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Weezer (Green Album)

3.8 out of 5 stars 736 customer reviews

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WEEZER WEEZER

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Weezer, those geek rockers who topped mid-'90s charts with those oh-so-precious pop fables "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and "Buddy Holly," were almost undone by 1997's bombastic Pinkerton. Their sophomore release turned its back on the band's clean-cut debut, with a thrash approach more influenced by Sabbath and Kiss than the Beach Boys. On their third album (self-titled, like their first, but referred to as the "Green Album"), the band makes a concentrated effort to return to anthemic '60s punky pop, demonstrating that, for Weezer at least, it's rather easy being green. In fact, one could say they're almost as green as Green Day, especially on "Knockdown Dragout." At their best, Weezer show such boundless energy and gleeful aplomb that you'd swear you were listening to a lost Badfinger album. Conversely, Rivers Cuomo's twisted genius makes its way onto the anxious and paranoid "Hash Pipe" and the jittery "Glorious Days," making the "Green Album" the most absorbing and rounded vision from these pop masters yet. --Jaan Uhelszki
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B00005ICAW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (736 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,633 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Some reviewers have expressed a measure of ambivalence about this new Weezer album, and understandably so: it downplays some of the things the band's audience has come to expect and treasure.
Weezer's first record was a kind of dream come true for a certain type of bespectacled nerd--- the sort who plays Dungeons & Dragons, reads comic books, and worships Kiss (the band whose emboldening machismo is only complemented, for such listeners, by a makeup job worthy of the X-Men). For a legion of these dispossessed and marginalized geeks, "In the Garage" was an anthem, and "Only in Dreams," "Buddy Holly," and "Undone" were catchy love songs that spoke to their eccentricities.
"Pinkerton," with a raw sound that aped, according to Rivers Cuomo, the Steve Albini recording style, was a different expression of love, but it was aimed squarely at the same audience. The comic book-reading, Kiss-loving D&D player is often characterized by morbid sensitivity: for such a person (I speak from experience), love provides an idealized exaltation, and is worth clinging to and preserving at all costs, but when it goes sour (as it always does), it creates the kind of hurt that endures, that scars permanently. "Pinkerton," by comparison to the debut, was a cut nerve; it was a hypersensitive adolescent's cry of pain at lost love. With its bitterness ("Why Bother?"), its fantasies of unreal and childlike love objects in galaxies far, far away ("Across the Sea") and its tearful tales of clinging to love even when it is unhealthy to do so ("No Other One"), the record's bombastic evocations of loss hit home with anyone for whom the loss of a love was a vision of the Apocalypse.
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Format: Audio CD
...but I can't help but feel there's quite a bit missing here. The Blue Album came out when I was in middle school, and I got drawn to it for the catchy-as-hell melodies and the generally uplifting feel of songs like "The Sweater Song" and "In The Garage" - I ended up loving the album because there was more to it than just the pop. Pinkerton, on the other hand, drew me further in with a combination of the same great sense of melody and harmony and the more intense, emotionally stirring lyrics. This album, on the other hand, seems lacking in both departments. The riffs aren't really catchy - the only songs that stick with me much at all are "Don't Let Go" and "Crab" - and the lyrics don't have nearly the impact because, apparently, Cuomo was wounded by the indifferent-to-cruel reception that Pinkerton got. Seems a little cowardly, then, to backtrack into the relatively pointless subject material found here. All I'm really left with is a dissatisfied and disappointed feeling, and I hardly even want to go back to the older stuff because I can't help but be reminded, listening to the brutal honesty of Pinkerton, that Cuomo couldn't handle it, and ultimately kinda gave up: the honesty and raw openness I valued so much in Pinkerton, it seems, is regarded by its author as a mistake. I can't respect that.
And, honestly, "Hash Pipe"? Give me a break.
But I *do* like the song "Don't Let Go" quite a bit, if only 'cause of the catchy chorus, hence the second star.
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Format: Audio CD
Weezer return after five years. I disagree with the band claiming the record is somewhere "between Pinkterton and the blue album", though I wish it were true. Production-wise, it's extremely sharp, very similar to the blue album. Musically, the songs on the green album are half as complex (as Pinkterton, at least). The solos (almost all of them) are simply the vocal melody churned out on guitar. Rivers can shred on guitar, but he totally opted not to on this album. Lyrically, it seems practically without meaning. Considering it's Weezer, and their prior song topics and lyrics, this album is weak by comparison. Not that they are BAD lyrics, they are simply pop lyrics. (Rivers himself is quoted saying that "the lyrics suck"...) HOWEVER... despite all of this, you're still left with an amazingly infectious power pop rock album that I don't think should disappoint many people. It's not groundbreaking, but it's just good rockin music that few bands create like this.
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Format: Audio CD
Six years. Ten songs. An album whose entire length is 28:29? Say it ain't so, Weezer?
Truthfully, these tunes are excellent. In terms of pretty, catchy, guitar-griven pop songs, few have crafted better tunes than the boys from Weezer do here. At ten songs and 28 minutes, the album is quite short, but packs more hooks than some albums twice its length.
Pick a track, listen well, and enjoy. Tunes like "Don't Let Go", "Hash Pipe", and "Knock-down Drag-out" start out rocking and don't let up, and tracks which start more subdued like "Simple Pages", "Glorious Days", "Island in the Sun" and "O Girlfriend" eventually arrive there too with soaring, simple but memorable guitar solos and impeccable hooks. It's not rocket science, it's rock and roll, and Weezer has mastered the craft of catchy song-writing on this record as well as anyone.
This record seems out of place in the age of boy bands, self-involved rap rock, and standard corporate rock. It feels more of a throwback than anything with melodies that recall the Beatles or Buddy Holly (if they drenched their songs in distortion and feedback).
Definitely a stellar recording in a summer that has brought forth outstanding efforts from Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, and others, Weezer's latest demands to be heard. Easily among the best albums of the year.
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