Weezer (Red Album)
Star Rating: 5/5
Destined to be an epic, Weezer’s “red album” was produced by the band with help from Rick Rubin and Jacknife Lee, two of the most influential producers of the Post-Punk Revival of the early 2000’s. Weezer, the band’s sixth studio album, did not fail to compete with its own legacy. Rivers said in a Q & A with Rolling Stone magazine that the “red album” was their “boldest and bravest and showiest album” yet.
Top Tracks & Takeaways
Still coming down from Make Believe, Weezer took an unexpected detour from their original vein of creativity and experimented with the “red album”. They incorporated many new and unorthodox methods such as switching instruments, utilizing classic drum machines, and even featuring each band member as the lead vocalist of their own track.
To kick off this album, Rivers sings the unapologetic punk masterpiece, “Troublemaker”, riddled with themes of rebellious angst and being true to one's self, no matter the cost. Within the first verse, you’ll hear lyrics like, “Who needs stupid books? They are for petty crooks…” and “…they try to understand why I am so unlike the singers in the other bands.” The catchy chorus then comes in and begs you to shout along, “I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker, doin’ things my own way and never giving up!” Peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock chart, this song was an instant hit.
Track No. 3 is one that many non-fans of the band would recognize upon hearing the first guitar line of the song. The widespread success of the lead single to the album, "Pork and Beans," can be attributed to accompanying viral music video (found in the Videos and Singles section below) that won a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in 2009. The video compiles many different famous clips, memes and YouTube celebrities all chanting along with the band in the finale, “I don’t give a hoot about what you think!” An overall theme of indifference to outside opinions is consistent and well-spread throughout multiple tracks on the record.
What we liked
The lyrics on this album are very similar to the unconventional approach of their earlier hits and albums. Track No. 5, “Everybody Get Dangerous”, sticks to the same ideas of a fun-loving, bad kid style. In the climax of the bridge, Rivers sums up his underlying concepts of unfounded confidence with a satirical stanza meant to reflect on what his kids might say to him years down the road in their adolescence; he yells, “Hey Dad, my friends got some new ninja swords, is it cool if we slash up his place?”
Not so much…
While many of the songs on this record tend to stay within the same musical lane, others seem to veer off past the shoulder and out into oncoming traffic. “Heart Songs”, “Thought I Knew”, “Cold Dark World” and “Automatic” are definite B-sides that sadly fall under the radar and into the shadows of the more popular songs on the album. However, Weezer did manage to bring it all back around with their lesser-known yet timeless final track, “The Angel and the One”.
Videos and Singles
Pork and Beans
If you haven't already given it a listen, Weezer, the "red album, is worth your time. It has earned acclaim for it's lasting influence during a time where great bands were a dime a dozen.
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
Pork and Beans
Everybody Get Dangerous
Thought I Knew
Cold Dark World
The Angel and the One