Album Review: Weezer, “The Red Album”

Note: In an effort to make this blog more of a hub for all of my writing (as should be clear by the sudden increase in posts, if nothing else), I’m going to copy some of the things I’ve written elsewhere over here.

Ideally, I’d like this to go beyond music reviews (or comic book reviews,which is the next step) and encompass snippets of my short stories and books, but I’ll start small.  Onward!

Is this Weezer’s best album? No. It is their worst? No. Is it their strangest? Definitely. It would seem to me, though, that people are either so enamored with the band or so enamored with the past they’ve lost a critical ear. But let’s take it song by song:

1. Troublemaker — Fairly standard Weezer fare, really, although a bit more pop than perhaps their earlier stuff. Enjoyable, but not really memorable.

2. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived — Yes, it’s strange and rarely repeats — save for the main chorus — but each section is pretty catchy on it’s own. They lyrics are pretty hilarious.

3. Pork and Beans — Again, fairly standard Weezer fare, backed by a great video. It’s pretty catchy, but not really that interesting.

4. Heart Songs — Yes, it sounds a bit cheesy when it starts, but it’s a great song, backed by an experience we all share: those songs that never leave you, that will always be important no matter how much time passes. It builds really nicely, too.

5. Everybody Get Dangerous — For what it’s worth, I liked “We Are All On Drugs,” which probably informs my opinion of this song. I enjoy the heck out of it. The chord changes are great and the lyrics are hilarious — a great job of taking me back to my youth and a legitimate question: what do we do when our kids act like we did?

6. Dreamin’ — An obvious single, made less obvious by the outro, which is really cool. A good song and classic Weezer.

7. Thought I Knew — Yes, Brian sings lead on this. And, yes, it doesn’t sound like a Weezer song at all, even on a album that’s redefining what a “Weezer” song is. On it’s own merits, this might be a great song, but it’s simply too jarring to hear on the album.

8. Cold Dark World — Scott sings lead on this one and it’s much less jarring to me. I actually like this song. It’s fairly driving and Scott delivers his vocals a lot like Rivers (who sings on the choruses).

9. Automatic — I think this might be Pat on vocals here. Again, a twist from Weezer, but not completely different. It’s an okay song. I think a big problem people might have with this album is the fact that these three songs come in a row.

10. The Angel and The One — This is a great song. This is classic, heartfelt Weezer. I read a review where someone said this album didn’t have the emotional appeal that previous Weezer albums have had, and while that might be true on a whole, this song (and Heart Songs) just really hit home.


11. Miss Sweeney — I agree with a previous reviewer — this song makes the bonus album a required purchase. It’s just a great song and Rivers’ vocal delivery is just so great. It’s songs like this that make you realize just how creative Weezer can be.

12. Pig — Another good one, kind of folksy, kind of earthy, but still quirky in that Weezer way.

13. The Spider — Yeah, it’s a little bizarre and kind of sounds like one of Rivers’ home recordings. It might grow on me in time, but now it’s just kind of there.

14. King — Man, I don’t know if Scott writes the vocal lines and lyrics or if Rivers handles that and just has Scott sing it, but I have to say that he’s pretty freaking great. This is probably better than “Cold Dark World.”

Overall, I think it’s a good album. I’d have given it 3 and a half stars initially, but I’m sure it will earn the extra half a star going forward.

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