Weezer
Weezer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Clumpy USER (29 Reviews)
April 26th, 2005 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Loud Guitar Rock With a Heart

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Weezer (Self-Titled "Blue Album")
by Clumpy
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Good music helps you tap into the emotions of its creators. If you can communicate your sincere optimism, fury, happiness, anger or nostalgic whimsy through music, your guitar-strumming hand is truly worth its weight in gold, my friend.

That's why I detest phony music. Angst-filled twentysomethings recycling chords and lyrics, shrieking unintelligibly and sitting against a brick wall for photo shoots isn't interesting - it's just stupid and boring.

The best music can make you feel; cool, nostalgic, happy - it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that you identify with the music a certain way. As long as it's not . . boring.

I'm happy to report that Weezer's early work is not. Weezer is one of those wonderful bands of the early- to mid-nineties who blended in just enough with the musical expectations of the then- current rock scene to go mainstream, but used the medium (rather than letting themselves be used by it); in short, Weezer's first two albums brimmed with enough creativity, sincerity and general greatness to stand out among the pretenders of the genre.

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Weezer's music is wonderfully escapist - it makes me nostalgic for a time period that, as far as I'm concerned, never existed. Dungeons and Dragons. Gargoyle rock band "KISS". The X-Men cartoon.

Heck, go even farther back - poodle skirts. Elvis mania. Malt shops.

Even - why not? - the Fonz. Because while the fuzzy guitars and cuddly walls of sound initially paint images of "me too" contemporary rock, the vibe of this record is firmly pressed into the Beach Boys era. This record is the best of both worlds: a world-weary party band. (A must-see: the band's Happy
Days-infused "Buddy Holly" music video.)

Weezer's self-titled is slackerly, party-hearty and self-serious - all of the things that made rock music great. But it's also carefully constructed, sincere and has a somewhat tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.

Weezer understands the solo value of an electric harmonica, the occasional beauty of a really long song (of which this album features only one, thankfully). The whole album flows by with a breezy, careful optimism - cathartic and sublime. In short, this record features everything that Weezer's later musical releases have lacked: substance. The band threw themselves wholly into their first two records, and it shows.

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Track Listings:
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My Name is Jonas:
Opening with a great chord-plucking intro, this song opens the album wonderfully, coolly balancing loud and soft peaks of fuzzy noise. Weezer's occasional minimalism really shines here; in the halls of the power chord masters, Weezer occupies the same unavoidably-mainstream pedestal as Green Day. The lyrics are as nostalgic and obtuse as ever:

"Come sit next to me,
Pour yourself some tea.
Just like Grandma made
When we couldn't find sleep. . ."

If nothing else, Weezer and associated "modern rockers" like Green Day prove that "mainstream" doesn't always equal "bad". Properly handled, a power chord can communicate as effectively as any sitar or tweaked accordion. Maybe I'm biased.

(Yes, I'm well aware that Green Day and Weezer are nothing alike, except in the sense that they are outwardly mainstream yet inwardly clever and original. I simply mean to point out that they are often associated.)
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No One Else:
A much breezier song than "My Name is Jonas", this track is very boppy and idealistic. The song certainly isn't politically correct, but it's upbeat just the same:

"I want a girl who will laugh for no one else,
When I'm away she puts her makeup on the shelf.
When I'm away she never leaves the house. . ."

You won't find this song on a Sinatra album.
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The World Has Turned and Left Me Here:
Basically a self-deluding sad love song. Take note, punk-poppers: it's possible to write a nostalgic love song without using cliched lyrics like "All these questions don't have answers" or "I still feel the same." The words are delightfully contradictory:

"I talked for hours to your wallet photograph, and you just listened. You left enchanted by my intellect, or maybe you didn't."
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Buddy Holly:
The biggest hit off of this album, and for a reason. It's consistent the whole way through. Especially when taken in context with its signature music video, "Buddy Holly" can be read as another ode to 60s counterculture, with accompanying 60s style vocals. A solid song that doesn't stick around any longer than it needs to (it's short at just over two-and-a-half minutes).
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Undone - The Sweater Song:
Sure, the song is a metaphor for an unraveling relationship, but who cares? It's one of the better riffs I've ever heard, and the ornamental add-ons to the song (long interludes of talking partygoers between verses, a very long outro with random sounds) somehow feel necessary. A great example of multiple vocals, too: the whole band adds to the effort. The solo is nice, too. Another great example of disparate elements coming together perfectly. The weird outro blends in perfectly to the next song:
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Surf Wax America:
A great, carefree "wall of sound" song. The guitars envelop the entire room, creating a great atmosphere. It's almost Beach Boys-like in its attitude: "You take your car to work, I'll take my board" and "I'm going surfing, I'm going surfing!" A great vocals and bass interlude leads up to the inevitable
chorus explosion at the end.
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Say It Ain't So:
Definitely my favorite song off of this record (if not one of my favorites of all time), "Say It Ain't So" is a perfect mix: soulful, loud and introspective. The main riff is vintage Weezer; simple in its execution yet perfect. This song has a great edge to it.
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In the Garage:
More great harmonia-driven nostalgia rock. I read this as a spirited ode to introvertism. The lyrics are comfortable in their scope:

"I've got a Dungeon Master's Guide,
I've got a 12-sided die.
I've got Kitty Pryde, and Nightcrawler too,
Waiting there for me. . ."

