Weezer is a band that I like. They are geek rock, which is like rock that is geeky...or something...their influences include the Pixies (one of the best bands ever regardless of what you mean, mean people say) and Nirvana (who were also influenced by the Pixies, who also happen to be one of the best bands ever) and I think the lead singer likes Kiss too or something but we don't care about that. Weezer has a much lighter sound than the bands that they have been influenced by but it is a sound all their own (I think....but I don't listen to music a lot).
They have thus far had a rather profitable career of three whole albums. Golly! That's a lot of work for eight years (sarcasm? No!). I have taken it upon myself (also the owner of this site said he'd beat me if I didn't) to do a three album extravaganza fun review thingy of all Weezer's albums. Notice it's a three album extravaganza because they've had three albums. Isn't that just ridiculous?! It is! Well let's get to it, folks! What am I talking about? I'm the only one doing the work here. You're all smelly slackers. Screw you. OH YES, review! So sorry.
Oh, before we start I'm gonna mention the full names of all the original (meaning the ones that were around for the first album) members of the band because I have a feeling I might have some reason to refer to them by first name and I don't wanna be caught in the middle of the review going "DAMN! NOW I HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHO'S WHO!" Plus, it's simply impossible to go back and edit things. When they make it possible in word processing, I'll do it, but until it's an option, you'll have to settle for these first drafts (that I never refine). Anyway!
Rivers Cuomo - Vocals, Guitar
Thanks for your cooperation! Okay, here is review(s), friends.
This was Weezer's first self-titled release, commonly referred to as the Blue Album because the cover consists of the band standing against a blue background (inventive, no?). This is geek rock at it's finest. I feel confident in saying that because Weezer is pretty much the only geek rock band I listen to so I can only assume that this is the genre at its finest. These songs are pretty upbeat while still sounding somewhat sorrowful. Well, not all that sorrowful because the main topic of many of these songs seem to be about breaking up which I'm sure is not a happy issue but there's worse things in the world too. At any rate, although the topics may not be that deep, the lyrics are still very well written and you can listen to it with yo momma.
The whole album sounds really great. There's really nothing bad on here as such. My Name is Jonas is a great, upbeat opener for the album and No One Else is a good follow-up. The World has Turned and Left Me Here is a great song (about another breakup) even though it has an exceptionally long name. One of the songs that was a big hit on the album is Buddy Holly, which is a jaunty little tune and Undone - The Sweater Song is another great (breakup) song. Anyway, the last couple of songs are also good, fitting with the rest of the album and it's...being...good...ness. Say It Ain't So is the last one I'll mention since it's arguably the best song on the album. It also sounds like it might possibly be about something a bit more depressing than a breakup. I'm unsure but it sounds like it may be about parent alcoholism. But it's still a kick ass song...even with the alcoholism.
This was a great first record for Weezer. If they continued to sound like this (and I suppose they did for some B-sides and stuff), it'd be fine with me. However, these wacky gents decided to take a completely different turn.
Supposedly this record is a concept album based entirely around Madame Butterfly which is like Rivers' favorite play or something. And you know what, I honestly still have no fucking clue what that means or how the album really reflects it but I digress. This album also happened to be the album that Rivers' "opened up" on. I shall explain. When the first album came out (and did pretty well too), a bunch of stupid morons (fans I guess) told Rivers that he should try "revealing himself" more instead of writing more general songs about breaking up with chicks and stuff. Well, Rivers took that very much to heart and pretty much each one of these songs is a peek into his psyche or private life. As it turns out, he's some kind of sexual deviant or something. Ain't that freaky? As a result, this album scared the hell out of everyone and nobody bought it. Plus it's also considerably harder (we aren't talking Nirvana but there is a lot of feedback on here) than the last CD which must have turned off a lot of pussies. Now here is the truth about this whole mess. This is the best Weezer album there is. I don't care what you say, I don't care what your momma says, I don't care what Rivers says. This album freaking rocks.
I liked the geeky, upbeat feel of the Blue Album, I really did. However, I didn't mind Weezer going harder at all for this record. They came out with an incredibly cool sound that carries through this whole album that makes it a really, really great listen. The lyrics also happen to be the best in my opinion even if they are about Rivers' DISGUSTING, DISGUSTING sex life.
