I'm always excited to see new work from renowned machinima artist Ian Beckman. Mind you, I'm a bit biased since the two of us are acquainted (we briefly attended the same university -- he made me choke on my drink once while doing his Azerothian Super Villains Akama voice). Today's video is a parody of the song Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Wanz. The parody tells the story of a goblin on his quest to look awesome using vanilla tier gear and transmogrification.
As a machinima parody the piece certainly does its job in recreating the original song and music video, but it's definitely not Beckman's best parody. The lyrics don't really capture the original, lacking both the fun humor of Macklemore's rap lyrics, and the energy and clarity of Wanz's chorus. In regards to the latter point, I think this is part to Beckman doing his best to imitate Wanz's deep vocals but not quite being suited for it. Pulling in another singer to do the part probably would have made it better.
I'm probably being a bit unfair in my critique though, simply because I'm so familiar with Beckman's work. If this was produced by some no name machinima artist I'd probably be perfectly happy with it. You also have to consider what an incredibly difficult song Thrift Shop is to parody, with its many layers of instruments and vocals. Beckman certainly nails the distinct sound of the original and that's no small feat. I really do love the concept of this parody, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that Beckman might keep working on it to fine tune some of the shortcomings.
As an afterthought, I have to say I enjoy how this video clip fits in with the rest of Beckman's work. He's been playing since vanilla and it's always interesting to see how that inspires his present day work, like That's the World of Warcraft That I Used To Play. Transmog Shop gives off a similar vibe to Beckman's Gotye parody, using a new WoW feature to harken back to the old. It offers a nice contrast to other popular machinima and parody artists whose works tend to only reflect the current expansion.
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