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"Weird Al" Yankovic

Running With Scissors

Format: CD   Release Date: 08/23/1999
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Like many of Weird Al's 1990s albums, Running With Scissors is something of a mixed bag, although devoted fans will definitely find enough of interest to add it to their collections. As usual, the highlights tend to be song parodies: "The Saga Begins" is a retelling of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace from Obi-Wan Kenobi's point of view set to the tune of "American Pie," while "Jerry Springer" is a clever rewrite of the Barenaked Ladies' "One Week." Not all of them quite hit the mark, though: "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" has the same borderline ethnic condescension of the Offspring's original, and Yankovic's mimicry of the sound of his source material on the Puff Daddy takeoff "It's All About the Pentiums" isn't quite up to his usual standards. The originals tend to come off as forced, as though Yankovic is trying way too hard to live up to his nickname; although the snarky rip of "My Baby's in Love With Eddie Vedder" hits pretty close to the mark, the 11-minute closer "Albuquerque" is interminable. Overall, there are some songs worthy of adding to Yankovic's next best-of, and some more that no one will miss. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

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