This past week must have been one of the busiest and most successful of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 30-plus year music career. He not only produced a hilarious album of original and parody songs called Mandatory Fun but he backed it up with eight days of great music videos and now he’s very close to getting his first number one album on the Billboard 200 charts. His work ethic is admirable but it’s not the only reason he’s so successful. The music industry’s lack of ingenuity and humor also helped.
The competition barely put up a fight compared to Yankovic’s output. We really don’t have a big breakout “song of the summer” yet like we did last summer with Daft Punk’s Get Lucky or Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke who should at least send Yankovic a fruit basket for helping revitalize his crumbling, self-destructive career with his Word Crimes parody.
So far, we’ve just been treated to dull, dulcet tunes that don’t inspire you to get up and go outside and dance yourself into a drunken stupor. That may change when we hear the new stuff that’s already in the pipeline from Jenny Lewis and Tom Petty but the only artist who could even come close to disrupting Al’s chances of topping the chart is Jason Mraz’s Yes! Despite its happy sounding title, the most popular song on the album is We Can Take The Long Way and it sure does just that with the video. Seriously, the damn thing is 15 minutes long and it’s only funny because it’s so unaware of itself…
Of course, these observations aren’t meant to denigrate Yankovic’s work or talent. He’s a funny guy with a supreme degree of musicianship who can cover almost any style of song–but the music industry just seems to have lost the sense of humor that he’s spent years perfecting and that’s probably why he’ll beat Mraz to the top of the charts.