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weezer: History Rewinding

May 6, 2016


weezer: History Rewinding
by Geoff Stephen

I’ve spent/invested/squandered most of my adult life trying to solve one of the great mysteries of our time:

What happened to my beloved weezer?

After years of intensive research, failed mathematical models, and general bewilderment, I have come up with two possible theories:

1) A disruption in the space-time continuum

theory 1

As I first proposed in December 2014, there was an early 21st Century disruption in the space-time continuum, creating an alternate timeline, resulting in the release of some less-than-sacred albums, the original timeline somehow being reset by 2014, just in time for the release of the solid Everything Will be Alright in the End.

This scenario remains implausible enough to be true.


2) weezer is not repeating history. They are REWINDING history.

I’ll explain. Graphically, of course.

albums 1-7
Diagram A

With weezer, listener frustration varies by album.

Therefore, weezer albums represent the independent variable (x) and listener frustration levels represent the dependent variable (y).

Diagram A shows listener frustration levels across the first seven weezer albums.

– The first two albums are frustration-free

– Frustrations grow with the simplistic ‘Green’ album, then subside slightly with the less instantly-appealing but more magnificent Maladroit

– The frustration levels jump again with the Beverly Hills-led Make Believe, only to recede slightly upon hearing the flashes of brilliance (e.g. Greatest Man Who Ever Lived) on the ‘Red’ album

– Finally, listener frustration spikes with the release of Ratitude.

Following the release of that 7th album, things looked bleak.

However, with the release of weezer’s 10th album, the ‘White’ album, a new pattern is emerging.

albums 8,9,10
Diagram B

Notice what happens on albums 8, 9, and 10.

They are mirror images of albums 7, 6, and 5.

Every weezer album is inevitably described as a “return-to-form.”

This week, it occurred to me that for the remainder of their career, this will ALWAYS be true with weezer.

But the “form” to which they are “returning” will depend on the album.

Each subsequent weezer album is really returning to the form of its first 7 albums counterpart, in reverse chronological order.

It’s as if they pressed ‘REWIND’ at some point between albums 7 & 8.

As shown in the graph:

Hurley (album #8) was a return to Ratitude (#7) form; each drove fans equally bananas, frustration levels to the extreme.

Everything…(#9) returned to the form displayed on ‘Red’ (#6); both albums sporadically reminding fans of why they were still weezer fans.

Which makes ‘White’ (#10) a return to Make Believe (#5) form.

And there are parallels a plenty. Out of respect for reader time, here are the Top 5.

top 5 parallels

Graphically, this return to Make Believe doesn’t seem like good news, as it has a higher frustration level than its predecessor.

However, if this rewinding/mirror pattern continues, the next 4 albums should be beauties.

Diagram C

The takeaway message?

The future looks bright.

weezer’s 11th album will mirror Maladroit; it will be underappreciated by the masses, be slightly heavier than usual, and feature a stellar track 7-8-9 sequence.

weezer’s 12th album will mirror the Green album; it will be short & snappy, though listeners will long for less basic song structures.

weezer’s 13th and 14th albums will be well worth the wait, joining Pinkerton and the Blue album as undisputed, stone cold classics.

I’m excited!

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  1. Fascinating analysis! I look forward to 13 and 14 and hope you’re right. But Pinkerton will be damn hard to balance. Will always be my favorite, emo before emo.

    • Many thanks sourgirl!
      It’s nice to feel optimistic about =w= again, I struggled for a while there between 2008-2014.
      I flip flop between blue & pinkerton as my favourite, I guess there isn’t a wrong answer!

      • I’ll admit the Blue album is probably more digestible and marketable, but I tend to judge things on how they make me feel, so Pinkerton is close to my heart.

  2. haha, one of the best, and quite possibly most accurate reviews of the Weezer back catalogue I have ever read. Well done Geoff, you’ve captured just about everyone’s continued confusion and provided a potentially logical conclusion. btw…I have a soft spot for “Maladroit” too, and would possibly rate it up there with the first two.

    • Much appreciated Geoff!
      I had Maladroit out this week, it would be my #3 (soon to be tied with album #11,hopefully!)

  3. What about Death To False Metal and Hurely… were they real albums or joke titles before the real albums came out?

    • Hurley was real (#8) I think Death to false was a compilation, so not listed as a studio album. I haven’t heard it yet – I was so frustrated with them at the time I didn’t feel up to exploring!

