Category: Weezer

Weezer – Weezer (The Green Album)

ARTIST: Weezer                     220px-Weezer_-_Green_Album

TITLE: Weezer (The Green Album)

YEAR RELEASED: 2001

CHART ACTION: #4 US, #31 UK

SINGLES: Hash Pipe (#106 US, #2 Alternative, #24 Mainstream, #21 UK), Island in the Sun (#111 US, #11 UK, #31 UK), Photograph (#17 Alternative)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Don’t Let Go.

LINEUP: Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, Mikey Welsh

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a delay, Weezer’s back with no real change of sound.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The pain, the shame, and the bad press of Pinkerton soon moved into like and love for the album from the cult of Weezer, but their next release, (The Green Album), moved the band back to their familiar roots with hooks and choruses like always, but the lyrics non-confessional.

The sound was harder edged than their original album, so they didn’t scrap the Pinkerton musical vibe, and the songs were catchy as ever. But the shine was gone from the mainstream, and just the alternative folks were buying into it.

Musically, it’s a good album. Short, but to the point and not a lot of filler. It fits pretty well in their canon, and you could do worse, especially in 2001.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They changed bass players to Mikey Welsh, and then he left soon after the album was recorded.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, in Japan and the UK.

GRADE: A-: Hooks and choruses and not much filler.

Weezer – Pinkerton

ARTIST: Weezer                   220px-Pinkerton_cover

TITLE: Pinkerton

YEAR RELEASED: 1996

CHART ACTION: #19 US, #43 UK

SINGLES: El Scorcho (#19 Alternative, #50 UK), The Good Life (#32 Alternative), Pink Triangle

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Tired of Sex, Getchoo

LINEUP: Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, Matt Sharp

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: At the time, a commercial disappointment. Now, a cult album hailed as a masterpiece. The truth is in the middle.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You can’t please critics all the time (this one included). You can’t please the public or your fans all the time. You should only please yourself by making the music you feel in your heart.

There are way too many tales, tomes, and essays about Pinkerton. It was an album created after an ambitious project was scrapped (and several songs morphed and mutated into the versions here). It was harder edged, with a great crunchy guitar sound, and a driving distorted bass. Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Matt Sharp do yeomen’s work backing Rivers Cuomo. The melodies were there as well.

A lot of the focus were on the confessional lyrics. I think that’s malarkey, really. Critics wanted to pick them apart – radio didn’t hear another “Buddy Holly” – and casual fans didn’t hear what they wanted. That was their loss. Yet, it’s not the Holy Grail of albums either. It’s a solid record much better than a lot of late 90’s albums and it’s a shame that the initial reaction to this altered the band so much.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The scrapped album was a science fiction rock opera.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, b-sides and live tracks, of course.

GRADE: A-: Solid album, just got caught up in a media maelstrom and other industry BS.

 

Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album)

ARTIST: Weezer 220px-Weezer_-_Blue_Album
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.