The album starts with Tired of Sex which is most probably my favorite Weezer song ever. You can already tell by the title that this is a bit more graphic than the first Weezer record. The lyrics are pretty clear cut too. Rivers appears to have a lot of sex...and he's getting tired of it. Go figure. Even so, this is a great, great song. All I have to say is that Weezer knows how to start off a record...well...at least with their first two albums but, ahem, more about that later.
All the other songs on here are great. It's a great record through and through just like the first album but it's an almost completely different style that makes the whole album that much cooler. Major highlights include The Good Life, El Scorcho, and Pink Triangle. The last one is really funny because it's about being in love with a lesbian. Well, I mean it's funny if it doesn't happen to you and it hasn't happened to me because I'm not a lesbian. Hey why the hell didn't they use this song in Chasing Amy anyway? It would've fit so damned perfectly. I mean really, they put a Weezer song in Mallrats but nooooo, not Chasing Amy...and this one fits so well! Geez! Oh, right, what was I talking about?
Anyway, another good song I'll mention is Across the Sea. It is a good song but really the only reason I'm mentioning it is because it's about Rivers being in love with some 18-year old Japanese girl who is too far away from him so he masturbates to her fan letter and stuff. Icky, yes?! I bet he put the age up to 18 just so he wouldn't look too weird and she was really like 5. Ho ho ho, that sicko. Anyway, good song!
This album is friggin' great, man. It's one of my favorite albums ever (so is the first Weezer album but this one rocks like a mother, A MOTHER). It bugs me to no end that people didn't like this album because it was just too naughty! I'm not only pissed that the album didn't do that well but I'm also annoyed because it scared Rivers into not wanting to make music like this anymore when it really is good, good stuff. Rivers now actually claims that this album is "sick." Well, yeah, dude, maybe a little but I mean, come on! It rocks! Another thing that bugs me is that during Weezer's five year hiatus before their third album, Pinkerton actually started selling and managed to do quite well for itself. Apparently, it's the "emo bible" now or so I'm told. But fuck those emo kids, they can suck my cock. I don't even know what the hell emo is supposed to be anyway so screw that crap. All I'm saying is, people like this album now and at this point Rivers doesn't seem able to accept that. They scared him real good when the album came out and he ain't hearing nothing good about Pinkerton. IS NAUGHTY THINKS HE! NAUGHTY!!! So go buy this album anyway...even if it won't change Rivers' way of thinking, it's still an amazing listen.
Ah, now we finally come to the present. After a five year hiatus, Weezer returns (albeit with a new bassist, Mikey Welsh) and a new album (this one's also self-titled but it's referred to as Green because, you guessed it, the cover has the band on a Green background). Oddly enough, they're big again and the new album is selling pretty decently. And is it with good reason? Is this just a bang-up superamaze funtime record? Uh...not really.
Let me just say this right now. This new album is the worst Weezer album out of the three. Is it terrible? Well, no, but it's not that great either. When you listen to this album, you may discover that you're almost just listening to a soft rock album by a bunch of poopheads (legend has it that only poopheads write soft rock). Now I'm not asking for another Pinkerton here (swish!) but I would at least like something that reaches the caliber of the Blue Album. I mean, I suppose this kind of keeps up Weezer's tradition of not really having one album that sounds like another but it doesn't do it in a good way. You know, I really don't care if they tone it down a bit but if these songs didn't have distortion on them they would probably fall easily into the realm of lite rock, which is a plague on all humanity and shouldn't even exist.
The album starts out with Don't Let Go which is the first weak Weezer opener yet. It then goes into a bunch of other songs which sound like they could be the filler for a good record...too bad this album's full of them. The only song that really differs from the others is Hash Pipe. This song is pretty damn cool (although I've heard it a whole lot at this point) and happens to be the first single that Rivers chose off the album. I guess that means he still realizes what rocks so I hope he keeps that in mind while recording the next album (apparently they've already got quite a few songs down for it).
