The US rockers Weezer praise van Halen – or something like that: their latest studio album is dedicated by design to the big hard rock band, The album was originally due for mid 2020, but now, the band finally released it on 7th May 2021. This also lead to the situation that the band intended to release it as their fourteenth studio album, but OK Human released early this year in fact has been released earlier.
Weezer – About The Artists
Weezer, who are from Los Angeles, are quite a solid band regarding their line-up: since 2001, the band is playing with lead vocalist Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell on the guitar and bassist Scott Shriner. The roots of the band, however, are already in 1992, when the band consisted of Cuomo, Wilsen, Matt Sharp and Jason Cropper, who left Weezer quite quickly. Just one year after the band has been formed, they signed their first record deal and released their self-titled debut album, which is also called Blue Album, in 1994. The album already made it to the Top 10 in Canada, New Zealand and Sweden. Thereby, Buddy Holly was likely the lead track of the album. Two years later, the band released Pinkerton, which sold wore, but the Green Album in 2001 was another huge success.
The following albums sold very well, the band established a fan base not only in their home country, but also in Canada and Scandinavia. In the previous decade, they published new albums very regularly, but the success faded more and more – the peak position of their previous one, the 2019 Black Album just barely made it into the US Top 20 and did not have any significant chart placements in other major markets.They still have their fans and visibility though – for example, Weird Al Yankovic recently recorded a version of Toto’s Africa with the band.
Weezer – Van Weezer – Track by Track
The ten song album lasts 31 minutes. The album is dedicated to Eddie Van Halen, who passed away in October 2020. Funnily, the track order is different between different streaming platforms.
The delay in the album release leads to the situation that some of the releases are about one year old (and that the band’s recent releases are typically OK Human ones). The song is a typically, energetic and happy-sounding Weezer track with nice guitar work
Well, everybody needs a hero, but I’m not everybody else
I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, yeah,
You know, I tried to be a hero, but I was lying to myself
I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, yeah, I walk alone, yeah
2. All the Good Ones
The second second starts with chords, which could almost be taken from a country rocker – but then the guitars licks create a nice groove and vibe. Rather an indie rock song than a track for hard rockers and metalheads.
3. The End of the Game
The End of the Game was likely the most successful Van Weezer release before the album – and it is just a great fun track. The song starts in the classic (hard) rock style, which may remind you of Van Halen. Then, the band is falling back rather back to their own sound. This may be a bit of confusing while listening to the song. I feel the track is still fun.
4. I Need Some of That
Summertime, I press rewind
And go back to a simple place
When I was just a little punk
Daydreaming of my escape
Listening to Aerosmith
Later on, I will call my mom
Now I’m pluggin’ into a Marshall stack
I can be anything I want
The lyrics above are taken from the first verse. Even though the chorus is very catchy thereafter, it just does not really reflect the expectations I had about it when I listened to the lyrics. If I Need Some of That wasn’t on an album referencing to Van Halen (and did not have that 1980’s to 1990’s reference), it would be a cool listen, though. The melody and the chorus are great.
5. Beginning of the End
Beginning of the End starts with police sirens. The rather quiet beginning of the song almost feels like a break thereafter.
My head is spinning
It’s the beginning of the end
The people freak out when I walk out there, so scared
After the first chorus the guitars can play with more volume. The lyrics are really cool with quotes like
In heavy metal we trust
Then kick back and read The Sunday Times
A nice way of debating whether it makes sense to age music in that way. Thus, this song is one of my favorites on the album.
6. Blue Dream
Blue Dream is another song, which starts like a classic metal song – but finally, the quote is very short and you go back to the Weezer rock sound with a blend of rock. I would have loved to have this track played in a harder way – the guitar riffs are popping up here and there and create a really decent sound.
7. 1 More Hit
I’ve had enough Van Weezer songs now. I will not care what the first fifteen, twenty seconds are like. Whatever the beginning of the track suggests, you just might get something else. The guitar work on 1 More Hit is really good – but they mixed the song with too few self-confidence. The metal-alike parts like the powerful solo almost feel disturbing and ridiculous. The song just feels much more pop-ish after that park.
8. Sheila Can Do It
Sheila Can Do It is one of my favorites on the album. The key reason for that is simply: it is a straight song. It has a message, it has a concept – and it is following both of them. On the other hand, that this track somehow hurts me the most: if Weezer would go for a sound and just follow it, maybe adding some surprising moments here and there, they would be excellent.
9. She Needs Me
She needs me, she needs me
And that’s why I need her
She needs me, she needs me
It’s us against the world
The second last track of the album is not all bad – at least it does not confuse me as much as other tracks. It is also quite catchy in chorus, so that Weezer fans might enjoy it when played live on stage.
10. Precious Metal Girl
The strumming on the electric guitars give a nice folk rock touch at the end of the album. Not at all a song a Precious Metal Girl would bang her head to – but in its simplicity and straight character one of the best tracks of the album. Relatable, good listen and somehow also surprising.
Weezer – Van Weezer – Spotify
Here is Van Weezer on Spotify:
Weezer – Van Weezer – My View
Van Weezer does not really make me happy. First of all, that’s not at all what I expected when I saw the cover and the title. More than that, I feel that the band is stuck in trying to do too many things in one song. If they try to do simple, they do good ones like the Precious Metal Girl at the end. If you here and there don’t listen to the album too closely, you might still have fun with this fifteenth edition of the Weezer studio album history.
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