Remember the Early Nineties? The days when Kurt Cobain was still alive, Billie Joe Armstrong wasn't wearing tightpants, and Rivers Cuomo was less of a self obsessed dick? Well neither do I because at the time Nirvana, Green Day, and Weezer came to stardom, the only music I knew existed was the Beatles and.... Well what music did you listen to when you were 5??
Ironically, the three alt-rock gods of the early nineties went through very similar career paths. After each bands' big breakthrough successes, they each came out with a critically shunned-but-fan embraced album. Nirvana put out In Utero, Green Day: Insomniac, and Weezer came out with Pinkerton. Pinkerton felt the extremes of the peoples reaction to it. Rolling Stone, ever the big successful jackass, called it the worst album of the year. Fans, however, called it better than Blue (Or their self titled album at the time, before they confused everyone by releasing two self titled albums). I won't say it's better than Blue, which is a classic in anyone's mind, but it's still the next best Weezer album by far.
*Note: Pinkerton is loosely based on Madame Butterfly, however this concept is not gotten across at all, because if you didn't know this, you'd think Rivers was just obsessed with Japanese Girls.
1. Tired of Sex
Starting with feedback and a simple 1-2 beat by Pat, Tired of Sex represents many of the themes Pinkerton puts out. The lyrics are quite funny as Rivers goes off and lists all the girls he's slept with (Jen, Elaine, Katherine, you get the idea.) Fine harmonies put out by Brian and Matt during the verse. The first chorus is the best when Rivers just screams Oh! and it's great. Awesome spazzy, oddly-distorted guitar solo. Matt Sharp's bass work is fantastic as usual, and it also has a strange disotred quality to it. The song overstays it's welcome a bit, because when you think it's over, it goes on for a 20 second Coda, but that's easily ignorable.
More distortion dominating here. More excellent harmonies done by Brian Bell. The verse is strange, like when Rivers takes the last word of the verse and drags it out with oh-oh-woh-ohs. The chorus is odd, to say the least with Rivers crying "GETCHOO! uh huh". Nice one chord bridge followed by a solo that wraps it's glory around your head. The end is the highlight with Brian singing the verse and Rivers just sighing over the giant crash of the band's playing the crap out of their instruments.
3. No Other One
Starting with some cringing feedback and Rivers screaming, one might mistake this song to be a very uptempo, almost punk souding song. However that could not be farther from No Other One, a lovesick song, with a family friendly message. Soft verses about a girl and a happy candlelight vigil chorus. The guitar interludes between the chorus and verse are great and so is the guitar solo as usual. The end is really strange with Rivers humming verbatum the guitar part in his falsetto. This song is the closest thing to a filler on the CD.
4. Why Bother?
Starting with Matt rolling on his bass, Why Bother? is most uptempo song so far with it's stop-go chorus and another fast 1-2 beat. I think Pat is a better drummer than Rivers songs give him credit for. His fills are always top-notch, but his beats are always the same. Anyway, the song has some cliche verses, but they are short, which is good because you really only need the chorus. Another top notch solo put out. In the bridge though, Rivers voice dies, and it's almost scary. Clocking in at a short 2:10, Why Bother? leaves a bit to be desired.
5. Across the Sea
One of my favorites off Pinkerton, Across the Sea is a gentle song starting with some piano and Rivers singing bout a Japanese teenage girl who loves him almost a little too much. It's a fun song to listen to, with some fine Weezer staples. Matt's bassing is great as usual, Pat's 1-2 beat with some fine fills, and Brian's perfect as usual harmonies. Rivers fantasies come out in the verses here with the line "I wonder how you touch yourself." yeah..... Nothing to be said about the solo that hasn't been said before. At the bridge, the song changes keys and while it's unexpected, it makes for a good conclusion to the song.
6. The Good Life
My personal favorite off Pinkerton, The Good Life is a catchy as hell single that can get stuck in your head for months. It's put over a fun beat with some expertly placed cymbals, it has a jumpy melodic chorus, and a solo that comes out of nowhere. Three Weezer ingredients for success right there. It unexpectedly goes into a slow section, with some bells being played, and finally jumps into the chorus for the last time. Funny as hell video too. Makes you wish Matt Sharp was still around though......:-(.
7. El Scorcho
Oh Boy. Umm.... What can be said? An odd drugged up guitar part starts it off, and then Rivers goes off on a lot of off key rants. Oh yeah, and I love it. Lyrics are fantastic, and the harmonies are once again top notch. It unexpectedly goes into a punk sounding bridge, which is the funniest part of the video, and the song as well. When El Scorcho returns to the original riff of the song, it sounds more like a jam session with each of the band members screaming something at some point or another. During the final reprise of the chorus, Rivers puts some very gentle sounding repeats over the main part, which is an excellent addition to the song. The only downside is the part where Rivers just can't quite reach that high note during the third verse, and it just makes you cringe. Every time.
8. Pink Triangle
This song is downright funny. Rivers falls in love with a lesbian, which is bluntly stated during the chorus. The lyrics are what make this song, like the line "Everyone's a little queer, but can't she be a little straight?" That's just funny people. Pat gets a chance to go a little crazy during the solo, so congrats to him. Everything else has been said before.
9. Falling For You
Sounds just like Pink Triangle, but no fun words here. The chorus is cool in harmonies, but it jumps around too much to make you follow it. I wish I could say more, but it's all been said. No instrumental greatness beside the solo, which I hate to say, has become so expected, that a normally great solo becomes ignored because every song has a great solo. Pretty much a skip track.
Butterfly is touching acoustic track, with a melody that sounds like a little girl's lament. It's all Rivers here, and he delivers. His songwriting almost brings a tear to your eye with the first lines explaining the catching of a butterfly and it's death. This is the one song where you can think of Rivers of a nice guy and not the jerk he is. A ballad to stand up against any Weezer ballad. The best Weezer album finisher by far.
A must buy. If your a casual fan looking to get into Weezer, then you should definitely get this. This is real Weezer, not the bull*** Weezer that came with the new millenium. This and Blue are nearly tied for greatness, in my opinion. Bottom Line, If you like Blue, get Pinkerton.
Every single is great.
Most of the songs are top notch Weezer.
Butterfly and The Good Life
Matt Sharp kicking ass.
Harmonies are always great.
Solos's are spazzy, almost like rockouts, but always deliver.
Matt Sharps last album with the band :'(
Rivers goes way out of his range on El Scorcho, which is reason to cringe.
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