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Weezer – The Blue Album

Album Review    

A picture of two members from weezer band performing on stage

This month for Good Vibes we’re firing up the time machine once more and returning to May 1994. Britpop was on the rise as the Grunge scene was beginning to wind down. Somewhere amongst all of this, four geeks in California released an album of guitar-driven power pop that would end up being one of the most highly regarded albums of the 1990s, and of alternative rock music in general…


May 2024 marks 30 years since the release of Weezer’s self-titled debut album. Better known as the Blue Album thanks to its distinctive cover, it managed to carve out a unique spot in music in the early to mid-90s. Whilst Grunge had cracked the mainstream with an abrasive edge and introspective and angst-ridden lyrics, the Blue Album shared its distorted guitars and occasionally its intimate lyrics, but not a lot else.


With a greater focus on catchy melodies and memorable hooks, it is at its core, a pop album, albeit one wrapped up in guitar riffs and solos. Its core is quality songwriting and substance, not just style. Because of this, it doesn’t sound like an album that’s 30 years old, it has the quality that all genuinely good music has – it’s timeless.


Rivers Cuomo, chief songwriter of Weezer, is about as far removed from your typical rockstar as possible, which is a key ingredient of the Blue Album. As well as a relatable breakup in “Undone (The Sweater Song)” he also sings about going surfing and hanging out in the garage; writing songs and playing Dungeons and Dragons. The unashamed geekiness is charming and down-to-earth, and we at Penta really put a lot of value in someone being unpretentious. Cuomo knows who he is, owns it, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.


That’s not to say that the album lacks depth, it has its introspective and tender moments, like the aforementioned ‘Undone’, ‘The World Has Turned and Left Me Here’ and the superb album closer ‘Only in Dreams’, but this is offset with a sense of humour, for example, the video for ‘Buddy Holly’ and its self-referential chorus.


Aside from everything else, the Blue Album is just fun. And a lot of it at that. You’ll struggle to find another album that’s packed with as many moments that make you want to get up and play air guitar. In fact, that’s why ‘Buddy Holly’ has made it into Penta Sounds Volume 38: Get Amped!


There is one more very small point that we do have to make about this album. It pertains to a lyric on the track ‘Holiday’, which is unsurprisingly about escaping and taking a holiday. Cuomo sings “We're going where the wind is blowing, not knowing where we're gonna stay.” To which we say: Rivers, you along with the rest of Weezer (and everyone else for that matter) are always welcome at a Penta.


Still credits: “Weezer - Live at Bizarre Festival (August 17, 1996) [Remastered]” uploaded to Youtube by gilmi 

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