Weezer Thoughts

I’ve been on a Weezer kick tonight.  I finally moved The Red Album (it’s actually called Weezer but that’s way too confusing since it’s their third self titled record) from my external hard drive to my computer (and then to my ipod).  I think it’s my favorite Weezer album since Pinkerton.  I like the energy on it.  The sound quality is really high.  I don’t know how they get their guitar sounds but they sound great on this record.  Slashing.

I’ve been a Weezer fan since their first record.  I remember hearing ‘The Sweater Song’ on MTV while making Pop Tarts.  Seriously.  I ran to the TV to see who the heck the band was.  They are personally my favorite band.  I love a lot of music but Weezer seems to hold a special place in my ears.  I know their records have been all over the place style-wise and I can’t say I’ve been crazy about all the directions they’ve gone in but I still appreciate that they seem to follow their own muse, even if it means risking some fans.  And speaking of Weezer fans, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band with such a wide spectrum of followers.  There are people who absolutely love their first records (and deservedly so) who can’t stand their newer ones and who seem to respond as if the love of their life has left them.  It’s crazy.  I feel sorry for the band to have to deal with all that.  It would make me want to put stuff out like Raditude too.

They are a strange band in that even if you didn’t like their last record you still anticipate the next one.  It’s so freaking weird.  Maybe it’s not like that for everybody but it is for a lot of people I’ve talked to.  Their early records had so much promise.  I think these days people just debate if they’ve lived up to those promises.  I do think that some of their songs are not just jokingly bad but seriously bad.  But a bad Weezer song is still better than almost any other band’s best song.

I think The Red Album has some great songs on it.  ‘Miss Sweeney’ on the deluxe version of the record is just as good as their best songs.  I don’t know why it’s a bonus track instead of a regular album track.  This record strikes me as very sharp.  The songs cut.  And there’s also a colorful thing going on that puts you in a good mood while  you’re listening.  I love this song ‘Dreamin”.  It’s so simple and pure, just about dreaming (I guess).  To me it seems to exist in its own universe.  It’s operatic.  I know that ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived’ gets a lot of love for it’s ambition but ‘Dreamin’ is ambitious in it’s own way.  I think the bridge thing that happens at the end is so out there and huge that it makes you want to look around at other people like, “This is cool… right?”  I don’t know what it is.  I really love it but I don’t know what other people think about it.  And I think that makes me love it even more (which seems to be a regular feeling with Weezer).  You seem to love them more when other people say they don’t like them.  Hmm…

I think when I see that they are still together and still putting out music I’m pretty amazed.  I just never knew what to expect from them as a younger listener so to know that they are still cranking away at it, that’s something to admire just in itself.  Bands are hard to maintain.  They’ve lost a couple of bass players along the way but other than that they’ve kept things up pretty well.

Anyway, here’s a video of ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived’ combined with skiing tricks:

    • Craig Morgan
    • September 7th, 2010

    Ok, i just completed my ranking of Weezer albums, then remembered this blog post of yours and came to give it a closer look. wow, Red Album? I’m going to have to give it a closer listen. It ended up dead last on my list. Before hearing it I got a sorta bad description of it from Tripp, which focused on the other members forays into songwriting, which I ended up agreeing that they aren’t too great. But Miss Sweeney is definitely in my top 15-20 songs of theirs. That would be a hard list to compile. I’m going to re-listen to everything, and maybe change my mind, but here’s the rankings for today.
    1. Maladroit – this shocks me a little, but I downloaded it last night and remembered how great it is. such great rock, without many parts that don’t please
    2. Pinkerton – would have thought this would have been the tops, but now actually think it could drop further apon closer retrospection.
    3. Green Album – giving this a listen today, wondering what about it might have turned me off when it came out. island in the sun and O girlfriend are perfect songs. Hardly any off tracks on it
    4. Blue Album – like Pinkerton, of course the Blue album has a special place in my heart, but that place is a little worn out.
    5. Make Believe – came out after i really (mostly) got over being such a music snob, and was kinda like an anthem to those ends. Beverly Hills was a bit of a step towards caring too little about what cool kids will think, but i still felt like I was “in on” the joke, and the other songs made up for it.
    6. Raditude – somehow, taking the inside joke (think Pork and Beans back story) to the ultimate maximum sorta worked for me. an enjoyable listen with some high points but several I could really do without.
    7. RED – felt like a throwaway, almost. especially without the bonus tracks. Definitely needs more of my attention. i will especially pay some attention to Dreamin’

      • Jeff Grant
      • September 8th, 2010

      This is great. Thanks for remembering this post. I had actually forgotten about it when my email said that I had a comment today. This is an interesting order and I’m glad you put in your thoughts about each album. I’m gonna try to do this too real quick.

