ENTERTAINMENT: “The Blue Album” Still A Masterpiece
By Owen Paiva – Entertainment Editor
Weezer released their first eponymous album, known as “The Blue Album,” in 1994.
This album launched the act and they have released nine other albums to this date. Does the first album hold up to the others? Is it still the triple-platinum classic that created many fans, or is it just a product of its time?
Weezer is an alt-rock band that consists of singer Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, guitarist Jason Cropper, and at the time, bassist Matt Sharp. Cuomo, from Pomfret, Connecticut, has also worked on B.o.B’s song, Magic. Cuomo has channeled many of his personal experiences into the music, but that mainly happened after the blue album.
The album has three singles that shot the band into the mainstream and are still among the band’s most popular to this day. “Buddy Holly” is a loving tribute to the 1950’s singer who died in the infamous plane crash in the “day that music died”. It also praises Mary Tyler Moore, who was a popular actress in the 50’s and on. The song is also famous for its music video consisting of Weezer playing at Arnold’s Drive-In from the show Happy Days featuring cameos using footage from the show of characters such as Fonzie. “Undone – The Sweater Song”, is another song that may be the band’s most popular. The chorus consists of, “If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away.” This is known by many, even if they do not recognize the song. Cuomo has later stated it as an inadvertent ripoff of Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica. The song’s video is also directed by Spike Jonze, who has also worked with Daft Punk, and the Beastie Boys, is famous for the one shot style that has the band playing a sped up version of the song which creates an effect of slow motion with the lyrics and music remaining normal if played slower.
The last single, “Say It Ain’t So” has an intro riff that sounds oddly similar to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, which predates the song by over a decade. The video is not directed by Spike Jonze, rather Sophie Muller, and did not have the same acclaim, but was another top ten hit for the group. “Surf Wax America” is the hidden gem of the album, taking surf rock in a more alternative direction, with hints of skate punk, in an ode to the sport and lifestyle.
Some of the other tracks are solid but unspectacular. Not every track can be a classic, but the tracks retain the charm and feel of the album. “My Name is Jonas” is solid but blends into the background of the album. “Only in Dreams” is a more somber feel similar to “Undone”
There are two main types of songs on the album, the energetic, upbeat ones, and the somber, toned down ones. This was a great debut, laying down the band’s style perfectly.
This album is great to look back and see the evolution of the band. The follow-up, “Pinkerton” was more abrasive, dark, and lamenting about being a rock star. Cuomo grew dissatisfied with the lifestyle, and wrote a more personal album. The album was a commercial and critical failure, but later grew a cult following, and is regarded by many as one of the best albums the band wrote.
“The Blue Album” is a masterpiece, and one of the staples of the early alt-rock stage. The album received stellar reviews across the board. The album was a far cry from the grunge scene that was very popular in the United States at the time. Weezer was more akin to Britpop, like Blur and Oasis, and stood out from the competition in the U.S.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars