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Mandatory Fun

Mandatory Fun

by "Weird Al" Yankovic "Weird Al" Yankovic
Mandatory Fun

Mandatory Fun

by "Weird Al" Yankovic "Weird Al" Yankovic


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Already accepted as a bona fide talent in the world of parody -- his musicianship, comedic timing, his pop-culture reference awareness, and his great wordplay are all well-documented -- the only thing that matters when it comes to "Weird Al" Yankovic albums is how inspired the king of novelty songs sounds on any given LP. On his 14th studio album, Mandatory Fun, the inspiration meter goes well into the red, something heard instantly as Iggy Azalea's electro-rap "Fancy" does a complete 180 thematically on the opening "Handy," the song now heading toward the local home improvement store where the craftsmen vogue in their orange vests and blow sweet come-ons like "I'll bring you up to code" and "My socket wrenches are second to none." Pharrell's "Happy" becomes "Tacky" and Al's amazing ability to follow an everyday poke ("Wear my Ed Hardy shirt with fluorescent orange pants") with something brainy and reserved ("Got my new résumé, it's printed in Comic Sans") surprises once more, but for end-to-end "wows," it's his brilliant redo of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," now the smug and twerking "Word Crimes," which gives copy editors, English professors, and grammar nerds a reason to hit the dancefloor ("And listen up when I tell you this/I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis!"). Hardcore and hilarious musical moments start to happen when Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" becomes "Inactive," a singalong anthem for the sluggish and the slovenly ("Near comatose, no exercise/Don't tag my toe, I'm still alive") with a dubstep-rock bassline that sounds like Galactus burping. Better still is the every-Al-album pop-polka medley, this time called "Now That's What I Call Polka!" which polkas-up Daft Punk ("Get Lucky"), PSY ("Gangnam Style"), and Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball"), and with more Spike Jones-styled sound effects than usual. As for the originals this time out, the "you suck!"-minded "Sports Song" will be unavoidable under Friday night lights once a teen gets hold of it, while the ranting and wonderfully weird "First World Problems" sounds more like the Pixies than anything the Pixies did in 2014. Wonders never cease on Mandatory Fun, and neither do the laughs.

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Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2014
Label: Rca
UPC: 0888430937529
catalogNumber: 4309375
Rank: 3421


  1. Handy
  2. Lame Claim to Fame
  3. Foil
  4. Sports Song
  5. Word Crimes
  6. My Own Eyes
  7. Now That's What I Call Polka!
  8. Mission Statement
  9. Inactive
  10. First World Problems
  11. Tacky
  12. Jackson Park Express

Album Credits

Performance Credits

"Weird Al" Yankovic   Primary Artist,Accordion,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Monique Donnelly   Background Vocals
Scottie Haskell   Background Vocals
Steve Jay   Bass,Keyboards
Joel Peskin   Clarinet
Jim Self   Tuba
Julia Waters   Background Vocals
Lisa Popeil   Background Vocals
Wayne Bergeron   Trumpet
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz   Percussion,Drums
Amanda Palmer   Vocals
Mike Uhler   Cornet
James King   Saxophone
Jim "Kimo" West   Banjo,Guitar,Keyboards
Suzanne Yankovic   screams
Maxine Waters   Background Vocals
Mike Bolger   Tuba

Technical Credits

Luiz Bonfá   Composer
Lee Oskar   Composer
Nile Rodgers   Composer
Greg Errico   Composer
Stefan Gordy   Composer
Steve Jay   String Arrangements
Joe Little   Composer
Maureen McDonald   Composer
George Robertson   Composer
John Ryan   Composer
"Weird Al" Yankovic   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Jon Turner   Composer
Thomas Bangalter   Composer
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo   Composer
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz   drum programming
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Rafael Serrano   Engineer
Dave Way   Engineer
Jean Baptiste   Composer
Sacha Skarbek   Composer
Wayne Hector   Composer
Robin Thicke   Composer
Brian Warwick   Engineer
Stephan Moccio   Composer
Jay Levey   Management
Julian Bunetta   Composer
Wally De Backer   Composer
Arthur Richardson   Composer
Jason Pebworth   Composer
George Astasio   Composer
Benny Grotto   Vocal Engineer
Josh Ramsay   Composer
Priscilla Renea   Composer
Carly Rae Jepsen   Composer
Meghan Foley   Art Direction
Kesha Sebert   Composer
Ross MacLean   Composer
Josh Mosser   Composer
Clifford Harris   Composer
Armando C. Perez   Composer
Ed Drewett   Composer
Jef Martens   Composer
Skyler Gordy   Composer
Lukasz Gottwald   Composer
Keri Oskar   Composer
Mark Foster   Composer
Erin Beck   Composer
David Jamahl Listenbee   Composer
William Adams   Composer
Kurtis McKenzie   Composer
Dan Reynolds   Composer
Ben McKee   Composer
Wayne Sermon   Composer
Tavish Crowe   Composer
Kenny Oliver   Composer
Jamie Sanderson   Composer
Ryan Lewis   Composer
Ben Haggerty   Composer
Charlotte Aitchison   Composer
Amethyst Kelly   Composer
Park Jae-Sang   Composer
Ella Yelich O'Connor   Composer
Keon Hyung Yoo   Composer
Breyan Stanley Isaac   Composer
Alexander Lansang   Illustrations
Ria Del Rosario   Illustrations
Jonathan Shave   Composer
Alexander Junior Grant   Composer
Henry Walter   Composer

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