In lieu of the mass amount of material Weezer-related that has become available in the past month (Hurley, Death to False Metal, Pinkerton Deluxe) Weezer has been on my mind pretty often. In order to get these thoughts out of my head, I figured typing up a post would do the trick.
So…to begin at the beginning. I’m not quite sure when I discovered I liked the band - I think it might have been around the time “Hash Pipe” was all over MTV (I thought Rivers was supa cute with his thick-framed glasses before they became ubiquitous). Looking back, Weezer is one band from my middle school years that I don’t regret listening to (although I still have the Destiny’s Child album The Writing’s on the Wall - a 2000s pop classic. Kinda.) At some point thereafter I discovered the Blue Album, which I played ad nauseam and still makes me happy to this day. In my opinion, it’s the most solid album they’ve ever created, and most enjoyable.
I lucked out that my local library had copies of the Green Album and Maladroit, which were available for my cd-burning pleasure (back when I was still burning CDs because I was using my gold Sony CD player that I received for my 6th grade graduation - sorry for the abundance of detail, I just remember weird stuff). I had a Weezer CD that was a compilation of my favorite tracks from both albums, so I’m still a little fuzzy on which tracks belong to what albums. However, the “Keep Fishin’” video with the Muppets was a favorite of mine and it made me happy every time it came on VH1 or MTV in the morning before I had to leave for school.
As a whole, the Green Album was stronger than Maladroit, and it was much happier. I don’t know how Pinkerton got lost in the shuffle, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear that album until college when I went super music crazy and found entire discographies of any band I thought I liked.
After the band’s mini-hiatus so Rivers could run off and go to Harvard and whatnot, Make Believe came out. With the release of “Beverly Hills” came my love/hate relationship with the band. When someone pointed out to me that the song only had 2 or 3 chords and some handclaps, I kind of felt cheated by Weezer. I really like the song because it’s incredibly catchy, but dumb-catchy. Like, rap hook dumb-catchy. But I bought the album anyway because I support the band, and I thought about half of it was good. (“Perfect Situation” is my favorite track off that one)
Since 2008, Weezer has put out albums in rapid succession (The Red Album, Raditude, Hurley) not to mention the Rivers Cuomo solo albums, Death to False Metal (B-sides and unreleased stuff) and Pinkerton Deluxe which comes with even more unreleased stuff. As much as I love Weezer, it feels like I’m being assaulted with too much material. Having under a year between albums gives me less time to appreciate the album and have it grow on me, because the next album is in my face and ready to go. And with a band like Weezer, sometimes you need time for multiple listens of an album before you start to like it. This album overload has led me to this equation: The Red Album > Raditude > Hurley simply because I am not ready to process new music. I also think these past few albums could have used some editing, because they have an EPs worth of good content on an LP.
When I found out they collaborated with Lil’ Wayne on a track, “Can’t Stop Partying”, I thought it was a joke (Fall Out Boy also collaborated with the facial-tattoo’d man, and it broke my heart). In fact, the content of Raditude makes it seem like a April Fool’s prank. Compared to the fairly serious, and seriously awesome “Say It Ain’t So”, tracks like “The Girl Got Hot” seem like a joke. It appears as though Rivers age has regressed in his lyrics. The songs on The Blue Album and Pinkerton are more mature and developed than some of the stuff they’re churning out now.
But I haven’t given up on Weezer entirely (even though they’ll be releasing another album next year) because there are some gems on these albums. If Weezer is going to be ridiculous, I’d rather have them sing ridiculous kids songs (“All My Friends are Insects” for the Yo Gabba Gabba TV show is an awesome track) and Toni Braxton covers (I provided the song for your listening pleasure in an earlier post).
In conclusion, I just hope Weezer takes their time with this new album. I know Rivers always has an overabundance of material ready to go (scrapping songs and entire albums is something he has done in the past) so I just hope he can pull it together. I don’t need a new set of Weezer tracks to listen to if they’re half-baked, Mr. Cuomo. I don’t mind if you write from the mindset of someone half your age if you write it well.
P.S. I saw Weezer live for the first time on tour with Blink-182 last summer, and they blew my socks off (they were waaaaay better live than Blink). Plus, their set list made me super happy because it was very Blue Album-heavy. Which just goes to show that they know what the people want to hear.