Other songs that are pretty good are Crab, Simple Pages, and Glorious Day. The thing Crab has that the other two don't is the lack of gayness. My friends and I noted that one thing that bugs us about the songs is that there's an overall gay feeling to it. One of my friends also noticed that even the songs that are cool have exceptionally gay choruses. Crab and Hash Pipe are the only real exceptions to this. By the way, when I say gay, I don't mean homosexual; I mean crappy and light. That doesn't mean I think homosexuals are crappy and light either so get that stick or stick-related object out from up your ass and please stop looking for reasons to hate me for being homophobic, because I'm not. Granted, I'm now fighting with an imaginary righteous gay person I just made up while writing this review but it's always good to cover your ass.
Another thing that bugs me about this album is the lack of cool harmonies. Weezer has always had great songs with Rivers singing the main vocals and Brian and Matt providing backup. This album doesn't have really have that kick ass harmony. I don't know if it has anything to do with Matt leaving the band considering that he did all the falsetto stuff and all but it's a real downer. It seems a lot like Rivers isn't even letting the other guys sing on this album. A lot of the harmony is just like fifty different Rivers' singing slightly differently and it doesn't have nearly the same effect as several different voices doing the same thing. At least I think they are all Rivers but maybe the guys just really suck now. I doubt that though because you can tell when they're singing on Hash Pipe and Simple Pages (which is the only real song with the nifty Weezer "go-around" effect where they put all the different lyrics together at the end with everyone singing at once).
Now to also complain about the lyrics. These lyrics are, simply put, pretty bad. They're basically there just to fill space while the music plays. Rivers is even aware of this fact. He claimed that (to paraphrase) a sacrifice must always be made and this time it was the lyrics (although I really don't think the music is that great either). Question, Rivers: WHY??? A sacrifice does NOT have to be made you dumbhead. The other albums had great music and lyrics and any respectable artist doesn't go "Here's a cool song, let's just slap together some lyrics and be done with it" generally. There's no reason to not try to make everything about a song good, especially when the man had FIVE YEARS to do it. That's another thing! This album is only 28 minutes long. 28 minutes!!! Apparently Rivers had written hundreds of songs over the five years the band wasn't doing anything and they come out with TEN that clock in at 28 MINUTES?! At least Pinkerton made it to 34! I mean, come on! I listen to a lot of albums that only make it to just over 30 minutes but somehow I can't help but feel cheated for shelling out cash for a record that can't even make it up to a half hour. Pluh.
I know all I've done is bitched about this album and made it look like I truly hate it but that isn't really the case. When I first got it, I thought it was pretty bad. Then I listened to it for awhile and actually started liking it quite a bit but I think I was sort of forcing myself to do that because at this point I really can't deny that this album is a bit of a disappointment. It's obviously not the worst thing in the world, it is still Weezer but it's just so tame. Rivers actually claimed that this album is (again, I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the subject material at hand) "purely music, no emotion" and he's proud of this!? I mean, granted, it's definitely better sounding than the current pop crap that's out there but in premise is it really that much better? The lyrics in those songs are just filler about cliched lovey-dovey crap and this is pretty much the same thing. I mean at one part (in the song Smile) he says "Open the door and let your love come down." WHAT THE HELL?! And then he says "Open your heart and let the good stuff out." Now that's shameful. I cringe at those lyrics. They are painful.
Sorry, I'm still bitching. It is uncontrollable. Let us break it down like this, chums. This album is Weezer so it's okay. The songs aren't truly bad but I'm almost indifferent to them at this point. I just listened through all three albums and this one seemed more like a background I could just ignore and let play. That's not exactly a good thing. Again, as I said Rivers still knows how to write music, he's just toned it way, way down and the effect is not something I really like. It's not a bad album, it's just...disappointing and also unfortunate that this album is getting so much more attention than its predecessor which is a much, much better record overall.
SO WHERE DOES THE WEEZER BAND GO FROM HERE?! Well, apparently they are already making the next album so we can only hope that Rivers turns it up just a tad. Hash Pipe shows that Weezer still has some idea as to how to sound cool but I just hope we don't see a complete repeat of the Green Album. That would make me very sad and then I wouldn't be able to stop my bitching again. And we all have to suffer when that happens.
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