TITLE: Weezer (The Blue Album)
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: #16 US, #23 UK
SINGLES: Undone – The Sweater Song (#57 US, #6 US Alternative, #30 US Mainstream, #35 UK), Buddy Holly (#18 US, #2 US Alternative, #34 US Mainstream, #12 UK), Say It Ain’t So (#51 US, #7 US Alternative, #37 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: My Name Is Jonas
LINEUP: Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Matt Sharp, Patrick Wilson
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Emo-esque, new-wavy, power-poppish alternative band’s debut album sets the nerd world on fire, unironically.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Weezer has become kind of polarizing. Many love them, many hate them, many hate the people that love them, many people hate the people that hate them. Right? Hardly anyone is neutral in the Weezer wars. Don’t get me started on the people who prefer old Weezer to new Weezer and hate those who like new Weezer. Ye Gods! I’m not going to get into the Weezer turf wars – taking each review one album at a time
So, diving into the actual RECORD itself, it’s pretty evident that it was wise they chose Ric Ocasek as their producer. He knew how to get the sound that highlights these songs the best, and helped with their harmonies as well. The songs are kind of whiny at times, but in a Jonathan Richman kind of way (as in not totally annoying and sometimes charming).
Weezer also had a way with hooks and dynamics. Even if they’re not totally conventional hooks, the songs stay with you on this album, and the loud / soft dynamics weren’t a total cliché at this time. The deep cuts may not have all of the hooks, but they do have the polish and aren’t just tossed off.
All in all it’s a pretty good record – one definitely for a 90’s playlist of alternative power poppy stuff.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: During these sessions, founding guitarist Jason Cropper left the band and Brian Bell joined, but Cuomo allegedly recorded all of Cropper’s guitar parts. One wonders how much Bell played guitar on the album (he did sing).
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with B-sides and live cuts and the original mix of “Say It Ain’t So”
GRADE: A-: Taken by itself, as an album (not the beginning of some pro-or-anti Weezer cult) it’s definitely agreeable and worthy of spins.