Wednesday, 14 May 2014

20 Years On: Weezer - ‘The Blue Album’

by Patrick McGuiggan

Weezer’s debut album, affectionately known by fans as ‘The Blue Album’(for obvious reasons), turned 20 years old last weekend and is what I would call a must-own album. Imagine what a nerdy insecure version of The Beach Boys would sound like, add some loud guitars and you’ve got Weezer.
The whole album is not only energetic and catchy, but it is packed full of some wonderfully geeky references and quirky lyrics. No verse showcases this better, than this one from ‘In the Garage’:

‘I’ve got the Dungeon Master’s Guide/
I’ve got a 12-sided die/
I’ve got Kitty Pryde/
And Nightcrawler too/
Waiting there for me/
Yes I do, I do/’
The album is only 10 tracks long, but there is absolutely no filler; every single song is an anthem. Some of my favourites are:

‘Undone: The Sweater Song’ is brilliant, just brilliant, it features a chorus about defiant sweater wearing, and verses full of overheard and uninteresting conversations; what more could you want? If you’ve ever found yourself in a room full of people you detest or at a party awkwardly trying to fit in, this is the song for you.

‘Buddy Holly’ – Listen to this song and you will find yourself uncontrollably singing ‘woo-hoo’ in no time at all. The song is infectious and perfectly summarises Weezer’s sound: heavy but absolutely full of hooks. Rivers Cuomo had actually planned to leave this song off the album, as he thought it was too cheesy, but thankfully he was convinced otherwise.

'Say It Ain’t So' is probably my all-time favourite Weezer song. I love it, I always have and I always will; it is a BIG song which has to be played loud to appreciate it in all its glory. Weezer have this innate ability to be massive geeks, yet strangely cool at the same time. In the music video (below), Rivers finishes playing and then casually sips his juice, not a beer, not a shot of whiskey....juice. This epitomises everything which is great about this band, they don't care what anyone thinks and are all the better for it.

That is hopefully enough to whet your appetite and encourage you to give this phenomenal album a listen. It’s a feel-good album about, well… not feeling all that good, something everybody can relate to every once in a while. Although, saying that, if anything will give you a lift, this will. 

These songs may be 20 years old, but they still feel as familiar as ever. Geeking out is almost fashionable now, I’ve seen you all wearing those delightful ‘GEEK’ t-shirts —  so go ahead, crank up the volume and sing along with Weezer.

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