me, weezer, and the space time continuum [3/5]
It’s not me, it’s you (2009-2013)
It’s probably not good karma to cheer for a band to break up but whenever the topic of weezer came up, it was very sad to be unable to talk about them favourably in the present tense.
I started to question myself: is it just me? Am I getting old? Am I that guy wearing rose-coloured glasses (speaking of Blue Rodeo), reminiscing about music that’s not really as good as I think it is?
I read The Great Gatsby, old Sport, I know you can’t re-create the past. I get it that Rivers is embarrassed by Pinkerton but is a return to even the Maladroit-era quality too unreasonable a request?
OK Rivers, I’ll meet you halfway: I’ll try to stop being a fuddy-duddy, stubbornly stuck in the past, I’ll give your new stuff a chance.
Just what every non-smoking weezer fan needs
But even five years later, I haven’t held up my end of the bargain: I have never made it through either of Raditude (2009) or Hurley (2010).
I’ve tried. And failed. Repeatedly.
These two albums are an excruciating endurance test, like listening to Pearl Jam’s Bugs.
How could a once-great band go so off-the-rails?
I’ve spent years trying to figure out what happened to weezer. There have been numerous theories:
i) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button theory. weezer is aging in reverse, starting at their most mature and gradually becoming less sophisticated over time. I also call this the weezer Paradox, where an artist’s debut record is the one in their catalogue that sounds the furthest from a rookie release.
ii) Rivers is ‘winking’ at us with the new songs. Like the scene in Community where Jack Black suggests they start saying “You go girl” but doing so ironically. Surely Rivers doesn’t REALLY want to be in Beverly Hills? Just listen to the snarky guitar solo! It’s not the 90s anymore, cheekiness is in, right?
iii) They’re just messing with us. The credibility of this one seemed air-tight when weezer recorded a note-for-note version of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, with the drummer Pat Wilson on lead guitar no less.
iv) Rivers only cares about Rivers. A theory championed by the often spot-on Chuck Klosterman. Rivers has never written songs FOR us, it’s always been about him. His experience, what he feels, without awareness of audience reaction. Reluctantly, this was the theory I had begun to accept.
That is, I did accept, until about a month ago.
to be continued…
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