My summer holiday has begun. This means I’m gonna have lots of time to blab about whatever type of music I choose, and I really don’t have much else to do.. However, I intend to do lots of other things, too, such as watch good movies and my favourite science fiction TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Today, I think I’ll blab a bit about great 90’s alternative rock/power pop (someone might even call it emo..). Already for four years one of my ultimate summer soundtracks has been Weezer’s self-titled debut album from 1994, also known as The Blue Album. The first Weezer album that I listened to was The Green Album in the summer of 2004. I remember I liked it instantly: although it didn’t really sound like anything I’d listened to before, something about it struck a chord with me. It was very loud and distorted music with harmonies and a sympathetic feel.
Soon, I found out Weezer had made a great debut album back in the 90s, produced by Ric Ocasek. I studied the band’s interesting history and started listening to The Blue Album. It sounded very good right from the start and as weeks and months went by, I noticed I never got tired of the album. My little brother liked the album, too, and it’s still one of the few albums that we both love very much.
What is so great about The Blue Album is that it’s quite simple. It’s not very fast-paced and there aren’t dozens of different instruments or basically anything too complex on the album. Instead, there are excellent Rivers Cuomo compositions and melodies added with very economical arrangements. Those features and the huge wall of distorted electric guitars that were to become Weezer’s trademark make this music magical. Personally, I find that distorted sound very comforting. The loud, yet soft, kind of fuzzy but tight sound always makes me feel good.
All in all, this music is very genuine and sincere. Rivers Cuomo’s brilliant lyrics add a very important layer to this geeky rock. In songs like No One Else his straightforward style of writing very emotion-appealing lyrics is clearly displayed. No One Else is one of my favourites, although all ten songs on the album are worth serious attention – and appreciation.
Buddy Holly is a classic. The Happy Days-themed video for the song is also memorable. I remember seeing it on MTV although I was only six years old at the time. The song is a great example of what Weezer, in my opinion, is at its best: easy-going (and perhaps happy, too). The entire album is quite easy-going and happy although there certainly are a couple of more melancholic tracks. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here is beautiful and sentimental. It’s amazing how effective it is despite its relatively discreet, peacefully sad feel. Say It Ain’t So is also quite melancholic, and its totally enchants me with its gorgeous dynamics. Only in Dreams ends the album wonderfully, with its bass line bringing Pixies to mind.
In the Garage is a salute to all garage musicians, such as myself.. The song and the sound of it is amazing, listen to that low-tone guitar - it’s insanely crunchy! My Name Is Jonas, Holiday, Surf Wax America – they’re all great. Debut single Undone -- The Sweater Song is another song not to be missed. It includes hilarious geek lyrics, and everything about it is brilliant.
The Blue Album is such a classic. I’m so happy that so many people have discovered it and its greatness, and new people keep discovering it, too!
Weezer at MySpace
The Blue Album samples at Amazon.com