A few months ago, I was wearing my favorite Weezer soccer shirt and hanging out with a group of people at a friend's house, watching people get plastered and make fools of themselves. As I was introduced to yet another faceless name I would soon forget, I was asked a very simple question. "You like Weezer? Why?" When I explained that they wrote two of my favorite albums of all time, the person replied "But their new music sucks!" I relented, because these conversations have never been too fruitful in the past.

 

But I wish I hadn't. I wish I could have explained that there's plenty of great music Rivers Cuomo and company have released, just not if you listen to the radio or hear them in the credits of Jackass or Yogi Bear.

 

I began to wonder why Weezer was my favorite band since their last amazing album (at least to me) was released when I was 7 years old. 

 

No other band has reached the dizzying heights that Weezer has reached or continues to reach, however rarely. I have seen many different types of music live: Metal, pop, orchestral... groups that are filled to the capacity with incredible musicians. But none of those groups have come close to matching Weezer at its best live. Seeing Rivers & Co. play through Pinkerton on January 08th in Chicago was a phenomenal moment and felt like a culmination of all the emotions I had felt since first discovering Weezer. All the negativity and resentments about "subpar albums" faded away. It was forever the answer to "Why do I still follow these guys?"

 

When I was five, it was "Buddy Holly" that taught me the power a song can have. I am reminded of music's power and how important one 3 minute ditty can be every time Weezer releases a new record. Though I may not like Raditude or Red as a whole, there are still glimpses of brilliance on these albums and the dysfunctional chemistry that led to the odd genius of Blue and Pinkerton is still alive. The fact that Weezer is still putting out untouchable songs this late in the game is inspiring, though some of their albums are not. I suppose I'm still hoping for another great album front to back, and I know Rivers can do it... but as long as they keep giving me songs like "Miss Sweeney," "Dreamin'", "Greatest Man" and "I Don't Want to Let You Go," I'll be fine. It is the extreme joy and confusion that I've felt for this band for the past decade that keeps me coming back and, no matter how many Can't Stop Partyins or Smart Girls they throw my way, they still remain the most interesting and powerful band to ever grace my ears, imperfections and all.


(Ironically, this same dude who dissed Weezer was belting along with the chorus of Magic later that night. I hate parties.) 

Tags: bad, writing

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tl;dr I like Weezer even though their new albums haven't reached the heights of the first two.

Make Believe and Maladroit are pretty good tho, as is Hurley.
In my opinion, the only album that is far superior than the others is Pinkerton. It's a close match between other albums such as blue, green, maladroit, and Hurley. Then it's make believe and red trailing VERY closely hehind. The only weezer album I am even the slightest bit disappointed with is Raditude. Not a bad album, but I didn't like the style they were going for. 
I enjoy being a weezer fan because they make great music, they have so much unreleased material circulating the web, and because their fans (and the people on the ATNW forum who I'm not really sure about) are some of the greatest people that ever lived.


On a side note, I actually like smart girls. I feel like it's one of my guilty pleasures. 
what does soccer mean?

I'd have probably abandoned this band long ago but Rivers keeps stringing me along with little glimpses of the songwriting genius he can be in songs like 'Pig', 'Run Over by a Truck' and 'The Angel and the One'. The capacity for greatness is clearly there and I'm a lot more confident in Rivers' future output than I was prior to Raditude or Hurley's release, I think Rivers has hinted that he's thrown in the game for using gimmicks, finding that perfect disposable pop song and that he has ambition to create something that transcends his post-2000 output.

I know it's the most unrealistic expectation ever, but I really hope that all of that rock opera talk teamed with the choice to cover a song like 'Paranoid Android' is hinting at a more mature future for the band where all of their abilities are properly tested. I want to hear Weezer take the dark, experimental path Rivers speculated they may take after 'Pinkerton', I most certainly do not want to hear Rivers singing about ocular nerves popping and zooming in the lunchroom (even though 'Ruling Me' has some of his best lyrics in a long time, he's forty now and I have absolutely zero desire to hear that type of music from Weezer at this stage of the game).

I agree except for you view on Rivers's ocular nerves. I like those lines. 

James Stockwell (Jamekae) said:

I'd have probably abandoned this band long ago but Rivers keeps stringing me along with little glimpses of the songwriting genius he can be in songs like 'Pig', 'Run Over by a Truck' and 'The Angel and the One'. The capacity for greatness is clearly there and I'm a lot more confident in Rivers' future output than I was prior to Raditude or Hurley's release, I think Rivers has hinted that he's thrown in the game for using gimmicks, finding that perfect disposable pop song and that he has ambition to create something that transcends his post-2000 output.

