By Erin Harrington

“Weird Al” Yankovic is under-appreciated. For this reason, I was as happy as an agoraphobic trapped in a box when I discovered that his latest album had finally hit No. 10 on The Billboard 200.

It is quite an artistic feat to be able to effectively parody the music industry’s latest hits. Mad props go out to my homie Weird Al for finally getting his well-deserved recognition for his album “Straight Outta Lynwood.”

The most critically acclaimed single on “Straight Outta Lynwood” is most definitely “White and Nerdy,” a parody of Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone’s “Ridin’.” Sadly, I understood roughly 97.86 percent of Yankovic’s witty allusions to dorkdomhood. According to Weird Al, one has achieved full nerdyness when one has become fluent in Java script and Klingon, when one finds a fanny pack flattering, and when one regularly updates one’s Myspace top 10.

It’s about time that someone paid homage in song form to Dungeons and Dragons players everywhere.

It was quite refreshing to hear Weird Al unleash his satirical wrath on the culture of sue-happy money mongers.

“I’ll Sue Ya” is performed as a parody of Rage Against the Machine or one of those many new-age metal heads with dreadlocks.

Some fun-filled lyrics include: “I sued Panasonic because they never said I shouldn’t use my microwave to dry my cat … I sued Delta Airlines ‘cuz they sold me a ticket to New Jersey. I went there, and it sucked,” and “I sued Starbucks because I spilled a frappuccino on my lap, and brrr it was cold.”

In true Weird Al form, track number five mixes things up a bit when Yankovic preserves the original lyrics of music mega-hits and sings them to the tune of various polka and country-style tunes.

The highlight of the compilation was most definitely when 50 Cent’s mouth-watering hit “Candy Shop” was performed in the jazzy style of the classic Tin Pan Alley genre.

Of course, Weird Al Yankovic had to take advantage of the parody-making potential of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet.” “Trapped in the Drive-Thru” lasted a grueling and hilarious 10 and a half minutes.

In that large chunk of time, the only theme established was the occasional ennui of romantic relationships (via the drive thru).

According to, Weird Al was inspired to parody the song because it was “brilliant and wonderful and ridiculous all at the same time.” Yankovic definitely hit the mark with this parody.

In a culture where average music + hot body = No. 1 hit, hearing Weird Al’s new album was a refreshing change. This album definitely deserves a second listen.