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My Favourite Album…Weezer (The Blue Album)

Weezer – Weezer
(DGC 1994, Ric Ocasek)

My earliest memory of this album would have to be my brother playing it at full volume constantly, particularly ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and ‘The Sweater Song’. I must’ve been around 8 or 9 when The Blue Album came out and I had absolutely no interest in music (I didn’t buy my first album until I was around 12 or so). In fact the vast majority of what my brother used listened too I’ve grown to appreciate as I aged, but back then I despised more or less all of it. But even as an 9 year old with no interest in music, the songs on this album stood out for me amongst the noise and mess of his old school Punk bands. It’s entirely possible that Weezer and The Blue Album are responsible for even getting me into music in the first place, so as you can probably gather, it’s very special to me.

Perhaps it was the gifted a songwriting of Rivers Cuomo that allowed me to get into the album at such an early age; there’s a simplicity to some of the lyrics and yet the tracks just have this way of drawing you in, while simultaneously possessing this timeless quality. I was going to say I listen to the album just as much now as I did years ago, but if anything, as time has gone by, I’ve listened to it more regularly.

As I alluded to earlier the track ‘Undone – The Sweater Song’ is a track I particularly remember hearing a lot, “If you want to destroy my sweater. Woah woah a woah. Pull this thread as I walk away. As I walk away!” Such simple lyrics and yet it’s impossible not to sing along. I’d like to call it a stand out track from the album but then every track is of an exceptional standard. ‘Say It Ain’t So” is another track which I remember strongly from my youth. The slow pace and the catchiness of the guitar intro to the song makes me wish I’d learnt to play, it instantly makes me want to pick one up and play along. The way River screams “Say it ain’t so” during the chorus cannot fail to make your hairs stand on end and get your adrenaline suitably pumping.

‘Buddy Holly’ is one of those tracks that surely everyone has heard by now. It’s such an upbeat fun song, guaranteed to put you in a good mood. It just has this ability to flood my mind with memories of good times, and I think the music video really helps. To me it’s the greatest music video ever made, through the wonder of technology we’re able to see Weezer performing the ‘Buddy Holly’ to the cast of Happy Days. Weezer plus the Fonz equals an unmatchable level of coolness if you ask me.

I remember Reading Festival 2010, when I saw Weezer live for the first time, and seeing ‘Buddy Holly’ performed live was everything I imagined it to be, with a crazy amount of people dancing along whilst simultaneously bellowing out the lyrics. It makes you love an album or song even more when you see it brought to life like that, the happiness just stays with you when you go home and listen to it again on CD again. Another big favourite from this album is one of the bands most well known songs, the opening track of the Blue album ‘My Name Is Jonas’. I love how they keep changing up the pace of the song, starting off quite slowly and then just bursting into life before slowing down the pace again and finishes the same way it started with a fast and yet soft piece of simple but sweet guitar work.

‘Surf Wax America’ is the most underrated track on the album; most of the lyrics are just about surfing to work whilst someone else. It just conjures up a really cool laid back picture in your mind, but at the same time retains that quirky upbeat quality which just sums up the band and album perfectly in my mind.

As the album reaches track 8 it gets to ‘In The Garage’ which features one of the most glorious riffs. I often make mention of how laid back some of the songs are, but that doesn’t take anything away from just how gifted this group of musicians called Weezer are. The song ‘Holiday’ which follows it is inevitably going to make you think of holidays and good times, it’s just another reminder that Weezer are so much better than any other band at taking you from a crappy mood to a positive one in no time at all. The album comes to a close with ‘Only In Dreams’ which is such a perfect track to wind down the album with. It’s a really blissful and beautiful song, but still contains the perfect amount of energy to keep it a million miles away from being labeled boring. I love how it just explodes at the end and goes crazy, before just fading out.

I left track three ‘The World Has Turned And Left Me Here’ till the end as it’s the most special song on the album for me. At some point round about a couple of years ago, I just realized it had crept up on me and become my favourite song. If I could pick any song in the world to be able to play it would be this one, and if I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be this track. I’m really fond of the lyrics; “The world has turned and left me here, just where I was before you appeared” it reminds us all that people will come and go in our lives but no matter how much of an effect they have, and no matter what experiences we had with them, we will still be here after they’ve gone. “I just made love with your sweet memory, a thousand times in my mind” is about how many times you can replay old memories of good times. This song just speaks to me, more so than any other song I’ve come across. I’m also particularly fond of the soft background vocals that builds towards the finish. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to hear the song live, but hearing them play it at Brixton Academy a few months back was probably the highlight of my entire gig going life.

In summary there’s a few reasons that this album is the best in my eyes. It has an endless lifespan, not just in the obvious way that you never get bored of it, but also in the way that you still find yourself picking out bits of songs you haven’t really noticed before, and learn to love them. It’s great that in today’s era of music where so many songs and albums become hugely hyped only to disappear a couple of months after their release that albums do exist to show us that it hasn’t always been that way.

The popularity of different genres of music rise and fall across the years, but whatever the date, whatever the era; you could still give this album to a large group of people that had never heard of Weezer, and the vast majority would love it. My music taste has changed and developed greatly since I was a child, but no matter how many years have passed, this album has remained a constant love, 10 tracks of fantastically catchy upbeat fun that everybody should have in their lives. Craig Brooks

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Author: david

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