Stranded In Stereo: New Release Tuesday: Weezer

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Release Tuesday: Weezer

Sigh. They did it again.

They could easily be the subject to a several entry piece under the My Formative Years moniker, but I just don't have the heart in me to do it anymore. James Montgomery said it best, so good that people asked if I had written that. He said, rather, questioned why was it that every few years this decade that when there was a new Weezer album announced that we got excited, because we all knew we were going to be sorely let down anyway?

I was a junior in high school when Weezer (The Green Album) came out, and was left unimpressed. That fall, I collected all those live mp3's of new songs from the several legs of the Midget Tour, and awoke every morning before school to download those songs that would or would not make Maladroit. There were some good songs there - "Living Without You", "Listen Up", "How Long?" - but none of them made the album. Instead, fans were given a record Rivers Cuomo was so sick of putting together that he let the A&R people at Geffen put together the final running order.

And then, nothing for three years. The only good between Maladroit and Make Believe was the last time I saw the mighty =W=, July 27, 2002 on the Enlightenment Tour. Best Weezer show I ever saw, as they played Pinkerton almost in its entirety. No "El Scorcho," but with "Butterfly" as the third or fourth song in that night, I was mighty pleased.

So, yeah, present day. There's a new Weezer album, and it's called Weezer (The Red Album). When I first read that the single was going to be something called "Pork & Beans," I was ready to denounce what excitement and fanboyishness left, but then I heard the song. And it was good. Actually, it was pretty damn good, save for the questionable lyrics. And then I found out the music was originally written back in 1998. So much for Rivers still bringing the A-game.

What upsets me this time around? Everyone getting a stab at taking the lead during the second half of the 10-song set. I don't mind Pat Wilson singing, I dig The Special Goodness, so "Automatic" doesn't make me cringe. It's Brian Bell's nasal-y whine during "Thought I Knew" and Scott Shriner's thugish appeal on "Cold Dark World" that just take away from it. It makes me that much less of a Weezer record than it already is. It does have a few moments that shine: "Troublemaker" might share the same chords (more or less) of "The Good Life", but it sure as hell beats the "boo-ya" chorus of "Everybody Get Dangerous". I won't even touch "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived", aka "The Greatest Reason For Me To Suspend My Allegiance To This Band".

If one wants to spend a few extra bucks for another four songs and a fancy booklet with running commentary from the band, you find some songs that should be on the actual album. And maybe if they were ("The Spider", "Pig") and they replaced "Thought I Knew" and "Cold Dark World", then maybe this album wouldn't be so bad and maybe I'd be able to say it's better than anything else they've put out this decade.

Sigh. That really bothers me. How can anyone, a fan, a blogger, a critic, think that this record is better than Make Believe. If anything, it makes Make Believe look like a record that is much better than already is. I mean, that record had the awful single that crushed my hopes and then had great songs like "Freak Me Out", "Peace" and "Perfect Situation" among others.

Oh well, I hate to say it but I'm done I think. Hang it up Weezer, hang it up.

On the plus side, without "Pork & Beans" we wouldn't have this:

Buy: Weezer (The Red Album) [here] // Buy: Weezer (The Red Album) [Deluxe] [here]

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