"Jimmy, come read this article in the paper."
"What is it about, mom?"
"Some sort of cult formed out of a following of rock music."
"Aww, mom, you know I don't listen to that Marilyn Manson stuff. You already took my metal CDs and --"
"Honey, this is different. Have you ever heard of this band, Wheezies or something?"
"You mean Weezer, mom?"
"Yes honey, that's it."
"Of course I have mom, remember that song about 7 years ago, the 'Oooo Weee Oooo Buddy Holly' one? That was Weezer. I bought their first CD, too, it's great! Each of the 10 songs is unique in it's own right. From the cymbal crashes in "My Name Is Jonas" to the plaintive cries of "Only In Dreams," the 'Blue Album' as some people called it was a veritable pop masterpiece of it's time. With enough hooks to reel in Moby Dick, coupled with enough balls to supply the Major Leagues for a year."
"Honey, please watch your language."
"Well read a little further. What is all that about people worshipping a ton of pink or something? I don't understand."
"That is Pinkerton, mom, Weezer's second album."
"I've never heard of it, Jimmy."
"I'm not surprised, mom. Not many people initially did hear of it. Pinkerton is a character from the opera Madame Butterfly, which the musical "Miss Saigon" is based off of. Rivers, Weezer's singer and songwriter, decided to write a "theme album" of sorts, with the bulk of the album revolving around sex, love, and heartbreak. The band decided to produce it themselves, coming out of the studio with a much rawer, much heavier Weezer than anyone could have expected. The hooks were still there, but you had to dig a little deeper to find them. Tracks like "Pink Triangle," "Getchoo," "No Other One," and "Falling For You" all dealt with Rivers' feelings towards the opposite sex, sometimes sugary sweet, sometimes incredibly bitter."
"Jimmy, for someone who claims to not be involved in this cult, you sure know an awful lot."
"Mom, please! I just like to learn more about my favorite bands. It's not like an *obsession* or anything."
"Well, ok. So what is all this 'Green Album' business? Are they trying to mock the Beatles or something, Jimmy?"
"No, mom, not at all. It's their way of poking fun at their rabid fanbase, I think. Anyways, I've heard the album already."
"What? How? The article here says it doesn't come out until May 15th!"
"Mom, have you never heard of Napster? Sheesh."
"Well call me old-fashioned, but -- Anyway, so what did you think of it, Jimmy?"
"Honestly, mom? I don't quite know. May I step out of this conversation now to elaborate further?"
"Go right ahead, Jimmy, just remember to be home for dinner."
* * *
Weezer's third album, affectionately titled "The Green Album," hits stores today and one has to wonder if the hype is all worth it. We all know how landmark their first two albums were is a majority of our lives; can they get a turkey with this one? Right away, one has to question the album's brevity. Only 10 songs, only 29 minutes? Fans waited for 5 years for new material and this is all we get? I feel sort of cheated. As for the songs themselves, let's take a look at them.
"Don't Let Go" - A peppy, upbeat opening number, with lots of catchy Oooos and Woahs. You don't think it's too memorable until you catch yourself singing it in the shower.
"Photograph" - This is one of my favorite songs off the CD. It barely cracks 2 minutes, but the hooks delivered in that time would knock out Mike Tyson. I'm always a sucker for handclaps and falsetto woahs.
"Hash Pipe" - Speaking of falsetto... The first single, and if you haven't heard it, you must never turn on your radio [which I don't blame you for]. Each time I listen to this song, I love it more and more. This is one of the best songs, if not the best song on the album. The crunchy guitar riffs, the nice breakdown between the chorus and the verse, the Woahs - starting to see a pattern, kids?
"Island In The Sun" - a melancholy song, with a bossa nova groove to it, plus distortion kicking into the choruses at just the right time. The backing vocals on this one are great, too.
"Crab" - I don't know, this song isn't bad, I guess, but it doesn't do much of anything for me. You wouldn't expect filler tracks on a 10 song album.
"Knock Down Drag Out" - It's uptempo, it's got great vocal harmonies, and that trademark Weezer guitar crunch. What a triple play. I didn't like this song at first, but like most of Weezer's songs, they grow on you [see: entire Pinkerton album].
"Smile" - One of the slower numbers on the disc, Rivers vocals really take precedence over the music, crying out the lines "Cause I don't want to break / Your fine face I can't take / The way you wanna wrap me up inside your smile." It's very touching, if a tad bit corny.
"Simple Pages" - Weird guitar intro leading into the generic Weezer sound that so many ripoff bands have used [you know who you are] doesn't make for a memorable track. If this were from another band, it would be great, but Weezer is better than this.
"Glorious Day" - I'm not sure exactly why I like this song, Rivers' vocals aren't the best they've ever been, the chorus is not incredibly catchy, and overall there is nothing spectacular about it, but there's still that Weezer edge on it. Go figure.
"O Girlfriend" - Clocking in at almost 4 minutes, this is the longest song on the album, and probably the most romantic out of any of them. I can just see geeky 15 year-olds putting this as the last song on that mix CD they've been agonizing for hours over for that girl in their Geometry class.
* * *
"Jimmy, it's dinner time. Jimmy.... JIMMY! Where is that boy?"
[mom walks to Jimmy's room, hears power chord after power chord echoing in her ears]
"JIMMY! What are you doing?"
"Hiiiiiii Mooommmmmm..... This new Weeeezer CD is grrrreat...."
"Jimmy! What have they done to you? You can only talk in harmony? Where did those horn-rimmed glasses come from? And why does it smell like marijuana in here???"
"Uh, I've got my hash pipe."
* * *
As I look back over the ten tracks, I notice a lot of similarities - the lyrics aren't that great [supposedly Rivers was quoted somewhere as saying the lyrics "suck"], the guitar solos are mere mimics of the melody in their songs, and there's almost an overabundance of backing harmonies and Ooos/Woahs. This CD sounds good going down, but leaves a bit of a bad aftertaste when it's done. Think of it as a Weezer-Lite, the Diet Coke of Weezer. There is no jawdropping opener here, no stunning closer either. Weezer seems to be trying desperately to win back those people who latched on for "Undone," stuck around for "Buddy Holly," and scampered away once they heard the opening feedback of "Tired of Sex." If that group of people is "the mainstream", then so be it. Weezer is still better than 95% of the music currently in heavy rotation across the country. Hopefully the followups to this will keep getting better and better.
[taken from A different kind of greatness webzine]
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