Recently I got to listen to some brand spanking new Weezer, by accident of course and not realizing that they have been cooking up something lately. In my high school days and back when Weezer was good, I was a huge appreciator of the first Self titled (nicknamed the Blue Album) and Pinkerton recordings. There was nothing like it at the time and as awkward as many of their tracks were you couldn’t help have the sound grow on you. It was garage. It was mainstream. It was mainstream interpreting garage. It was Weezer.
Ironically their best stuff was their b-sides and singles which they recorded quite a few. These tracks were the outlaws; the picks that never made it to the studio albums. Those tracks were Weezer at it’s true best, hard loud, melodic, and pre-tainted by the super polished super pop Geffen curse that was about to befall them in years to come. So it’s safe to say in retrospect and for historical sake that Weezer only has two albums ever worth listening to plus a crap full of b-sides and rejects that were more than good enough to be listened to by everyone who bought an album. Heck more than good enough to be on it’s own album.
It took six years for Weezer to make it back to the studio after Pinkerton and release it’s third album and second self titled and you couldn’t help but notice that there was a misguided attempt to recapture some thing that had long past due. The third album nicknamed the Green Album were pop tunes with forced gimmicks that featured a lame older Weezer in search of rejuvenated success.
They had returned with much anticipation but to a radio listening demographic that had over emulated “emo” in sound and in fashion. After that I simply just didn’t care anymore and two more ignorable albums would be squirted out by the band in following years. By then they had cemented their image and clung onto it with dear life as self proclaimed kings of geek chic which was everywhere and seemingly imitated even by themselves. They were simply not unique anymore.
So Here we are 2008 and a new single called Pork and Beans and it sounds like old Weezer; loud and melodic and somehow not overly polished or pop. For a split second I got excited and liked what I heard and then I discovered the name of the album and saw the cover for it as well. And well, I think of a trend here and more recapturing and clinging on. One could only hope that it is still possible to be surprised by this band but I’m afraid that they created a mold that is far too recognizable and maybe way too predictable.
Enter yet another self titled album; the third. Enter another album to be nicknamed a color; The Red album. Enter another crappy cover with a bunch of nerdy guys that instead of looking plain and unintentional. It’s now totally intentional and totally boring. And last but not least enter another trend that we’ve seen before; a measly ten tracks, a pattern that has repeated rinsed and dried itself into oblivion. Of course, there is a deluxe edition album with a few more tracks to be released at the same time. Basically saying, here is a ten track album and if you really like the music and spend more money here is a fourteen track album. Enter and Exit as fast as you can.
Now as a Weezer fan of the mid 90’s, one could hope that they actually do recapture something and not make it obvious that they are trying to do so but never quite get it. That remains to be seen. There goes being pleasantly surprised.