      1- Pinkerton- I have a hard time comparing the first 2 albums to the rest of them. They seem to be in a totally different realm to me. So the hardest part is deciding which of the first 2 I like better. And I think on a personal level it has to be Pinkerton. I relistened to it last week and it still blows my mind. It has such a pure energy but the songs are so intricate and precise. It’s like perfectly ordered chaos that never feels fake. And I don’t think there will ever be another Weezer album with as much genuine emotion.
      2- Blue Album- Yeah, this one has a special place in my heart too. I haven’t listened to it in some time and I know what you mean about it feeling a little worn out. Still, this one had too big of an impact on me as a teenager to rank it any lower. I sometimes wonder if I’d still be listening to Weezer if I hadn’t been so crazy about these first 2 albums.
      3- Red Album- I think this album and Hurley might be in a fight to be #3. I understand what Tripp was probably saying about this record. It’s uneven but I remember how glad I was to hear some fresh experimentation after Green, Maladroit and Make Believe. I think it had to do with my anticipation of it before it came out. I really believed it was gonna be like another Blue. And in some ways to me it is. It’s like a half great record to me. I do think it would have been better if Rivers wrote and sung all the songs but I think the other songs are still pretty good. I think they should have moved Pig and Miss Sweeney over to the regular album and maybe put the other band members’ songs on the deluxe. It really would have been like a 9 out of ten to me if they did that. Like I said, I think the songs by the other guys were good but I think Rivers’s songs during this era were really striking in a way. I liked his songs on this album more than the ones from all 3 previous albums. And probable Raditude too.
      4- Raditude- This one and Make Believe are about equal to me. They’re both more interesting than Green but I just feel bland about it. I think the songs were well recorded and I don’t think they were being lazy. I think they nailed EXACTLY what they meant to on this record. It’s interesting in it’s own way and I have fun listening to it every once in a while.
      5- Make Believe- The other day I got on Weezer’s website and read in the recording history section about the making of this album and it sounds like it could have been way better than it ended up. It sounds like Rivers was writing a ton of new songs but feeling indecisive about which ones to include on the record. And some of the demos I’ve heard from this era were truly amazing. Like, have you heard those demos they refer to as Album 4.5 (Hey Domingo, The Organ Player, etc.)? I wish they released those songs. I think this album could have been at Blue or Pinkerton level but something wacky happened with the production that ended with a so so album. I don’t think the songs are necessarily bad. I think the performances for some reason are stiff and hard to listen to though. That’s just my opinion. I was just expecting a lot more with this one I guess.
      6- Maladroit- I’m suddenly noticing how opposite some of our albums are in these lists. Uh, like some of the other albums that seem to be about equal, I see Maladroit and Green about on the same level. I just have a hard time listening to both of these records. I do think that Maladroit is more interesting than Green but both of these records require me to be in specific random moods to enjoy them. I see Maladroit as a lot of fancy guitar work. It’s actually still pretty mysterious to me. Some of these songs seem hollow and I think that turns me off. But they still rock. Also, Rivers seemed to be in a pretty angry place when they made this record. I think that’s what gets me. This seems like the best Weezer album to listen to when you’re pissed off. Other albums of theirs rock this much but they seem more positive or something. Sometimes this feels like an eloquently constructed tantrum to me. And I’m just not in the mood to listen to it all the time.
      7- Green Album- This one had the hard spot to be released after Pinkerton. It think everybody’s excitement level was still through the roof when this came out. I still feel sorta sad about the day I first heard this album. I’ve listened to it since then and I think my opinion has changed some but not much. Most of these songs sound too similar to keep my interest. I think of this as the thinnest Weezer record. There’s just not a lot to hold onto. I think if this was their first record it would be a different listen because it’s like early Beatles records in it’s pure pop simplicity. But coming after Blue and Pinkerton it didn’t seem like a natural progression to me. And again they have some very interesting unreleased material from this time period. I don’t think it’s a total waste of time. It’s like candy. But maybe not even my favorite kind of candy (Jelly Belly’s). I know there were a lot of new, younger Weezer fans with this one. I think this album belongs to them more than to the older fans.

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