Weezer: Van Weezer

iTunes $7.99 | Streaming LIVE X LIVE (Album of the Week 5/7/21) | 10 Tracks [30:53]

I’m feeling a little Weezer whiplash at the moment. We just got OK Human 2 months ago and now we will do it again for the long-awaited Van Weezer. Hold on a second while I adjust my neck, and my Air pods.

First, let me complain a little. I don’t like short movies if I’m buying a ticket and actually go to the theater. If I’m paying $18.99 for a ticket at AMC, then I expect at least a 2-hour movie. Same goes for albums. A short run time deserves a cheaper price. That’s exactly what iTunes did. They priced all 10 tracks of Van Weezer at $7.99. If you’re a Weezer fan then celebrate, pay the 8 bucks, and get all 10 songs. If you aren’t a big fan after dropping dough on OK Human, then just buy the two songs you really like.

‘1 More Hit’ is one of those songs that I would buy. It has a great rock guitar riff and sounds grungy and very tough. The concept of the album, which has been beaten like a dead horse for a year now, is 80’s Hair Band. For the most part I love this idea because I am a brilliant product of the 1980’s too. I still believe some of the best music of all time came from this era.

As a quick side note, I heard the live version of ‘Home Sweet Home’ by Motley Crue last night. It was streaming on my LIVE X LIVE App. It gave me chills. Even just thinking about it again just now gave me chills again. Go find it, buy it, and enjoy it forever.

More about the songs. ‘I Need Some of That’ is cool. I wish I could plug into a Marshall Stack too and play like lead guitarist Brian Bell. ‘The End of the Game’ has a nice start and contributes to the 80’s guitar style of the album. Many songs sound like the point of view of a moody teenage boy, like ‘All the Good Ones’ and ‘Sheila Can Do It.’ ‘She Needs Me’ is irritating in the same way. ‘Precious Metal Girl’ is fine, I guess (sigh). ‘Beginning of the end’ has a neat intro of electric interference and builds up suspense very nicely. Then Rivers Cuomo starts to sing and ruins it. He sings “My head is spinning. It’s the beginning of the end.” I suppose this song is about stage fright. I couldn’t figure out who or what was ending but I hoped for it to happen soon.  

Blue Dream’ sounds like a modified version of the intro to Crazy Train, by Ozzy and Randy Rhodes. Not much else to say. ‘The End of the Game’ was released way back in 2019, when the album was first announced. To me it sounds like Green Days’ version of ‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon (Did you know that?). The song received great reviews, but to me Weezer seems like Rock ‘n’ Stroll instead of righteous Rock ’n’ Roll that grips your heart. Critics! Comment below if you disagree but then go listen to Guns ‘n’ Roses.

‘I Need Some of That’ has a very entertaining clip at the end about filming a copyrighted face. Who does that? Should I? I don’t know who the reporter is in the clip, or if it’s some of the band members explaining the rule, but it’s one of the cool quirks of the album and I enjoy it each time I loop through the tracks.

The best song on the album is ‘Hero’, released the day before the album (yesterday as I write this). It’s the opener and the anchor of the production. Rolling Stone calls it an ‘outcast anthem’. Somehow it’s about the lead singer’s feelings of inadequacy. I’d say he’s inadequate as a strong lyricist but otherwise the song has some pop to it, along with good guitar, and it’s the highlight for sure. Some lyrics sound like Green Day again. He sings: “Well, everybody needs a hero, but I’m not everybody else. I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, oh, yeah. You know, I tried to be a hero, but I was lying to myself.” You get the picture, but I like the song.

The album does have good music. The guitar work will win you over. The lyrics feel very high school and water the whole thing down. Buy your favorites and skip the rest. I give Van Weezer a SCORE of 6 out of 10, one higher than OK Human, because of the guitar player and the band work. If anyone wanted to buy me a concert ticket to see Weezer live, maybe they’re a great performance band. I’d love to see it and the home page makes it possible for this to happen. If not, subscribe to the blog, follow @poorcritic on Twitter, and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. And share this with other music lovers if you like my posts. Thanks.

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