Picks and Pans Review: Off the Deep End
Yankovic, with his predatory sense of who is weak and can be preyed upon, didn't lake long to pounce on the pretentious rock group Nirvana with his "Smells Like Nirvana," a dead-on send-up of Nirvana's self-consciously enigmatic hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit." While Yankovic is probably a better singer than Nirvana's lead vocalist Kurt Cobain and certainly has better diction, he convincingly slurs things up at times: "Sing distinctly?/ We don't wanna/ Buy our album/ We're Nirvana. And Yankovic's social satire is often as trenchant as his music parodies. "Trigger Happy," for instance, zeroes in nicely on gun fanciers: "There's no feeling any greater/ Than to shoot first and ask questions later."
The cut "When I Was Your Age" takes on pontificating parents: "Let me tell you something/ You whiny little snot/ There's something wrong with all you kids today/ You just don't appreciate all the things you got/ We were hungry, broke and miserable/ And we liked it that way." "I Can't Watch This" combines parody and satire, taking on Hammer's "You Can't Touch This" and television.
Yankovic takes it relatively easy on rap and totally spares the genre's most obvious target, Vanilla Ice (though Ice comes in for transitory dissection in another track, the medley "Polka Your Eyes Out"). And hard-core Yankovic fans may be surprised and disappointed that he didn't dig into the eminently spoofable Garth Brooks. But their Al still hasn't mellowed, even if he has put his "weird" in quotation marks. (Scotti Bros.)