Ok. Let’s take a look at a simple equation:
weezer(blue album) + Pinkerton = two of the greatest indie/college rock albums of all time.
Weezer(green album) + Maladroit + Make Believe + Red Album = albums everybody has hoped would in some way be as authentic and awesome as the two first LPs, yet continually let fans down.
blue + Pinkerton – (green + maladroit +make believe + red) = -2, when viewed as a catalogue, yet Green + maladroiot + make believe + red = accessible rock-pop that does not live up to the beauty of Pinkerton or blue, yet still is enjoyable and fun to listen to.
I am a die hard classic-weezer fan. Pinkerton ranks in my top favorite albums of all time. This being said, I have come to accept Weezer for what they have become for various reasons. I am behind all of their work, because I feel as if I associate with them as musicians. It seems obvious that after Pinkerton was released, something happened to Rivers and co. that is seemingly irreversable. This is not to say that what has happened is necessarilly horrible. Sure, I would much rather prefer if every album that Weezer released was as pure and gorgeous as the first two albums, but there is still something here worth listening to on their more recent albums. It requires stepping back and looking at the music from afar to see that these songs are still enjoyable.
As far as the new album goes, it has the pop melodies that make Rivers good at what he does. The songs are catchy, perhaps a bit too catchy, but its not as if they are awful. Rivers gives all the members a chance to sing on many songs, like The Band, who’s “The Weight” they cover very beautifully as a bonus track, which is definitely an effective new change. What really lacks on the album is its lyrics and song subjects. “Put me in a special school, ’cause I am such a fool,” the first words on the entire album are just a preview of what’s to come later. I think that the album is funny, and when viewed as novelty it is successful. The problem, however, is in the bands motives. I do not feel that the band is on the same page as I am, they do not view the album as a collection of humerous, silly, new songs, but an ambitious effort. If Weird Al Yankovich believed that his music was truly meaningful and important, it would be hard to listen to him due to the shear principal of his motives. The same is true with Weezer and their fans, the band and some fans still want those old heart-wrenching tunes, but they are nowhere to be found. If the band were trying to make music this playful, it wouldn’t be so hard for fans to accept. It is the mere idea that the band is truly trying to produce albums with the same level of quality that they once possessed and are failing, that is so dissappointing. Now we cannot know for sure what is going on in their heads, wether or not they are trying to let loose and just make some fun music, but I sure hope they are. It is only once you stop expecting so much from them, that you can sit back and accept the music for what it is, pretty enjoyable pop.
Now let’s just look at the album as a fun, care-free album, produced by a band comfortable with their humerous sound. Rivers is obviously poking fun at his own age, and the myth of rock stardom. “Pork And Beans” is a joyful and comedic look at aging rockstars. “Toublemaker” jokingly displays Cuomo’s feelings of never really cutting it as a party crazed rock star. “The Greatest Man that Ever Lived” is a band trying to have some fun by putting various unfitting genres into one song, etc. “Let’s do a song with rap, and folk!” The problem, however, is that songs like “Dreamin’,” “Heart Songs,” “Cold Dark World,” and “Thought I Knew,” showcase a band still trying to make authentic music. These songs are relatively enjoyable, but do not have the qualities that made me love weezer in the first place. The lyrics are contrived, the formula is too cookie cutter, and its just not the same. These two contradictive motives are what make the album lack. The band needs to come to a decision, and soon, as to what kind of music they want to make, before even the last of their true fans give up on them, like so many already have.