|Today’s album du jour is Weezer’s Pinkerton:http://grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Weezer+Pinkerton/65648586So tag you’re it…no backsies|
|RC: Weezer – Pinkerton
Mood: I want to stab the world. Buy me a globe!
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): 4
|4.2 – My favorite Weezer album and the only that’s nothing but good.|
|Preconceived Notions: Weezer is pretty fun to play on rockband. And by that I mean, you can racket up the difficulty level pretty high and still do pretty well – thanks to the generally even “bop” of their music. So I only know the hits, I never had the desire to check out anything more – they are ok to hear at parties and the band members don’t seem like complete douches. So check out the mysterious 2nd album? Sure why not?
After Listening: What happened to the fun Weezer? This record is less polished than I expected, and while sometimes I very much enjoy that in an effort, disappointingly there are precious few moments on this album that seem energetic and non-whiny. Vocally there is some cracking on this which may fit the overall flow – but is generally unappealing to me. Oddly enough the music still sounds like Weezer – the 50’s style distorted chord progressions are still prominent, the bass is competent, and there is a bit of quirkiness just when you’re about to give up on things. The recording is a little muddy, I’m leaning more towards that being a style choice to fit the seemingly themes of pain and confession.
Favorite Tracks: “Why Bother?” – a much much needed infusion of energy to this record. Sure-referential of its title it’s nearly a throw away track in terms of lyrics, but it was just good to hear a clear melody on this record moving at a decent tempo.
“El Scorcho” – Basically it gets points for trying-it’s one of the few songs on the album where I can hear solo guitar lines-as opposed to chords, and in general it seems like the music hear and the vocals are in balance, as opposed to the music being merely a delivery system for lyrics.
Least Favorite Tracks: “Butterfly” – Solo acoustic songs work better on albums where I haven’t heard the electric version of the same formula, 5 or 6 times already. There’s something about his voice that makes things seem painfully monotone- and when you have a solo guitar accompaniment – you really need the vocals to do at least some of the lifting. When I was 14 I wrote a lot of songs like this in my room- it was fun, but I always thought maybe I should make this more interesting, or take singing lessons….I joined the football team instead, and when I came back to music 3-4 years later I was past this type of drivel.
“No other One” – Just indicative of the major themes on the album, slow and drudgery, but drudgery without a real edge. A whiny tone in slow tempo – with sappy and forgettable lyrics.
Overall 2.36 I agree the 1st problem with objectively judging any record would be to compare to a band’s previous works. Artists should certainly be allowed – if not heartily encouraged to seek out new forms of expression – and so it is that my chief complaint with this album is not that it’s a contrast to a poppier, happier work – it’s that the record is not a very interesting contrast. Most of the lyrics sound like teenage angst and are delivered vocally without much emotional depth – in moments I swear he’s sing-songing bad poetry popped from a trapper keeper somewhere. Musically the album abuses tempo and tone to facilitates angst, but a closer examination of these elements – the tempo slow and deliberate w/o many changes, and the muddy tone simply covering familiar 50’s chord progressions – which reveals that this is a fairly shallow, if not immature record.
|Weezer – Pinkerton
Preconceptions: This is my pick. I bought this on CD at the PX on Fort Sill, Ok when it came out and I listened to it religiously. There isn’t a bad song on this album, and yes, it’s even better than the blue album, but not by much.
After Listening: What I like—besides that this album just rocks hard—is that lyrically it’s a very honest and straight forward depiction of Rivers Cuomo and his struggles, frustrations and insecurities as a young, somewhat famous person. There is zero pretention and an abundance of humility and honesty—such as his pathetic and sort of creepy longing for the young Japanese fan in Across the Sea, and his failures in the love game in general. Cuomo’s choice to lay out his personal baggage, much of which he apparently discovered as a loner student at Harvard is, admirable to my sensibilities, as well as very influential on much of the music that has arisen in the fifteen years since Pinkerton’s release. I get the sense that perhaps it served as an example to those musicians influenced by it that creating music can be personal and much less detached and shallow as rock music can often times be.
But like I said, I mostly like this record because it rocks and is full of power chords and the ranting and lamenting of the geekish introspective intellectual variety. I dig that sorta shit. The only negative thing about this record is that—supposedly—Cuomo and the band have been running away from it for whatever reason, and have retreated to becoming a caricature of themselves. As a result, there hasn’t been a Weezer album since Pinkerton that I’ve given a crap about, and that sucks
Favorites: Why Bother?, The Good Life, El Scorcho
Overall: 5 Stars
|Weezer – Pinkerton
Prelisten: If I remember correctly, this was a curiosity pick of multiple RCers. Coming right after Weezer’s first album (one of pop’s few perfect 5s), I expect this will be more World Has Turned and less Hashpipe.
After: I’ve heard a lot more of these songs than I had thought.
Blues: Across the Sea, El Scorcho, The Good Life, & Pink Triangle
Overall: While not much musically different from their debut album, Pinkerton is lyrically much darker and at times delightfully creepy. The defeat of Tired & Why Bother is reversed by The Good Life’s declaration of renewed effort. The dude in Butterfly has really effed over some broad but good. Across the Sea & Pink Triangle take the standard pop narratives of unrequited love and twist them with reverse-stalking a fan and falling for a gay chick. Keep trying, Rivers! The free WNBA tix are worth the effort.