Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

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matedog
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 2:03am

This took forever because fuck it is hard to get into writing about albums that are often so mediocre.
Make Believe (2005)
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Preface – Maladroit was released to good reviews and good commercial success. The subsequent tour saw them playing larger shows than ever before. This seemingly gave Rivers a false sense of confidence that what he was doing was worthwhile. That summer the album was released saw the band alternating between the road and back in the studio a mere two months after Maladroit’s release. And again, as six months prior, the band chose to post these new song demos on their website (an admirable practice that has yet catch on) for fan consumption. The songs that came about were not too far removed from the previous album. The band did show a less metal side with a more straight rock sound. The band also mixed it up by hiring a piano/organ player for a few sessions and they even rehearsed Brian Bell’s so so tune Yellow Camaro. Somewhere along the way, however, I believe Rivers realized what he was doing was too akin to the last two albums – banged out after a tour with minimal to no thought about lyrics and more settling for whatever came first. Sure enough, none of the 20+ songs from these sessions ever made it on to a subsequent Weezer album. Somewhat unfortunately, a few of these tunes had some fairly inspired melodies and/or arrangements, Hey Domingo and Fontana being good examples of this. Instead of a third album in as many years, the band took a break and Rivers went on a creative hiatus (though it seemed like he was in hibernation already).

Sometime during the hiatus, Rivers decided to get into meditation with Rick Rubin. It is my understanding that Rubin really tried to push Rivers’ writing in terms of subject matter and general approach to song creation. In a sense, the fifth album, Make Believe, appears to be Rivers most sincere attempt to return to his Blue/Pink songwriting glory. Let’s take a look.

1. Beverly Hills – 5. Ok, not exactly typifying the album’s attempt in serious song writing, this song is adequate enough as a simple, fairly catchy, and novel leadoff single. Hell there is even a talk box guitar solo. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.
2. Perfect Situation – 5. Possibly the most blatant attempt at a classic Weezer. It doesn’t succeed but it doesn’t fail miserably. Again another so so song. I like the piano on the verse but the chorus just isn’t that special. I like the guitar noodling in the beginning, but I just can’t get much out of the rest of the song.
3. This Is Such a Pity – 7. One of the better post-Pinkerton songs. This is an obvious new wave/Cars homage. There are plenty of good melodies and synths throughout to satisfy your power pop craving. Pitchfork’s scathing 0.4 grade review of the album said this song had a guitar solo ripped from the Top Gun soundtrack. And they say that like it’s a bad thing.
4. Hold Me – 6. Simple guitar and vocal intro leads into a loud, full chorus. A classic trick that was especially popular in the post-Pixies 90’s. In that sense, this song harkens back to that at least formula. This is really one I have a hard time defending because it’s so basic but they just kind of sell it for me.
5. Peace – 4. The chorus is alright. The verse is forgettable. I don’t have to say much about the rest other than it is decent but forgettable.
6. We Are All On Drugs – 2. Dopey lyrics, bad melody. There is really nothing redeeming about the song. Spared from a 1 because it’s not “Boogie With Your Children” bad.
7. The Damage to Your Heart – 6. I actually kind of like this one. The melodies are strong, including the two phase chorus which is really a nice touch. And the viola at the end which is rather superfluous but something different at least.
8. Pardon Me – 3. This song is about meditation and penance. So hey, Rivers is writing personal again! But who cares about that shit? Also the melodies suck. I can’t rate it as low as Drugs because it isn’t as stupid.
9. My Best Friend – 3. I like how the beginning sounds like a Springsteen song. At least with the instrumentation (organ, glockenspiel). Unfortunately this song again lacks a memorable melody and the lyrics are as generic as the title suggests. Supposedly written for the Shrek 2 soundtrack, perhaps they had more quality control than Weezer.
10. The Other Way – 7. This one is a winner in the melody department. A 2-phase verse, both memorable, leads to a pleasant chorus with some basic, but effective Rivers/Brian harmonies. The bridge is not much of a departure melodically, but drop out of the instruments and the oh so awesome clap track are a nice touch. Great altering of the vocal arrangement on the last chorus.
11. Freak Me Out – 6. This is one I shouldn’t like as much as I do. With its sparse harmonic (I think that’s the guitar technique) riff and arrangement, it sounds nothing like any other song in their catalog. The lyrics manage to mix generic, but effective romanticism “city streets at night…to the morning light” with just self improvement meditative crap “I’m going to improve my manners…everyone is my friend.” This also marks the return of the harmonica for the first time since the Blue Album (well, technically Mykel and Carli on a blue album b-side) which gave me an instant Weezer boner the first time I heard it. I also like Brian’s added harmony at the last chorus.
12. Haunt You Everyday – 3. Supposedly Rick Rubin told Rivers to write a song on the piano and he came up with this. Another completely forgettable tune. I guess this is keeping in line with their album closing ballads? Either way, it’s weak in the exact same way every other weak song on this album is weak. That’s three weaks in one sentence.



