Weezer (The Teal Album)
That Weezer has survived to make a dozen albums simply means they’ve recorded nine or ten albums more than necessary. Any of you getting raged and ready to defend Maladroit or Make Believe or to say any of the other self-titled/colour albums should be saved due to a single song like Pork and Beans or whatever, save it…
All that’s going in the time-capsule ever is the debut and Pinkerton. The Green Album gets a pass, but it knows it’s a seat-filler, a bench-warmer. It could just as easily not be there. And for many it isn’t.
Still, Weezer has carried on, like that Gen-Xer mixing it up in the weekends with the millennials from work, war-stories and just enough ‘hip’ references for the kids while sure there’s some hint of legacy that means something to someone somewhere…
Weezer here is a live karaoke band running faithful cover versions through some sort of musical meme machine to create, probably, the exact sort of thing the Fyre Festival attendees thought they might have been getting.
It’s all the fault of Weezer fans and internet pranksters. Anyone that wanted Weezer to cover Toto’s Africa is complicit here. That cover is the opening track and the reason for this stop-gap (another self-titled Weezer album is due in a month or two, this one, “The Black Album” will feature originals, will be heralded as a comeback, one of the best they’ve done since “Green” or “Red” and it will, ultimately, be quite shit). And so from Africa (and seriously, what the fuck is with all the love for that shit song and the dreadful-af Toto?) to an unnecessary Everybody Wants To Rule The World (the original holds up, is class, needs no help) through a spot-on/redundant Sweet Dreams and to the party-pills triumph of A-Ha’s Take on Me which probably gets not only a pass but is the highwater mark here simply for Rivers’ exuberance. This is him going full Fyre Festival, nailing the watercooler talk of ‘back in my day…’
After milking a mini-80s love-fest the band pivots, heads to the 60s for a meaningless romp across The Turtles’ Happy Together and the Guitar Hero-grind of a pointless Black Sabbath cover (Paranoid).
Weezer doing ELO’s Mr Blue Sky makes more sense. But there’s one problem – the only person allowed to cover ELO is Mr Electric Light Orchestra himself, Jeff Lynne. He’s going to, rightfully, outlive us all. He’ll be 158 and still rocking poodle-hair and neck-beard stubble, those same silly shades and he’ll still be making strange magic. He doesn’t need any help from Weezer’s magic-marker swirls.
If the idea wasn’t silly enough and proving itself to be the decider is TLC’s No Scrubs.
It’s game over here.
So much so that I can’t be bothered even commenting on the band’s covers of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and the Ben E. King/John Lennon staple Stand By Me, except to say that in roughly 87 days no one in the world is going to care about Michael Jackson at all…unless they’re related-enough to be drawing some sort of coins from what’s left of his earnings. His music will not live forever and no memory is being served by this cover version. That’s the weird thing about this project in general, no memories are being served, and yet no innovation is being offered. This is cartoon-karaoke meme-music. It’s the album we deserve. And the worrying thing is that some band like Parquet Courts is probably already in the studio cutting “The Real Teal” Album – a cover-version of this set of cover-versions.
A new festival of cover-versions only will be taking place inside a moored boat’s galley where the kitchen from Full House has been faithfully recreated and at the completion of each lifeless song-facsimile an animatronic Michelle Tanner-toddler will be propelled along a model train track to lift a fake thumb and shout, “You got it, dude!”
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