It's time to hang it up: No one wants to hear you

    Back before I was even getting my feet wet with the music scene, my cousin introduced me to “”Weird Al”” Yankovic. Not exactly a pivotal moment in developing my tastes and appreciations, but nevertheless I began to appreciate his comical renditions as he began to establish his career with the help of ridiculous videos on MTV.

    I have to admit that I listened to the 1992 release Off the Deep End far more then I should have, but hey, I was 12 at the time. Well, not long after that, I started getting into more serious music, or at least genres intended to do more then make me laugh, and I shelved comedy music and its limited listening value.

    Then, the hiatus office received an advanced copy of Poodle Hat, Al’s first album in over four years. I was intrigued; the cover sticker billed parodies of Eminem, Nelly, Avril Lavigne and the Backstreet Boys. These are groups that could use a little comical bitch-slapping, and let’s face it, there is so much material to be worked with on Yankovic’s part. Yet, for a dozen songs, there were only two that were capable of holding my attention. The opener, “”Couch Potato,”” a version of white-boy rapper Eminem’s “”Lose Yourself,”” was amusing, as well as the obligatory polka decoupage of several pop songs by groups like P.O.D., System of a Down and several others.

    Other then that, the album sounds forced, as if Yankovic is running out of topical idea’s for spoofs and needs to generate some new cash for a drug habit … only he’s not actually a rock star. So he has no excuses other then clinging to fame, and no one telling him to wait on releasing work until he’s got enough quality material.

    Then again, looking back on most of his recent albums, there was little worth remembering. It’s just that everything has become formulaic, and the same as what has been done before. “”Weird Al”” ought to do us all a favor and find something else to do other than releasing mediocre albums until no one buys them anymore. Save your money, this one gets a full-fledged “”f’eh””!

    Speaking of bands that should have hung it long ago, Metallica is set to release yet another album since the greatest member of their band died (the monumental and greatly missed Cliff Burton). In what I would call the lowest point in Metallica’s slump into crap – Load was the worst album in 1996 – the band has continued to drive away fans, anger people who never liked them and that’s just because drummer Lars Ulrich’s whining about Napster.

    The music is really the grip here — it is just bad. There is just no justification for the last several albums. Here is a band that grew to fame through underground tape trading, no radio airplay or videos for that matter. And now? Terrible video after ill-conceived video while slamming out music that is uninspired and unmoving. Its hard to remember that this is a group that revolutionized heavy metal music in the early 1980’s; they were the underground Thrash; they transformed metal; and moved the scene forward at a crazy pace. There was a time when listening to Metallica was a statement other then one’s pop sensibilities.

    Whatever, bands are allowed to change, and inevitably do so, but maybe it is a better idea to break up and leave us with uncompromised music, then we won’t hate you.

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