Last week Weezer unceremoniously announced that they have a new album coming out on September 13, less than a year after pop rock-fest “Raditude” was released. I hold a certain degree of optimism for this new album, as I have with “The Red Album” and “Raditude”, but I haven’t looked into what the fans and critics are saying.
But I can take a good guess.
Go look up any review of “the Green Album”. ‘kay, now “Maladroit”. Alright, then “Make Believe”. And finally “Red” and “Raditude”. You might have noticed that the words “Blue Album” and “Pinkerton” were in there somewhere. See, here’s the deal. Back in ’94, Weezer put out their debut, “The Blue Album”, which was a nearly flawless power pop/alt rock masterpiece with more hooks than “The Fame Monster”. Then two years later, the Weeze dropped “Pinkerton”, an album that critically tanked at first but went on to be the cornerstone for modern emo (interpret this as you wish). After a hiatus came “the Green Album”, which was total easy power pop, then the heavy rawker “Maladroit”. “Make Believe” came next to everyone’s distaste, but a few years later out came the poppy but experimental “Red Album” which was followed swiftly by the pop rock frenzy of “Raditude”. For the last three or four years, Weezer has been a bunch of upbeat, happy guys churning out fun music that they like to play.
Which for whatever reason pisses people off. It’s especially easy to see in reviews; each one includes something along the lines of “Wtf, MAKING PINKERTON 2!!!”, which is funny because originally people were pissed off because Pinkerton wasn’t Blue pt 2. I’m sorry, but they just aren’t going to make anything like Pinkerton again; that’s not who they are anymore. Not to say that the band’s post-Pinkerton output didn’t have flaws, but there’s actually a lot of great material out there.
But most critics (particularly indie-snobs like Pitchfork and Sputnik) aren’t going to look at that. They’re going to look for El Scorcho II, not see it, and declare the album a dud. Damn shame, too, because “Keep Fishin'” off Maladroit and “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” off Rad are crazy catchy singalong singles. And there’s songs like Red’s closing “The Angel and the One” that are simply gorgeous. And you’ve gotta respect a band that pushes its own boundaries the way Weezer did on Red and Rad. Switching instruments, everyone writing a song, collaborating with Lil Wayne, jumping styles in the same song…it’s kind of refreshing to hear that in a land populated with Paramores and Nickelbacks, who rewrite themselves all the damn time.
So on September 13th, you’re not going to hear something that sounds like Pinkerton. And you shouldn’t be expecting to be.