I know it's the most unrealistic expectation ever, but I really hope that all of that rock opera talk teamed with the choice to cover a song like 'Paranoid Android' is hinting at a more mature future for the band where all of their abilities are properly tested. I want to hear Weezer take the dark, experimental path Rivers speculated they may take after 'Pinkerton', I most certainly do not want to hear Rivers singing about ocular nerves popping and zooming in the lunchroom (even though 'Ruling Me' has some of his best lyrics in a long time, he's forty now and I have absolutely zero desire to hear that type of music from Weezer at this stage of the game).

Weezer is a lot like David Duval

I get into a lot of those situations with people I run into.  Usually, I end up explaining that although their first two albums were by far their best, the others all have good songs to contribute.  I also go into the argument that most bands evolve and change as time goes on, so it was to be expected.

 

I'm kinda convinced that the Weez are a modern-day (more rock) version of the Beach Boys/Beatles.  I think that Rivers Cuomo's abilities as an overall musician, despite the heat taken from albums after Pink, should be recognized.  I believe there's a reason why they are still relevant.

 

Although this is a minor comparison to the Beatles, didn't many people say that they started to drift off towards the end of the 60s and into the 70s?  Was it after the White Album or something?  I don't feel like googling it and confirming my facts at the moment, so just correct me if I'm wrong.  Essentially, after Blue and Pink, Weezer started to lose many of their "core" fans due to the newer stuff. 

 

My thoughts.



edgey44 said:
what does soccer mean?
@edgy44
fut-ball
first of all it's PINKERTON  not pink, and  secondly they are not even comparable to the beatles. Although i like weezer better, the beatles were revolutionary and changed music forever. Weezer is great, but no one, not even weezer can compare to what the beatles did in their time.

Dan M. said:

I get into a lot of those situations with people I run into.  Usually, I end up explaining that although their first two albums were by far their best, the others all have good songs to contribute.  I also go into the argument that most bands evolve and change as time goes on, so it was to be expected.

 

I'm kinda convinced that the Weez are a modern-day (more rock) version of the Beach Boys/Beatles.  I think that Rivers Cuomo's abilities as an overall musician, despite the heat taken from albums after Pink, should be recognized.  I believe there's a reason why they are still relevant.

 

Although this is a minor comparison to the Beatles, didn't many people say that they started to drift off towards the end of the 60s and into the 70s?  Was it after the White Album or something?  I don't feel like googling it and confirming my facts at the moment, so just correct me if I'm wrong.  Essentially, after Blue and Pink, Weezer started to lose many of their "core" fans due to the newer stuff. 

 

My thoughts.

Ditto to this. However unrealistic it may seem, I can't not hope. I just can't get enough of Pinkerton--it's like I imprinted on it, or something. If Weezer put out another album like that, I'd be ecstatic. I'm especially curious to see what's been going on in that brilliant brain of his in the past few decades. He was so young when he made the album (well, I say that. He was older than I currently am.) What comes next? What happened to that guy? I'm emotionally invested now; I can't help it after years of loving Pinkerton, and I can't help but hope to see another album of this caliber, and this depth.  

 

As far as him being 40... yeah, I think about that, too, sometimes. I mean, Green Day's pretty old and they still have a teen following... but I've always made fun of them for their hard sell to the Top 40 crowd. That teen/tween market sure is lucrative, though.

 


James Stockwell (Jamekae) said:

I'd have probably abandoned this band long ago but Rivers keeps stringing me along with little glimpses of the songwriting genius he can be in songs like 'Pig', 'Run Over by a Truck' and 'The Angel and the One'. The capacity for greatness is clearly there and I'm a lot more confident in Rivers' future output than I was prior to Raditude or Hurley's release, I think Rivers has hinted that he's thrown in the game for using gimmicks, finding that perfect disposable pop song and that he has ambition to create something that transcends his post-2000 output.

I know it's the most unrealistic expectation ever, but I really hope that all of that rock opera talk teamed with the choice to cover a song like 'Paranoid Android' is hinting at a more mature future for the band where all of their abilities are properly tested. I want to hear Weezer take the dark, experimental path Rivers speculated they may take after 'Pinkerton', I most certainly do not want to hear Rivers singing about ocular nerves popping and zooming in the lunchroom (even though 'Ruling Me' has some of his best lyrics in a long time, he's forty now and I have absolutely zero desire to hear that type of music from Weezer at this stage of the game).

 

As far as why Weezer is still my favorite band, it's really interesting to read that others of you have had similar experiences as far as having to explain yourself. One of my roommates teases me about Weezer all the time. After seeing them on RJ Berger, I've been getting a lot of it lately. (By the way, can you believe I've gone years without ever hearing someone call him Rivers H*** or Rivers Queermo? Haha! Someone sure is clever.) Usually, however, he just asks, "How does it feel knowing your favorite singer ever is a sell out? How do you stand it? How can you watch?"  

