Irresistible tune, lyrics that will make you think
Here we have an incredibly poppy catchy song with some great guitar work from Jim Kimo West and luscious bass and backing vocal from Steve Jay. There could not be a greater contrast between Skipper Dan and last months "Weird Al" release, Craigslist; at least superficially.
The video, by Divya Srinivasan manages to have a lush exotic feel whilst being really very simple in the way it conveys the story to us. Srinivasan has done several other interesting video projects including "The Death of The King" for Hard & Phirm.
Skipper Dan musically calls to mind some of Yankovic's older original songs, such as "Good Old Days" and "Melanie" from the "Even Worse" album, but in those songs the comedy lay in the ludicrously over the top psychological sickness of the main characters (in the first a total psychopath, in the second, an obsessive, and ultimately suicidal stalker)
Skipper Dan is more subtle, closer to home and many people might consider the message very downbeat because of the searing reality of the character's unhappiness; for his misery lies in thwarted ambitions and unrealistic hopes and dreams.
All the while, however, Skipper Dan does have what many would view as a great job... " a tour guide on The Jungle Cruise ride" at Disneyland , the place where dreams are supposed to come true, but for Dan it is a chore. He wanted to be a famous and acclaimed actor in Hollywood, but never made it.
The song itself has been likened in style to several other artists, including Fountains of Wayne, Weezer and Jonathan Coulton, and perhaps those influences are there, but as I am not familiar with those I have to say that it is the similarity to the "Even Worse" tracks that I already mentioned that is my overwhelming impression.
To me this is Al's own style, whether intended or not.
It's typical of Yankovic to couple a happy pop tune with dark or disturbing lyrics and this is no exception.
People who understand the whole arc of his work will love this. People that have only heard some of his recent rap parodies will likely feel very differently, but bizarre non-sequiturs and startling contrasts are a main feature of what "Weird Al" is about. Personally I love it
Not too stupid....Just stupid enough