The curious case of an unexpected album release I see! Not only that, it is a cover album I hear! I hope they have covered songs that I know! Oh well might as well just put it on without seeing the tracklist and hope I can sing along. In all seriousness though, despite all my mixed feelings (spoiler) on the album, I would recommend putting this on and being surprised by what they play. So stop reading this and listen to it (or read on if you really want too).
It has only been in the last year that I’ve started listening to Weezer and classifying myself as “a fan”. I’ve always known of them of course, ‘Island in the Sun’ was used in every advertisement ever, ‘Buddy Holly’ was always playing on Kerrang!, ‘Beverly Hills’ whilst not the most creative song was seemingly everywhere at the time, and of course I grew up with the Guitar Hero & Rock Band games so I knew ‘My Name is Jonas’ inside and out. The point I am trying to make here is that when people speak about how their best ever work was Pinkerton or the Blue Album, I cannot join in as it is a painfully ignorant subject matter of mine, which might just paint my opinion of the Teal Album as a little different from the die hard fans.
The Teal Album by Weezer is such a strange album. I have spent a lot of time trying to describe my feelings but it has totally confused me. The tracks are not really that creative and there are more inspired covers by other bands but for the life of me I just cannot stop listening to this album. It is made up of some of the biggest pop songs that have been etched into pop culture over the years and because of this you’ll unexpectedly find yourself singing along even if you do not recognise the song at first. The track listing has been perfectly created to have the most perfect peaks and valleys of any album I’ve ever listened to and I think that is what makes it so damn replayable.
I believe the beauty of this album is listening to it start to finish, in this way you will you get the most out of it. However here is a quick tidbit on each song.
You start off with ‘Africa’ (originally by Toto) taking you through a nice stroll. Something we are all familiar with since they released it last year.
We then get ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ (originally by Tears for Fears). Another 80’s classic that sounds similar in execution and you start to think that perhaps this album may be just a little one note.
‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ (originally by Eurythmics) plays and makes you aware that Weezer are not afraid of trying anything with the heavy synths and some high notes that you may question should not have been attempted by Rivers Cuomo.
‘Take on Me’ (originally by A-Ha) sounds so eerily similar to the original until the very last break. Here there are no instruments, just Rivers’ vocals enticing the goosebumps on your body.
‘Happy Together’ (originally by The Turtles) is the weakest song on the album. Of all the tracks ‘Happy Together’ sounds the most like a straight cover that they took from the band practice book and ultimately adds a lull in the middle of the album, just waiting to be picked back up by ‘Paranoid’.
‘Paranoid’ (originally by Black Sabbath) sees Weezer get heavy, so heavy in fact they employ their rhythm guitarist, Brian Bell, to sing this song. The heaviest track on the album and nothing comes close to matching the energy here either.
‘Mr. Blue Sky’ (originally by E.L.O) is so easy to sing along to it should be illegal. They were able capture the spirit of the original song here and get extra points for doing the outro too.
‘No Scrubs’ (originally by TLC) is the most surprising of all these sounds. The opening lyrics: “A scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly, And is also known as a busta” sound so bizarre coming from a band like Weezer, you’ll feel a lot of emotions here. Confusion, anger, slight arousal but in the end you will feel good.
‘Billie Jean’ (originally by Michael Jackson). There have been a lot of MJ covers over the years, sadly this is not one of the better ones. Like all songs on the album this is good to sing along to, but if you want something more creative stick to the likes of ‘Smooth Criminal’ by Alien Ant Farm.
Stand by Me (originally by Ben E. King) is the perfect track to end the album with. The vocals understandably are a lot different from Mr. King’s and I think that works in its favour.
Do yourself a favour and listen to this album, it is definitely a “greater than the sum of it parts” scenario. The Teal Album is not going to down in history as the next Pinkerton or Blue Album as it does not reinvent the wheel but more often than not adds their own rims to each cover. If you want something that is a fun time or something you’ll subconsciously sing along to then this album is for you. Just do not expect it to be the next great Weezer album you wanted it to be.