Weezer (“The Green Album”)
Sure, Weezer•s first album commercially succeeded, and their second album, Pinkerton, commercially flopped, but previous record sales shouldn•t impact reception of the much-awaited new album from the geek rock gods. After a long, mysterious hiatus, which included singer Rivers Cuomo disappearing into his room for an entire year, Weezer is back. With the new album, Weezer returns to more vague, all-encompassing lyrics about love, as opposed to the specific, soul-searching intensity of Pinkerton. It almost seems like the band has grown up along with its fans, many who were middle and high school students during the (also self-titled, blue-covered) debut album•s success.
The •green album• rocks hard like Pinkerton, minus the half-Japanese girls and lesbians. •Hash Pipe• is the hardest rocking cut on the album, and is also the first single. However, the hard edge and multiple drug references of •Hash Pipe• do not appear during other songs. The first track, •Don•t Let Go,• sounds like Beatlesque power pop, and most of the other tracks follow in the same vein. •Island in the Sun• is a laid back, wistful, and catchy song that contains lyrics like •We•ll run away together/And spend some time, forever.•
Another standout, and one that might appeal most to fans of the first album, is •Photograph.• Upbeat hand clapping right out of a •50s rock song start it out, and catchy lyrics about •the photograph of love• remind me of the silliness of the •blue album.• The last song, •O Girlfriend,• sadly recounts a lost girlfriend and the desire to get her back.
One fault I found with the album is the apparent lack of the second guitarist, Brian Bell. The first and second albums used both guitars to create a totally unique sound (think •Undone• and •The Good Life•), but the •green album• contains largely single guitar parts with the occasional solo. The band is very much dominated by singer Rivers Cuomo, and that really shows through on the album.
An L.A. Times interview with Cuomo quoted him as saying that record companies are going to be disappointed with sales of the new album. With a Saturday Night Live appearance, a world tour this year, and legions of overly devoted fans (myself included), I don•t see how the band can be disappointed with their success. In fact, the band is practicing new material now, and I•m really glad Weezer is here to stay.