As many weezer fans do, i often wonder why i like thier old stuff so much better. And I think I might have figured it out. I don't think that they are really getting worse, I just think they aren't putting as much into their music. Let me explain, In Hurley, i liked most of what i heard, but almost every song never had anything extra. And what I mean by that is they have a constant beat which is never broken up by fills. They hardly ever use solo's (I started another post questioning their lack of guitar solo's). The songs are very regimented, verse, chourus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. They don't really use intros or outros and they lack all the in between stuff that makes a song so great. I think thier songs (from hurley) are good, but need to be spiced up a bit. And I don't want to get into an argument over their lyrics, but I think overall they could use a lttle more detail. "In the rain, in the sun, everybody needs someone" it kind of brings me back to the blandness of the green album. Go back and listen to all the extra stuff in their old songs, hear all the great parts of songs that you love that don't take place during the main riff or the verse or chours. I don't know, what do you think?
As far as lyrics go, Rivers has all but said that he's not concerned with writing deep lyrics like we heard in Pinkerton. The guy wants to write pop songs, plain and simple. You mentioned bridges and I don't hear bridges in Weezer songs anymore. We have discussed this very thing ad nauseum and here's the way I look at it; I have TBA, Pinkerton, and the Alone stuff and that's all the Weezer I need.
As far as lyrics go, Rivers has all but said that he's not concerned with writing deep lyrics like we heard in Pinkerton. The guy wants to write pop songs, plain and simple. You mentioned bridges and I don't hear bridges in Weezer songs anymore.
We have discussed this very thing ad nauseum and here's the way I look at it; I have TBA, Pinkerton, and the Alone stuff and that's all the Weezer I need.
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but I have a theory regarding this as well. I apologize if this gets a bit long.
First, it needs to be mentioned that I absolutely am a fan of Weezer and love all of there material. Some stuff has grown on me faster than other stuff, but I would contend that Weezer's worst material is still better than 90% better than most of the musical clutter out there now. I love ALL of their albums.
Using the premise that Weezer's old stuff was great and there newer stuff has been more hit-or-miss, you can draw a direct correlation to one thing. Producers. I feel that the songwriting has always been strong and the performances have always been great. However, as time has gone on, Weezer has either been inclined or forced to have more and more "creative input" from people who probably couldn't name a Weezer song before they worked on the album.
Blue Album: One producer - Ric Ocasek - Hit it out of the park. He knew exactly what Rivers and the boys were going for and knew what it needed to sound like to achieve the desired effect.
Pinkerton: One producer - Rivers Cuomo - Wanted to produce it himself to achieve grittier live sound. The result, as we all know, was pop culture history in the making.
Green Album: One producer - Ric Ocasek - Maybe not quite as much edge as The Blue Album, but still a solid cohesive album. He served the material well in my opinion. What made him a good producer for Weezer is he made it about Weezer and the songs and not about himself by trying to "put his stamp" all over the album - a problem that would manifest itself later on with other producers.
Maladroit - One producer - Weezer (with assistance from two others, Rod Cervera and Chad Bamford) - No complaints here. One of my favorite albums. Production was cohesive and it sounded great.
Make Believe - One producer - Rick Rubin - I have no problem with Rick Rubin, but it seems like a record company puts him with any old band when the numbers start to slip a little. He's a fine producer but I'm not sure Weezer really benefited from him. If anything, it was another attempt to shove Rivers into the more glossy, easily-consumable pop world.
Red Album - Now the problem starts - Three producers - Weezer, Rick Rubin and Jackknife Lee - More chefs in the kitchen. I love the Red Album. I don't think the material was weak. It's a matter of cohesion. When you have more than one producer, things seem disjointed. The album becomes just a collection of songs with no sense of singular direction. I love the songs but if you completely changed the tracklist order, would it have made much difference?
Raditude - SIX PRODUCERS...SIX!!! Someone explain to me why you need half a dozen producers for one album. Jackknife Lee has got some nerve. He was a semi-successful musicain before giving it up to be a producer, but that wasn't enough for him so he actually talked them into letting him play on half the album! Unbelievable! If that's not enough, there are 15 different engineers/recording techs and seven extra musicians on the album. Even the artwork and photography took six different people to get it done. This album is a perfect example of what happens when a) you let too many "professionals" stick their snouts in the trough and b) the producer(s) make the album about themselves and not the artist - crazy effects, wild out-of-nowhere synth noise, and overly digital parlor tricks. These producers have spent too much time with hack artists that need those gimmicks - Weezer never needed that stuff and still doesn't.
Hurley - One producer - Shawn Everett - Back to one producer at least. But still, I think he's guilty of the same inflated ego problem Jackknife Lee has. Again, the songs were great. I'm just curious who's idea it was to have the fake tape hiss effect throughout the album. Also, who's idea was it to have the little intro bits before some of the songs. It seemed to come off as trying a bit too hard - being different for different's sake.
I know this was long but I've been of this opinion for quite some time. Just look where we started. One producer to six. I can't help but think there has to be a direct effect on the sound of an album when you add so many people into the process. The problem was never Rivers or the band or the songs. It was too many outside influences trying to steer the ship at the same time.