Weezer- The Blue Album

Posted: November 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’d like to commemorate our re-opening with a post on the 1994 album (The Blue Album) by Weezer. The album first came to my attention when their video ‘Buddy Holly’ appeared on the T.V- or rather it caught my mum’s eye, who felt nostalgic with the return of ‘Happy Days’, which she apparently watched every afternoon. This is my take on how influential the album was, especially its general image.

“I talked for hours to your wallet photograph
And you just listened
You  laughed enchanted by intellect
Or maybe you didn’t    
You remain turned away
Turning further  every day

“The world has turned and left me here
Just where I was  before you appeared
And in your place an empty space
Has filled the void  behind my face”

So, what does that mean? Weezer here are portraying the image of a loved one who has left, (which doesn’t necessarily mean that they have died). That could be a parent, sibling, spouse or friend. The band have done something unusual there: not discussing death, or what it’s like to be without the person who has left, but have been remarkable by not broadcasting an harsh and angry tune. This example could be far fetched, but one of the first links that comes to mind with death and music is thrash metal. The image that comes to mind is of men wearing black face paint, black clothes and black guitars. Pierced tongues, pierced belly buttons, pierced noses. Tattooed body, masks, spiked boots. You get the idea (essentially a description of Slipknot). Here, however, we find a gentler approach. The harshness is softened by the backing vocals to give a less painful harmony. (You won’t get many Slipknot comparisons with the video Island In The Sun)

Tracks Say It Ain’t So, In The Garage and Holiday sum up the album. In The Garage discovers the more introverted lead singer Rivers Cuomo talk about keeping safe in one place- which we assume he means physically, but really could too mean that he doesn’t feel safe mentally when he’s with other people. Holiday is the more adventurous, outgoing Weezer that’s concentration of tune to lyrics is heavier here on the tune, whilst Say It Ain’t So is a more aggressive song, with the more heart felt lyrics about relationships not lasting as long as they should. The darker side of Weezer.

What is Weezer’s image, music aside? Starting with the album cover, we get the idea of a more innocent, benign group. Even the sky blue background generates the sense that they are an exciting, witty band, who care about their image. We see this in the video Buddy Holly with the trickery of the band looking as if they’re on the show Happy Days and band members in two places at once. In the Say It Ain’t So video, the lyrics are reflected with the video set in a teenage boys’ bedroom and the general adolescent smell is there with the sunken shoulders and overall 20 years old body language.

The album in general is about adolescent feelings and emotions mixing with feelings about sex and disappointment. The image that’s projected is intellectual, introverted and occasionally we get some dry humour. However, later on in Weeper’s career, many of those traits change (which I’ll discuss another time). I hope you’ve enjoyed this first taste of Juvenile Hearing being open again.

Ethan.

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