This post will be a little bit different as I start out with the question of does something suck, in this case the band Weezer, and then follow it up it later with if it really does suck. I originally was going to write a post saying that, yes, Weezer does in fact suck, but that had one major problem with it: I hadn’t actually listened to any other their albums besides the first two. Trying to say a band sucks by not listening to anything besides the critically-acclaimed and wildly popular first two albums (Weezer and Pinkerton) is quite a flawed plan, so I held back on that.
But Weezer still might suck for the reasons I suspect they do so I’ll break the post into two parts.
Let’s start off by saying that I was never a huge Weezer fan. I first became aware of the band back in high school around 2001 or 2002. They appeared on the scene with the slightly-okayish song “Hash Pipe” and some music video with Muppets in it (“Keep Fishin’”). There was also the slightly-catchy but really cringy and annoying “Beverly Hill”s that I was never a fan of. It seemed like a geeky band released a “try too hard” song about being cool or something. What was really strange about this “new” band Weezer was they seemed really well-known and popular when these songs came out even though I had never heard of them. One girl in high school even had a Weezer shirt. Like they release a few okayish songs and people are wearing their shirts already? What?! The songs weren’t that good.
It turned out that Weezer was a thing because they had already released two magnificent albums in the 90s before going on a hiatus. I became aware of this fact after high school when my friend Brent and I went on a road trip to South Dakota. This isn’t too important but on the long drive back to Illinois he put on an album by Weezer, and it was really good. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was treated to fantastic, unnamed songs that I later discovered were “My Name is Jonas,” “No One Else,” “The World has Turned,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” among many others. Even on my first listen stuck in a tiny Saturn in the middle of nowhere I knew this album was something else. Usually when you first listen to an album you don’t know if it’s good or not but this was one of those rare albums that I knew was a classic. Weezer was a thing because of that album at the very least.
I later came to find out that that album was their first one, titled Weezer but constantly referred to as The Blue Album because, well, it’s blue (The Blue Album is basically its de-facto name now.). I later listened to their second album Pinkerton a few years later and that album was good because it was heavy, raw, and you could hear the band struggling with their newly-found success, especially in regards to the lyrics. It was a mess when compared to Blue but a real, genuine mess that had its own dark, quirky, insecure personality. Remember I found all of this out after their new “success” and the “Beverly Hills” days.
Currently Weezer is back in the spotlight with their cover of Africa and even released a new album of cover songs titled Weezer but called The Teal Album. They also have another album coming out in a few weeks titled Weezer but called The Black Album (are you seeing a pattern yet?). With all of this recent news about Weezer it got me curious as to what they’ve been up to in the past decade and a half.
Apparently either a lot or not very much depending on who you ask. They’ve released a ton of albums while none have seemed to have gotten the hype and love that their first two albums have gotten. Go pick any of the mid-to-later year albums and read some reviews on them: most seem like they’re “meh” while everyone is hoping and expecting another Blue Album. The same seems true with the songs on these albums: go listen to any random song off of these later albums and it’ll probably sound good but not too good. Like it’ll be what you expect a Weezer song to sound like without being a Weezer song from The Blue Album. While I’ve heard a few decent songs from these years (“Pork and Beans,” “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”) nothing seems to be standing out as a “great album.” And for releasing like 7 or 8 albums since Make Believe (the one with “Beverly Hills”) you’d think there’d be something notable out there but there isn’t. They appear to be releasing constant 6/10 or 7/10 albums: albums that are good but not really good.
That was my original “Weezer Sucks” thesis: the band made two masterpieces and went to shit after they found success. Making this even worse is they kept churning out music in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to just make music, even if it was mediocre music. They didn’t release two good albums, a shitty one, and called it quits when they realized they were trash. No, they just got shitty and kept going. Their later music also lacks any sort of conviction or heart of the first two and even though they are shoveling out album after album nothing feels genuine. Listen to any song off of The Blue Album and then listen to “Beverly Hills” or “Can’t Stop Partying” and you know that band has lost its heart. Like they lost their soul or something. Arcade Fire’s past two albums have been shit, but it seems as if they’re still being genuine about their songs and just failing in the execution. Weezer just seems like a band that has lost its way and isn’t that enough to say that they Suck?
No, because I haven’t actually listened to anything post-Pinkerton besides a few songs here and there. Obviously it’d be stupid to write a Weezer Sucks post after not having actually listened to their later music. They’ve also been around for so long the middle stuff might actually be good and the latter music trash (Make Believe is closer to The Blue Album timewise than it is to The White Album), but I can’t say this unless I listened to more of their music. So that’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to sit down and listen to every Weezer album in order to get a real idea what happened with the band over the years. So does Weezer suck? I don’t know. Maybe. And if they do suck I might actually be spot-on with my reasoning and can make a second post saying “Yep, told you guys. I was right.” So far I’ve made it past Make Believe and I can say for a fact that it sucked, but as for the band and their entire discography? I don’t know. We will see!
Before I get too far into their albums, feel free to let me know what your favorite and least favorite albums by Weezer are. After I listen to everything I’ll be really curious as to what everyone thinks about their albums.