I promised MusicOfficial101 I'd pwn his Pinkerton review, so I decided to make it on an anniversary, since it's my 2nd favorite album of all time. So, in dedication to 30 reviews, some good, some not so good, I'm reviewing Pinkerton, Weezer's sophomore album from 1996. I probably don't need to tell you that this album was deemed a dissapointment back in the day. Rolling Stone
called it the second worst album of the year, and yet, ten years later it is deemed a classic.
You probably know this is based on the opera Madame Butterfly. I actually don't know the story of Madam Butterfly by heart, but this album does a good job supporting it. It's a concept album, filled with sad storoes that are both from Madame Butterfly and autobiographical. Rivers Cuomo, the creative force behind Weezer, is embarrased about this album. It's a public look into his completely embarrasing journal, though he can't really grasp that people love this album more than any new stuff he's putting out. Weezer's Pinkerton is their masterpiece. This is 1996. This is Weezer. This...Is...Pinkerton.
Rivers Cuomo: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Brian Bell: Guitar, Vocals
Matt Sharp: Bass, Vocals
Pat Wilson: Drums, Percussion
This album has no bad songs. It only has great, excellent, superb and classic songs. They are scattered across the album, though. There are frequent and furious, and there are only so many words one can use to describe them. Words like "Dark" and "Gloomy" come across one's mind, while others like "Upbeat" and "Joyful" could be used also. The truth is, this album is all of the above. On songs like Pink Triangle
, there are sharp guitars accompanied by almost improvised leads, and some of the oddest and greatest lyrics on the album, nay, by Weezer period. This song carries on the fact that Rivers once went out with a lesbian, though he was oblivious to the fact. He proclaims that they were good as married in his mind, but married in his mind's no good. As the lyrics tell a great story, the music continues like a juggernaut with insanely catchy hooks, proud drums and bass as well as some interesting lead riffs. This song is just purely fantastic. As good as it is, though, it's nothing compared to the massive single The Good Life
, a trip to River's post-Blue album years in Harvard, where he had experimental Russian surgery on his leg. The lyrics aren't the best part of the song, though they come insanely close. The best part would have to be the simple but just great music that occupies all parts of the songs. Especially in the chorus, where the best compliment to River's screaming "I wanna go back! I wanna go back! And I don't even know how I got off the track!" is power chords and rumbling bass, and eventually a splendidly improvised lead. Another chorus gives us better lyrics than previously heard. River's complains "Screw this crap I've had it! I ain't no mister cool..", while the simple chords compliment it the whole way through. And while it seems that nothing can make this song better, the perfect bridge comes along and puts a brief stop to the mayhem. A beautiful, almost foreign riff makes an appearance and carries the resemblence of a butterfly. A floating beauty, though often mis-understood. Another chorus salutes this song a hearty goodbye. Then, there's the downright stone-rock anthem El Scorcho
, including an udnoutbtedly signature Weezer riff on acoustic guitars keepin' on when Rivers shrieks about half-japanese girls. Some downright brilliant lyrics is the cake of the song, while the messy riffs and lazy drums are the icing. A brief mention of Green Day in the second chorus, the reading of a girlfriends diary and the hectic love cycle are the highlight lyrics of the second verse. A fast-paced bridge with power chords gradually slowing down drums followed by the mother of stoned solos. Odd notes accompanied by a helium-esque Matt, which leads into the best damn lyrics on the album - "I'll Bring Home The Turkey If You Bring Home The Bacon!". Pure fun.
Ordinarilly, this is where I'd describe the low points of the album. But I fail to see any on this album. The hits just keep coming, and on such pronounced tracks as Across the Sea
, we see into the dark little sub-conscious of Rivers, as he writes a letter to a 18 Japanese girl who heard him on the radio. The lyrics are auto-biographical, while the music is solemn and beauty, despite the pronounced cruch occupying it. The chorus feeds us with great chords and some undboutedly signature lyrics. The verse is quieter, but no-where near as good as the downright brilliant chorus. After a few repeats, the bridge comes in with a stunning effect - melancholie chords, pumping drums and some of the best lead on the album make way for a quiet sub-bridge. Back into the chorus with the most passionate vocal performance yet. And what's better than a quick fill in the middle? Nothing. Exactly. The next best thing is No Other One
, which may not start out promising, but lands into an almost Beatle-esque song. More fun than any of it's predecessors, this song is also very beautiful. Sad chords, passionate vocals and eventually one of the best riffs on the album. The second verse has even better lyrics, and a broken up chord sequence make way for the chorus again, which goes into a short lived bridge. The shriek of the song is still there, until the best grunt of all time leads into another chorus. Another highlight is the opening song, Tired of Sex
. I can say that this song is a great song, despite it being the worst lyrical piece on the album. Lame lyrics may come in, but the song itself is just a great listen. The guitar riff shines as it's played to the perfect amount. Rivers lets his rage overcome his as he shrieks before the second verse. This is easily one of the fiercest Weezer riffs yet, and this song is just as fierce as it's founding riff. Just ignore the lyrics. Let the music take you away to Pinkertonland....
Some songs aren't as good, but fit the album's mood perfectly. Getchoo
sports a decent riff, a great verse, but then the song's low-point is undoubtedly the chorus, more fast than most anything on the album, with the shouting of "Getchoo!" several hundered songs. Otherwise, this song is a great listen for those who want to get pumped up into Pinkerton. A great vocal performance is the highlight. Though there really isn't a change, it comes it at a respectable 2:52. Another song that takes on this role is Why Bother?
, a somewhat boring song that starts out with a rumbling bass riff and a drum fill. Leading into a pop-punkish verse. It's over fairly quick and goes into an enjoyable chorus with some great lyrics and riffs, though it doesn't really make a huge impact on the album. A good solo comes in, and gives this song more listenability. That's really all that's not great about the album, which is very respectable.
Pinkerton is brilliant. It's one of my favorite albums ever, and every time I listen to it, I get more attached to it. This album is everything I want in an album. Honesty and brute force, as well as a soft side. I recomend this album to damn-right anyone. Not much else can be said, except it's worth $10. Hell, it's worth $25.
Thanks for reading,
PS. my 30th review :D