Conclusion: It seems to me that the band and Rivers were really taking strides to make more serious music after the last two albums. After their metal phase, they began to experiment more with instrumentation while keeping the same general verse-chorus formula. Furthermore Rick Rubin really pushed Rivers to not be so completely generic on and nonsensical in his lyrical content. Unfortunately when he went with this, he just wrote about self improvement with vague references to meditation. Who really wants to hear about that? When this album works, it’s enjoyable, when it doesn’t, it bores me to tears without the spineless but tuneful hooks of the Green album.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Marky Dread » 23 Jul 2010, 7:26am

So where does a beginner start. I don't know any Weezer stuff so can you recommend something.
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eumaas
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by eumaas » 23 Jul 2010, 8:49am

Marky Dread wrote:So where does a beginner start. I don't know any Weezer stuff so can you recommend something.
Their first self-titled and Pinkerton.
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Marky Dread » 23 Jul 2010, 9:23am

eumaas wrote:
Marky Dread wrote:So where does a beginner start. I don't know any Weezer stuff so can you recommend something.
Their first self-titled and Pinkerton.
Cheers I will check those two. :approve:
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Flex » 23 Jul 2010, 10:55am

I remember feeling a slight sense of horror the first time I heard "Beverly Hills"
YOU MADE ONE MISTAKE, LENNON, YOU DOUBLE CROSSED MIKE LOVE AND LEFT HIM ALIVE

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 10:59am

Marky Dread wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Marky Dread wrote:So where does a beginner start. I don't know any Weezer stuff so can you recommend something.
Their first self-titled and Pinkerton.
Cheers I will check those two. :approve:
Yeah, the subsequent albums are really fans only. When I'm done reviewing Raditude ( :( ), I'm going to do a Greatest Hits of the post-Pinkerton songs which might be a decent comp.

But yeah, the first two albums are legitimately great albums. I'd start with the blue album, personally as Pinkerton is a bit more cacophonous and less immediately accessible.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

matedog
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 11:03am

Flex wrote:I remember feeling a slight sense of horror the first time I heard "Beverly Hills"
I felt a pretty standard sense of let down. As I wrote, it's a dumb song, but it's fun enough and I don't hate it and some of the lyrics are kinda fun.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Flex » 23 Jul 2010, 11:03am

[quote="matedog"]Yeah, the subsequent albums are really fans only. When I'm done reviewing Raditude ( :( ), I'm going to do a Greatest Hits of the post-Pinkerton songs which might be a decent comp.[quote]

Radititude has a stupid name, but I think it's probably the best album they've done since (at least) Green.
YOU MADE ONE MISTAKE, LENNON, YOU DOUBLE CROSSED MIKE LOVE AND LEFT HIM ALIVE

Sous les pavés, la plage.

Pex Lives!

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 11:11am

Flex wrote:
matedog wrote:Yeah, the subsequent albums are really fans only. When I'm done reviewing Raditude ( :( ), I'm going to do a Greatest Hits of the post-Pinkerton songs which might be a decent comp.

Radititude has a stupid name, but I think it's probably the best album they've done since (at least) Green.
The :( was for the name. It's probably one of the better post-Pink albums. I'll see how it shakes up. Thus far the albums (w/o b-sides) look like this:
Blue - 7.0
Pinkerton - 6.9
Green - 5.3
Maladroit - 4.77
Make Believe - 4.75
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Kory » 23 Jul 2010, 1:20pm

Flex wrote:
matedog wrote:Yeah, the subsequent albums are really fans only. When I'm done reviewing Raditude ( :( ), I'm going to do a Greatest Hits of the post-Pinkerton songs which might be a decent comp.

Radititude has a stupid name, but I think it's probably the best album they've done since (at least) Green.
This is one of the rare times I'll disagree with you.

Edit: that was to Flex, not Hoy.
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
Boogie With Your Children

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by Flex » 23 Jul 2010, 1:24pm

Kory wrote:This is one of the rare times I'll disagree with you.

Edit: that was to Flex, not Hoy.
Fair enough. Which of Maladroit, Make Believe or Red do you think is better?
YOU MADE ONE MISTAKE, LENNON, YOU DOUBLE CROSSED MIKE LOVE AND LEFT HIM ALIVE

Sous les pavés, la plage.

Pex Lives!

matedog
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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 1:31pm

Flex wrote:
Kory wrote:This is one of the rare times I'll disagree with you.

Edit: that was to Flex, not Hoy.
Fair enough. Which of Maladroit, Make Believe or Red do you think is better?
*refrains from crab juice joke*

I'm surprised that thus far, Green is the highest rated album as a total average. The others have higher highs and lower lows so I guess I get more enjoyment out of them if I skip the lows.

I'm curious to see how the next two pan out and I am getting ready to dole out my first "1" rating for a song on any "Mate's Takes" review.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by eumaas » 23 Jul 2010, 1:35pm

Somebody rates Pinkerton too low on the relative Weezer scale, considering it's one of their two best. I guess it's not accessible enough and thus not fun. Fun is better.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by matedog » 23 Jul 2010, 1:39pm

eumaas wrote:Somebody rates Pinkerton too low on the relative Weezer scale, considering it's one of their two best. I guess it's not accessible enough and thus not fun. Fun is better.
Who rated it low on the relative Weezer scale?
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Mate's Takes - The Weezer Discography

Post by eumaas » 23 Jul 2010, 1:40pm

matedog wrote:
eumaas wrote:Somebody rates Pinkerton too low on the relative Weezer scale, considering it's one of their two best. I guess it's not accessible enough and thus not fun. Fun is better.
Who rated it low on the relative Weezer scale?
6.9?
I feel that there is a fascistic element, for example, in the Rolling Stones . . .
— Morton Feldman

I've studied the phenomenon of neo-provincialism in self-isolating online communities but this place takes the fucking cake.
— Clashy

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