Recently Weezer have returned to prominence via their cover of Toto’s “Africa”, and long term fans have subsequently howled in derision at their decision to release a covers album. Actually, it seems that Weezer fans howl in derision to the vast majority of their releases, yet their albums continue to regularly hit the top ten in the US charts, as their particular brand of opinion splitting power-pop seems oddly ageless.
Weezer’s self titled 1994 debut album (A.K.A. Blue Album) remains an undemanding listen and packed full of straightforward rock tunes with a large side-helping of melody. The themes of loneliness, possessiveness and the geek lifestyle struck a chord at the time of this albums release and as they are such universal themes, it has ensured that this album has been one of the band’s most consistently popular ever since.
For me personally their debut is the best Weezer album due to the high concentration of great songs, with my personal favourites being “No One Else”, the big airplay hit that was “Buddy Holly”, and “Undone – Sweater Song”. Having said that there’s no songs on this album that I actually dislike, as even this early in their career frontman Rivers Cuomo was already a capable songwriter, the four piece perform with conviction, and getting in Cars frontman Ric Ocasek as producer was a stroke of genius.
While there have been other more fashionable power-pop acts that the tastemakers have got themselves into a tizzy about over the last quarter of a century, Weezer have remained an unsinkable presence, regardless of how much they infuriate people that feel that they should just continue to churn out exactly what they want them to churn out. A couple of changes of bass player aside, Weezer’s line up has remained relatively stable down the decades, however it has always been Cuomo front and centre, and is usually the individual whom disillusioned fans aim their ire.
If you’re a fan of guitar-heavy tuneful pop, then this album comes recommended. If you’re only going to check out one Weezer album, make sure it’s this one.