At the moment, Weezer are a bit of an easy target, which makes me sad.
This makes me sad, but it’s not surprising either. OK, let’s look at the background to the latest album by Weezer. Last year, after a lot of pressure from fans, Weezer released a cover of “Africa” by Toto. It was a massive success. I mean it was the biggest success that the band have experienced for an awfully long time. Even bigger than the praise for their cover of “Paranoid Android” and “Viva La Vida”. They even performed the song with “Weird Al” Yankovic, I’ve heard that’s sort of a big deal and all that jazz.
With this newfound exposure and with the long-fabled Weezer (the Black Album) to be released on March 1st 2019, the band surprised
(no-one) their audience by releasing Weezer (the Teal Album). For people out of the loop (why are you reading this?), Weezer release self-titled albums with a feature colour (UK writer, UK spelling). We’ve had Blue, Red, Green and White so far. Each one has been a mixed bag to be fair, but each has had a certain charm.
Weezer (the Teal Album) is a cash-grab at best, let’s be honest.
They’ve released a covers album because it gives them a lot of press. Let’s look at the performance of “Africa” compared to their lead single from Weezer (the Black Album), “Can’t Knock the Hustle”. “Africa” reached number 51 in the US top 200 and number 1 in the US Alt. chart, “Can’t Knock the Hustle” made number 10 in the US Alt. chart only. This is a blessing and a curse if you think about it. I mean, new exposure in this cluster-fuck times is hard to come by, but at what cost?
Let’s look at the tracklist of Weezer (the Teal Album) in detail.
On this album, you have the aforementioned cover of “Africa”, which is mixed with covers of A-Ha, Black Sabbath, The Turtles, E.L.O., T.L.C., Eurythmics and a few more. Songs such as “Stand by Me”, “Paranoid and “No Scrubs” are given a makeover of sorts… well, here is the other thing. The covers are standard covers, nothing out of the box or stand out. When you release a cover, I’ve always thought that you should try to stamp your own style when releasing a new version of an old song. On Weezer (the Teal Album), everything feels nice and safe. It’s a bit like a less adventurous Guardians of the Galaxy OST, you know what to expect, but it’s not quite the same.
But have Weezer done anything wrong? I mean, they’ve gone for the easy money here, but can we really blame them? Honestly, the last few Weezer albums since 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End have been a little dull. I was even thinking of skipping Weezer (the Black Album), but now I want to see if it beats Weezer (the Teal Album). Another thing going for this record is nostalgia. Nostalgia can sell a shit load of records, let’s be honest. We’ve all purchased The Best of… someone. As a lot of people will have good memories attached to these songs, they might also associate them to this record too.
But you have to wonder where they go from here, is there an upside?
For me, not really. Each time I’ve listened to the covers, I’ve felt they’re too safe, it’s not a jump into the dark or fun. I heard better versions of some of these in my local pub. Let’s be honest, that’s not something that should be leveled at an international band. Also, it whiffs of X-Factor/America’s Got Talent. They use covers to get new artists exposure, to help familiarise them to the masses. Did Weezer really need that? It’s not offending anyone, but Weezer (the Teal Album) is not giving me a good reason to listen to their next record either. Please Weezer, give me a good reason to listen to your next record, not this.
Owner of more Frank Zappa music than one human needs, two cats and looked after by an Angel, Eddie Carter thinks about music more than a Geordie should. Hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, Eddie spends most of his time surrounded by CD’s and records. He also writes for All The Time I Was Listening to My Own Wall of Sound, his beard is grey and not long enough – also, he wants a pint.