  4. Brilliant! You can often draw parallels with albums by other bands too. There are patterns with bands like Metallica like this.

    I always felt Red was one of their most interesting experiments.

    • THanks Mike!
      I’d be interested in seeing a listener frustration by album graph for Metallica – some definite peaks & valleys I’d imagine.
      I’m with you on it being OK to like Load!

      • Dude I honestly couldn’t do charts and graphs like you. I’ve tried to emulate but you are so far into your own game, it’s impossible! I couldn’t do a Metallica post like this even know we had brain transplants. What I’m saying is — good job. You continue to raise the bar.

      • Much appreciated – I’d say the bar keeps getting raised by the whole community.
        I’m pleased when my nerd enthusiasms for music & excel can be combined! 🙂

      • This is true. But what you’re doing just scratching my itch. I love it.

  5. Very clever indeed.
    And should I decide to seriously engaged with Weezer, I’ll be back here for guidance.

    • Many thanks Bruce!
      I think you’d find some of their tunes would meet the elusive, perfect power pop, description

      • I’m sure that’s true. I introduced a young friend to power pop many years ago and he has become a major Weezer fan, which supports the through-line you are suggesting. Did own ‘Make Believe’ briefly (and ‘We are all on drugs’ made it to the year’s Best Of comp)…

  6. This is brilliant. Geoff, I think you missed your calling. You oughta be a professional blogger, with NASCAR-like sponsorships on your blogging jacket.

    I’m gonna agree with you about all this Weezer stuff because I haven’t heard most of these records. So yeah! Totally! I’ll take your word for it!

    So well done.

    • Haha, thanks Aaron – I fear the sponsors wouldn’t see excel-infused thesis-y posts as being terribly marketable!
      But much appreciated all the same, as long as you’ve got albums #1,2 that’s a good start, once they arrive, albums 13,14 will hopefully be just as good!

      • Dude, not marketable? As if. Try this:

        This Blog Has Been Brought To You By: Microsoft Excel, the choice of professional bloggers like Geoff!

        I can see it now…

        I actually don’t own any Weezer, at the moment. Is that bad, or wrong, or something? I’ve heard it a lot, over the years, but I’ve never owned it. Not because I don’t want to, and not because it’s hard to get (I’m sure they’re easily affordable*). I just… never did? Hm.

        * Amazon will sell me the Blue CD for $5 brand new.

      • Perhaps there’s a niche audience for it after all!
        I’m not a reliable source when it comes to evaluating whether weezer albums are worth getting – any band you loved/lived for at age 17, there’s no trace of objectivity!

  7. This is tremendous, Geoff. Truly. I often chat with a friend of mine about Weezer, as we honestly can’t figure out what happened with them. After Pinkerton I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – I think Green and Maladroit were welcome due to the gap, but there wasn’t a great deal to really pull me back (maybe a great album if they’d merged those two albums?)

    Anyhoo, since then the disconnect has grown with each album. Reckon I’ll follow your plot and wait three albums before I jump right back in to the Weezer world.


  8. Love the Blue album ..Ric Ocasek dumps his sound into the musical blender and out pops Weezer!
    Never bought anything else by these guys…..dunno why but never got into the whole Hash Pipe thingy deal they were doing….maybe my bad! Ha!
    Drives me nuts when bands would say “our new album sounds like our classic record from 30 years ago” spiel and you listen to it and it’s like “Whut! Did I miss the memo?”
    Case in point…..
    Aerosmith yammering on about how how there 2012 release “Music From Another Dimension ” was gonna go back to tune sound of Rocks(1976)….
    Being 44 years young back in 2012 I fell for it…It was no where close to Rocks…
    Ha….they fooled this Geezer yet again……

    • If you’ve only got one album, the blue’s a good one to have Deke!
      Fortunately I don’t think it’s Weezer that claims to be returning to their roots, it tends to be the reviewers.
      I finally accepted years ago that the days of the blue are long gone – but if this theory’s right, maybe there’s hope!

  9. This is brilliant! Good thing you’re not marketing this as a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity, because I’m sufficiently convinced that I’m afraid I’d be tempted to offer over a good chunk of my savings. I’ve got all of them except Hurley and the new one; I truly pine for your rewinding/mirror to reflect reality.

    • Thanks Victim of the Fury – you’re still welcome to invest, only 5 easy payments of $99.95!
      I’m hoping the graph is accurate too, we’ll see when album #11 comes out!

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