Following in the footsteps of previous Radio 1 breakfast show hosts Mark and Lard, the slot's longest-running DJ Chris Moyles attempts to make the transition from playing records to making them with his debut, The Parody Album. Like his predecessors' releases under the guise of the Shirehorses, its 20 tracks largely focus on comical cover versions of contemporary chart hits, with songs such as Britney Spears' "Womaniser" ("Lorrydriver"), Alesha Dixon's "The Boy Does Nothing" ("The Boy Does Plenty"), and La Roux's "Bulletproof" ("Waterproofs") all receiving the parody treatment. Any sense of enjoyment will depend entirely on whether your opinion of Moyles falls into the loveable rogue or egotistical loudmouth category, as there's very little effort to hold back his larger than life, laddish persona on the likes of the Ricky Wilson-featuring "I Predict a Diet" (Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict a Riot"), while his rather infantile humor shines through on "Dicky Tum" (the 411's "Dumb"), and "Big Bum" (Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb"). Considering that Moyles is a self-confessed fan of Weird Al Yankovic, it's strange that apart from the surreal "Dogs Don't Kill People, Wabbits Do" (their cover of Goldie Lookin Chain's "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do," which knocked U2 off the download chart back in 2004), he appears to have forgotten how a parody works. There's very little here that subverts the original material or provides anything remotely amusing outside the confines of his radio show, as he appears to believe that basically substituting words that sound like each other, such as "Meat Again" (JLS's "Beat Again") and Addicted to Plaice (Puretone's "Addicted to Bass") will suffice. Indeed, the most amusing moments occur when he steps aside to let his breakfast show colleagues take center stage, such as sports anchor Carrie Davis (under the moniker Camilla Ice) performing the rap on Calvin Harris & Dizzee Rascal's "Dance wiv Me" in her posh deadpan accent, and newsreader Dominic Byrne doing his best Mourinho impersonation on a tribute to the former Chelsea manager, "Jose" (the Feeling's "Rosé"). Recorded at Abbey Studios, the production, led by the brilliantly named Sandy Beech, is better than you'd expect, with orchestral flourishes on the title track and faithful replicas of the original tunes which avoid descending into cheap karaoke territory. However, apart from the nonsensical faux-reggae of "Nana Window," the five original compositions, such as the formulaic big-band swing of "Never Gonna Snow" and the "Comedy Dave"-sung "Album Track" suggest there's a reason why Moyles is a DJ rather than a songwriter. The material on The Parody Album may work fine while its audience is blearily getting ready for work, but taken out of context, there's very little here that raises a smile the first time around, let alone anything which stands up to repeated listens.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien