Artist Profile: Why Weezer Still Rules
Weezer is a band that cannot be fully appreciated in just one song or one album. Their clever and humorous titles combined with many magical heavy pop guitar riffs run deep throughout their catalog. I have personally heard about five albums but prefer the four I am still listening to.
Weezer’s first album sometimes referred to as the “Blue Album” contains some real jewels and was produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek who was definitely in his element with Weezer. Who can forget all the great pop that Ocasek wrote and produced for The Cars? Well with Weezer it was like he was just taking it a step further. In my opinion…Weezer should be very grateful to have such a Producer as Ocasek “break the band” onto the pop charts which he did handily. It was Ric’s idea to include “Buddy Holly” on the first album. Good advice as time has proven.
Now it’s on to my favorite Weezer album…which has no title either just a red cover with Rivers Cuomo wearing a big black cowboy hat certainly tounge in cheek. Partly Produced by Rick Rubin and someone mysteriously called: Jacknife Lee, this album contains some real moxy and pop attitude. The opening cut…”Troublemaker”, is great. However my favorite cut by a mile is: “Pork & Beans” which could be the hookiest song Rivers has written next to his famous single: “Buddy Holly” off the first album. It is certainly a close call between the two. Rivers was evidently goaded by record man Timberline to write a hooky single so Rivers just added his story and name to the song beautifully! (Really clever stuff if you’ve ever written any pop songs yourself). The second cut: “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived”, is also a riot as River’s declares himself what the title spells out. Ok Rivers…we submit. Who knows, maybe he’s right?
The third album…”Make Believe”, is also produced by Rick Rubin and contains the great single: “Beverly Hills.” The rest of the album is good but I don’t think it touches the red album which is loaded with attitude. Rubin is a solid Producer as everybody by now knows but it could be that Ocasek truly understood the boys better on the first album. “The Sweater Song” is truly hard for any Producer to compete with. (Ocasek also produced “The Green Album” as well).
Which brings forth the question: which Weezer album should you start with if you don’t have any? In my opinion…the first Weezer is a good start. It really grows on you and is solid throughout.
Weezer also released an album called: “Raditude” which comes complete with a dog flying through the air looking like he just jumped off a trampoline. This is a double CD/album. It contains the single: “(If Your Wondering If I Want You To) I want You To.” Produced by: Jacknife Lee, it’s a good pop record (CD). The bonus CD is not much however.
To summarize: From “Buddy Holly” to “Pork & Beans” the band could have stopped with that and been thought highly of. But, Weezer goes on and on and I might add never seems to grow old even though River’s sais he needs “Rogaine in his hair.” Weezer is always great for a never ending audio party too!
Some of the other members, at least off the first album, include: Brian Bell on guitar & vocals, Matt Sharp on bass & Vocals, Patrick Wilson on drums and of course: Rivers Cuomo on vocals & Guitar as before mentioned. Rivers is also the main songwriter which he deserves a-lot of credit for.
Bands come and go. bands break up and some even reunite for the money. Weezer seems to be going on and on forever (with a few personnel changes). They do still rule and if you want to add some sunshine to your life…at least checkout one Weezer album or single. But like I said in the beginning…you might be better off with the whole catalog? You choose the pop for your collection.
Footnote: A late arrival was “The Green Album” from 2000. Also produced by Ric Ocasek, this album is full of tasty nerd power and singles that should make any slacker happy. Rivers Cuomo does it again with his band mates and Mr. Ocasek!