"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."