "Ridin'." At the time of "Lynwood's" 2006 release, Taylor Swift had yet to put out an album; Katy Perry was still two years away from kissing a girl; a 12-year-old Justin Bieber had yet to post a single song to YouTube; and Lady Gaga was trying to burst out of the NYC club scene.
With pop music's extremely short memory, Yankovic has had to craft his send-ups as both clever referendums and listenable musical statements that endure long after the subject they lampoon is forgotten. Even if we look back on Lady Gaga, B.o.B or Miley Cyrus in 2016 in the same way we look back on Chamillionaire now, the songs on "Alpocalypse," Yankovic's 13th studio album, will still be examples of highly intelligent musical comedy. As always, the ace accordion player takes aim at certain songs (Swift's "You Belong with Me," Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A.") and distinctive styles (The Doors, Weezer), while still finding time to blend over a dozen tracks into a spastic polka medley titled -- wait for it -- "Polka Face."
"Alpocalypse" is essentially the same kind of album Yankovic has been making for 20 years, and although the parodies of specific songs are a bit stronger than the originals this time out, the laughs remain just as consistent as they've always been. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
Which songs on "Alpocalypse" are among Yankovic's best parodies? Here's our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: What do you think of "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Alpocalypse" album? Tweet us your own review at @billboarddotcom (using hashtag #bbweird). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
1. Perform This Way - Sublime send-up of Gaga's onstage excess. "I'll wrap my small intestines 'round my neck, & set fire to myself onstage"
2. CNR - For those of us who wish the White Stripes had written a paean to actor-comedian Charles Nelson Reilly, rejoice! Silly head-banging
3. TMZ - "You Belong with Me" becomes ode to celebrity stalking & praying for "mono-lethal car chases." Love the goofy news-channel interlude
4. Skipper Dan - Story of failed actor working at Jungle Cruise ride in Disneyland. Not the strongest Weezer riff, but on-point songwriting
5. Polka Face - Polka + Womanizer + Right Round + Fireflies + TiK ToK + Poker Face + a dozen other songs = accordion-led madness!
6. Craigslist - Parody of the Doors' lyrical style, with a internet-age twist. Probably the weakest cut here, but still entertaining.
7. Party in the CIA - Miley's "Party" goes rogue, with many blissfully weird moments ("A Britney song was on" becomes "My silencer was on")
8. Ringtone - Another odd parody choice, with Queen's operatic style applied to a tragic tale of a "stupid ringtone" driving everyone nuts.
9. Another Tattoo - Bruno & B.o.B's "Nothin' on You" meets overindulgent body art. Name-checking Clay Aiken and Boba Fett = wacky fun.
10. If That Isn't Love - Hanson satire is 15 years too late/still awesome. "I'll make sure to call you baby every time I forget your name." Touching!
11. Whatever You Like - T.I.'s pop hit becomes bad-economy hijinks, with Weird Al promising his lady anything… on the dollar menu.
12. Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me - Alpocalypse ends on a ballad lamenting junk e-mail. A little slow on record, but undoubtedly epic live