what is it about "heartsongs" that people don't like?
trying to learn.........
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In my opinion, I think that most Weezer fans aren't really into the r&b type vibe found in this song. It's akin to This is the Way, a territory I think Weezer really can't explore, I don't think it'll work for Weezer. You know, Red has some extremely high highs for Weezer, Greatest Man is one of the best songs you guys have put together... ever. A solid favorite live. But most fans still think the rap intro is off putting, but the rest of the song makes up for it. Off putting in the sense that it seems so out of character for the band.
Also, I noticed that on Red you seemed to be going for a more rhythmic approach to how you would sing verses. They are more spoken then sung I guess you could say, they meander in the middle instead of becoming soaring melodies. Melodies are your strong suit though. Blue, Pink, Green and Make Believe are great examples of what I mean. The melodies found on those albums are killer, it's a strong suit that would have helped a more slow tempo song become more interesting. Troublemaker seems to have the same more rhythmic approach, but it has more energy to compensate. Without the ups and downs of an interesting melody the listener likely gets bored if they weren't already by a lack of interest in the style/vibe of the song.
While I'm on the topic of what you (and Weezer) are best at, I'd like to note that I noticed what seemed to be perhaps a deliberate effort to avoid solos on many Weezer songs from Red til now. Now, it's not necessary for every song to have a solo of course, but Weezer have always had some of the best solos of all time. And I used to always say you were one of the only bands left doing them and doing them right. A little variety never hurts, not every song has to be a solo, nor does it have to be without.
In any case, I don't have any real problem with Heart Songs, but it's not one of my favorite Weezer tracks either. I actually liked how you turned it around at the end so that it went from listing your heart songs to the songs you've written being other people's heart songs. I appreciate the sincerity and the concept behind the song... In a way it reminds me of In the Garage. However, I don't think it's as interesting or charming as ITG.
Hopefully I didn't come off as a jerk or anything with my opinion. haha.
"Heart Songs" and Red in general are too self-referential. Writing songs from the heart doesn't necessarily mean writing songs that explicitly detail your personal history - you can save that for prose. I think of this song as a fun little experiment that could fit on a goofy style EP with "Troublemaker" and "Greatest Man" or be a single release, but not the stuff that should make it on a legitimate album.
Not to be an annoying fan and get all nostalgic for the old albums, but your first two albums are perfect examples of an appealing way to transform personal stories into beautiful songs. You wrote it, so I won't claim to know any better than you on the method of composition - all I can say is that the songwriting on your first two albums was engaging and exciting. It had a quirky sense of humor but could be taken seriously at the same time. It was just as hard rocking as the classic rock gods, but it was entirely down to earth. It completely suited the image of a group of young (somewhat geeky) guys out making rock music, and that was so wonderfully relateable to young (somewhat geeky) people like myself. It was endearing and beautiful.
"Heart Songs" is big and dumb, like most of Red. Some criticism is harsh, but as you're one of my favorite songwriters of all time, I feel it needs to be said. It's not even a case of over-production. It seems like the point of most of the lyrics on the album (including "Pork and Beans") was to be goofy and over the top - not even close to the aforementioned more subtle and quirky humor. It seems like you deliberately went in looking to write a song that lists off your influences in sing-song, and then have some sort of faux-epic build when you discovered Nirvana, and then burst back into the chorus with loud guitars crashing down. It's too formulaic. It's too cliche.
For one last point of comparison, I think there were some points on Hurley where, lyrically, you really struck that personal chord once again. The verses in "Ruling Me" and "Run Away" come to mind. These are high points in modern Weezer songwriting. I really think the main thing that separates songs like these and a few on Make Believe from sitting alongside the classic tracks from Blue and Pink is simply vocal delivery and production. Your voice has certainly changed from those days into something stronger and less vulnerable (and yet you still capture that raw emotion in some songs, such as "Run Away"), and the guitars have more of a streamlined sheen than the raw crunch of yesteryear. That's my bit on the matter.
I like "Heart Songs." However, the lyrics are hard to relate to. If I've never heard a song you're singing about, I have to think about the reference, which takes me out of the song. And it relies on me having to have had the same particular reaction to a song or artist as you to relate to your experience or to duplicate that feeling while I'm listening to your song. It's so literal to your experience that I can't relate.
When the song gets to the end and you sing about Weezer's beginnings I have the same problem. I know you're story, but I don't have and will never have a similar experience so the emotion doesn't resonate with me. Compare it to "Memories" -- I can relate to the experiences of p****** in plastic cups in a general youthful hi jinks way, but I can't relate to screwing with reporters. "Heart Songs" is just to specific to your life that although I understand the sentiment I can't commit to your emotion about it.
I actually really like that song, Rivers.
I like the mellow tone of it and the honesty in the lyrics.
It's a great song to listen to if one needs to calm down.
I never listened to Kiss or Buddy Holly before hearing ITG or well, Buddy Holly... Being familiar with the artists name dropped only helps a little, if the song is good enough it really won't matter. The general message of the song is universal. Everyone has artists that inspire them and songs that are special to them.
I do realize that unlike those other songs, this song is largely comprised of NOTHING but name drops so yeah I guess I could see how it could take you out of the song, in that sense.
Heart Songs was definitely on of my favorites off of Red Album!!! When I went to see you guys in 2008 at The Forum and you left the record player going with Heart Songs playing, it truly one of my favorite moments of the concert! But if you want my two cents on it is that since most fans of Weezer who listened to that album do not know these artist and it is not you fault. They should've researched more about these artist just like they researched Pinkerton.