 

My answer to him lately has always been that after a singular album like Pinkerton, you can't help but to hope, because you know what he's capable of. I'm... displeased with all this commercial involvement. At the risk of sounding like some paranoid hippie, the ad industry is pure evil (the "love of money" and all, right?) I'm also of the opinion that material wealth and all the distractions of luxury are usually detrimental to the creative processes necessary for art. 

 

The pop culture fascination still baffles me sometimes, but I guess I get it. It's somewhat of a creative science, I suppose. However, I feel like a majority of those poppy songs lack meaning and depth. Without anything to say, they're just "ear candy," nothing of real substance, and utterly forgettable--just so much noise, with admittedly catchy guitar riffs. That's great for entertainment and all, but this is the man that brought the world Pinkerton! In my humble and very biased opinion, that makes him a rock god. (Additionally, it begs the question--does that kind of talent imply a responsibility to self, and to society?) Any jack-off can write pop songs, and collaborate with artists that no one will remember a decade from now, but so few have possessed the insight and skill that Rivers exhibits. So what is he playing at?

 

That being said, I don't resent Weezer's dalliance with pop culture. Every artist goes through different phases, and if some of them aren't as spectacular as others, well, it's all part of the process, and, like I said, it is entertaining. (I. e. "Where's My Sex?" Quirky lyrics, innuendo, that crunchy Weezer guitar sound? Super! Although "Magic" grates on my nerves something awful.)  Pinkerton isn't the be-all end-all of "good Weezer," but it represents something to me, something that I hear echoes of in songs like Miss Sweeney, Perfect Situation, and Unspoken. It's why I'm a fan, and I always will be. Whatever it is, I just can't get enough of it. : ) 

 

Well, that's my spiel.

 

=WW=

 

 

So do I, like I said, they're some of my favourite lyrics this side of Pinkerton, it's just their use in another mid-tempo, Weezer love song that irks me. We've had so many of that type of song from the man (and done far better, Only in Dreams, No One Else, O Girl etc. etc.) that the shtick's getting a little frail, especially considering Rivers has now been married for five years and is fathering a kid! How can a song like Smart Girls and the line "which one do I want to marry?" mean anything to Rivers? If I know Rivers isn't emotionally invested in these songs and because of that I have a really hard time investing myself in them.

This comment that I directed at Rivers in his 'Heartsongs help' thread goes into further detail on how I think he should approach songwriting today:

"Write an inspired song that you can relate to and feel passionate about. Test yourself while composing it too - dynamic structures, developed melodies and clever manipulation of musical elements (like the key changes in Falling For You's solo that makes the last third of the song so light and dreamy or the tempo change in El Scorcho that mirrors the schizophrenic mess your mind becomes in while in love) are your friends! 

To achieve this you don't have to be incessantly autobiographical like in Heart Songs or Losing My Mind. If you're feeling despondent about something you saw on the television, or ecstatic about something your daughter has achieved, write about it! And even if you think the subject matter may sound trite to write about, they don't have to be. Experiment with using elaborate metaphors or discussing societal concepts to make things interesting. A great example of you doing this in the past would be in The Purification of Water. In that song you manage to perfectly capture the feeling of the internal struggle one faces after doing something they know is wrong. Lyrically it's executed in a way that doesn't expressly reveal what you have done to feel like that, but it's instantly relatable because I can see myself "drinking the water"! It is intelligent, authentic and one of the best songs you have ever penned."


Farkas said:

I agree except for you view on Rivers's ocular nerves. I like those lines. 

James Stockwell (Jamekae) said:

I'd have probably abandoned this band long ago but Rivers keeps stringing me along with little glimpses of the songwriting genius he can be in songs like 'Pig', 'Run Over by a Truck' and 'The Angel and the One'. The capacity for greatness is clearly there and I'm a lot more confident in Rivers' future output than I was prior to Raditude or Hurley's release, I think Rivers has hinted that he's thrown in the game for using gimmicks, finding that perfect disposable pop song and that he has ambition to create something that transcends his post-2000 output.

I know it's the most unrealistic expectation ever, but I really hope that all of that rock opera talk teamed with the choice to cover a song like 'Paranoid Android' is hinting at a more mature future for the band where all of their abilities are properly tested. I want to hear Weezer take the dark, experimental path Rivers speculated they may take after 'Pinkerton', I most certainly do not want to hear Rivers singing about ocular nerves popping and zooming in the lunchroom (even though 'Ruling Me' has some of his best lyrics in a long time, he's forty now and I have absolutely zero desire to hear that type of music from Weezer at this stage of the game).

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