If I'd grown up in the eighties, I'm sure that I would have liked this song even more.
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Holiday:
More escapist lyrics: "Let's go away for a while - you and I - to a strange and distant land. . .". The chorus is nice - epic yet simple - and the song has a "drift along with the tumbling tumbleweeds" vibe. The soul-driven interlude, complete with a quiet bassline and finger-snapping, is another great Weezer moment.
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Only in Dreams:
Get ready for an ordeal. The first time that I listened to it, this eight-minute song nearly drove me up the wall. As my senses gradually began to dim, my only thoughts were: "When will this END!?!" Well, "Only in Dreams" has grown on me - I no longer feel that it's too long - but the incredibly lengthy
solo/interlude will test the nerves of some. My first guess is that it was included to pad the running time of this ten-track album. I now think that it's a great closing number, very well-paced despite its long length. Still, friends will doubtless ask if your CD is skipping toward the end.
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Thanks for reading. Please vote if you liked the review!
Contact Clumpy at mrclumpy@gmail.com
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user ratings (2790)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Med57
Moderator
April 26th 2005


1001 Comments


You really do write some very excellent reviews. Keep it up. :thumb: I don't think it's quite as good as you say it is, even though I really like it, but still...good review, good album. If only they could have carried on making albums more like this.

Ficus
April 26th 2005


28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is a decent review. I liked the way you went into actual detail, not just a 'this is a good song' type of thing that some other reviews have. And Med, I agree with your last statement completely.

woofwoofwoof
April 26th 2005


156 Comments


i'm thinking and hoping this is a 4/4 not a 4/5. cause this is weezer's best work. always has been always will be. only in dreams is such a freakin' good song

woofwoofwoof
April 26th 2005


156 Comments


haha crap i love it when i completley ignore random parts of things. sorry i didnt even see the "key"

Lemon8
April 27th 2005


39 Comments


Excellent review!

The only problem with Weezer is that when your first album is this good, there's only one way to go after that...

Clumpy
April 27th 2005


76 Comments


. . . and that's down.

You're right, of course. I don't fault a band for changing their style of evolving, but when they move from making emotional, great music to forgettable pop songs, that's where I draw the line.

I haven't listened to "Pinkerton" very much (I borrowed the CD once and liked it, though), but it has excellent reviews. I hear it's good, but it's a little less accessible than their debut.

morrissey2
April 27th 2005


11 Comments


Awesome review, good album. Nothing amazing but I enjoy it.

TwItCh13
April 27th 2005


13 Comments


Good review, I like SIAS too, I call it the "Make Out" song though, because that first guitar playing the begining riff makes it seem like its a part of a movie and its like two chicks making out or something of that and it totally fits the mood.

Iai
Emeritus
April 27th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

3 out of 5 for me.

Pinkerton destroys it.This Message Edited On 06.18.05

Little Man being Erased
April 27th 2005


87 Comments


Goooooood review. I haven't listened to Weezer for a long time. You may have just inspired me to give them another listen.

woofwoofwoof
April 27th 2005


156 Comments


"
Lemon8


Comments: 7
[04.27.05]
Excellent review!

The only problem with Weezer is that when your first album is this good, there's only one way to go after that..."

yeah. same thing happened with ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead after Source Tags And Codes.

freetheunfreeworld
April 28th 2005


8 Comments


Yeah, that was an awsome review and i love the CD although i cant listen to it that much gets old. But Weezer's best album was Pinkerton even more emotional and deep and sad but to the happiest music. F**k rolling stone for messing up River's brain. i say they went down hill after pinkerton.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
April 28th 2005


2125 Comments


I don't see how this is a 4/5 and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots is only a 3.5/5.

But good review nonetheless. Pinkerton is so much better though.

Scott Herren
April 28th 2005


192 Comments


Wait, didn't you give System of a Down a 5/5? There goes your cred. ;)

Weezer fans seem to like this album alot, but aside from 3 or 4 good songs I don't see what the fuss is about.

Clumpy
April 28th 2005


76 Comments


My cred is doing very well, thank you, Scott Herren.

I'd say that my "average review score" is appropriately low. Feel free to disagree with a particular review that you disagree with, but disagreement is a natural consequence of the existence of critics.

I try to include my personal biases on albums to give a more complete picture. I'm probably biased towards Weezer since The Blue Album was the first "alternative" record I ever bought (I must have been like fourteen when I got it). On the other hand, the System of a Down review was the first I'd ever given, back before I worked out my modified review scale. If you feel I'm overly-loyal to any album, feel free to mentally subtract as many stars as you see fit from my review.

In the end (as I'm sure you know, being among the top few reviewers here) it all comes down to writing a good review.

Scott Herren
April 29th 2005


192 Comments


I was just kidding. Hence the ;). ;)

Vamos Scorcho
May 11th 2005


12 Comments


dude pinkerton is NOT much better oh my god

Clumpy
May 15th 2005


76 Comments


I was joking too, Scott. Unfortunately, it's my policy not to use emoticons. Perhaps if I knew HTML better. . .

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 16th 2005


2125 Comments


[quote=Vamos Scorcho]dude pinkerton is NOT much better oh my god[/quote]

dude i think it is oh my god

temporary
June 2nd 2005


207 Comments


Oustanding review! I love this album, easily one of the best alt. rock ones ever made. Say It Ain't So, Buddy Holly, and Undone are all classics. Its a shame that they never mananged to make an album as good as this (except maybe Pinkerton.)



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