By Neil Manning
Album: Weezer (Teal Album)
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2019
Weezer’s latest album, consisting entirely of covers, caught fans by surprise in late January. The only hint before the drop were covers of “Africa” and “Rosanna” by Toto, both released at the end of May 2018. “Africa” made it as the opening track of this album, while “Rosanna” didn’t quite make the cut which is a disappointment because it would have been the best track on the album.
Throughout the span of their career, Weezer has done a few covers both live and in-studio. This includes a cover of “The Weight” which is an amazing take on the song that gives it that Weezer flair that is common in their songs.
Unfortunately, this latest release of covers seems to fall a bit dull. While some of the tracks listed felt promising, none seemed to deliver to their full potential.
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” felt good and true to the original, but that’s all it was. It just felt like Weezer was redoing the original and there was no Weezer sound fused into their version of the song. While it’s still a good song to listen to, it didn’t feel fresh.
“Take On Me” was mostly like the original, however, they did add some Weezer distortion, and Rivers Cuomo’s voice was able to step up to the challenging vocals and his voice, in both lead and harmony, sounded pleasant throughout the whole song.
The biggest letdown on the album comes in a little over halfway through when you hear the cheery piano intro to “Mr. Blue Sky.” This is a great song from Electric Light Orchestra that’s upbeat and is sure to get stuck in your head. On this album, it doesn’t have that same charm ELO brought to it. When I saw the song on the track listing, I thought for sure this would be the best song on the album, but Weezer finds a way to make the song lackluster. Cuomo’s voice doesn’t have the energy it needs for this bouncy tune.
Immediately after, we get the biggest surprise and overall best song on the album, “No Scrubs.” This rendition of the TLC song, was a big surprise to me, as it felt the exact opposite of what came right before it. This was a fun song, that felt like it was sung entirely in jest because obviously, Cuomo is not the right person for the song, but his voice fits this in an ironic funny way. It feels like Weezer actually enjoyed doing this cover, which can’t be said for a lot of the other tracks.
Overall, this album can be enjoyed in the right setting, but it is tough to call it a good album. It’s not bad that it exists, but I think most people wouldn’t miss the album if it had never happened. It was a nice surprise as fans wait for the eventual release of The Black Album which is set to be released in March.