Rethinking Weezer’s “The Red Album”

Say what you will, but Weezer’s 2008 The Red Album has grown on me.  Upon its release in 2008, I must admit that I cringed a bit.  Rivers seems to be full of himself, act like he’s a fifteen year old teenage boy, and the whole album just felt a bit off.

Time can heal those wounds and make you think new things.  2009’s Raditude really tipped the scales in the direction of Weezer being a full fledged commercial pop band, and it produced some of their best music since 1996’s Pinkerton. Going back to the The Red Album to investigate how all this happened was just natural.

“The Angel and The One” has made it into the top 10 Weezer songs of all time.  Full of emotion and amazing depth, this song gives me goosebumps and has me looking in for something more each time I listen to it.  That’s the sign of a good song.

“Miss Sweeney” calls back to the old days of Weezer, full of big choruses, crunchy guitars, and a nerd like yearning for the girl you don’t have.  Despite now being happily married with a child of my own, I’m still pretty happy when this song makes me feel like I’m seventeen again.  I guess you can never really escape where you came from.  “Miss Sweeney” has helped me see that.

When I first listened to “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived,” Rivers sounded bloated and egotistical.  There’s no way that he’s the greatest man that ever lived?  What the hell?  He’s just a musician!

Strip away away any negative vibes you may have about what he’s actually saying and what you have is a pretty cool and complex pop song.  They’re going out of their traditional Weezer element on this one and, dare I say it, reaching for something akin to prog rock.  I like it.  A lot.

The steady circular chord structure and childlike melody in “Pig” make this tune something you can’t help but get stuck in your head.  Wanna know why you can remember all those children’s songs?  They’re simple.  “Pig” adopts this approach and produces beautiful results.  The production on this recorded version is perfect.  Delicate and forward thinking, the production adds to the beauty of the basic song.

“Pork and Beans” is probably the most immediately recognizable song off of The Red Album and there’s a good reason why.  It is a perfect pop single.  Catchy, goofy lyrics and instrumentation and a HUGE chorus seal the deal here.  Usually pop singles lose their luster over time (at least for me), but I’m still singing along to this one.

I’ve faced the facts with Weezer.  They’re not the same band that they were in 1996 (producing, IMHO, some of the most wonderful music of all time) but I’m not the same person I was back then either.  I’ve grown, and in a weird way so has Weezer.  It may not be this massive life changing music, but it is what it is…Weezer is good pop music.


  1. I actually think the Red album is better than anything else since Blue.

    I wonder why you didn’t mention Heartsongs? Or is it too “basic” for you? I think it is a very circular song… when people hear the Sweater Song they say “That’s my song” etc… just like in Heartsongs

    • Red plus Raditude with some edits (bonus tracks put in, a few album tracks taken out) equals best thing since Pinkerton for me. It is right up there with Blue and Pinkerton as a matter a fact. They’re just well crafted pop songs!

      I do like “Heartsongs” but it isn’t one of my all time faves, but I would keep it on the list for things to keep on the album. It just has a great vibe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s