Music, Rivers Cuomo/Weezer Rankings 2017, Weezer

The Weezer/Rivers Cuomo Song Rankings (Part 4/14): The Green Album

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Released: May 15, 2001
Recorded: December 2000–January 2001
Studio: Cello Studios, Los Angeles, California
Length: 28:20
Producer: Ric Ocasek

OK, so Weezer’s back after a 5 year hiatus….what’s this? I hear the crunchy guitars, quirky lyrics, and the sound is unmistakable for Weezer but….this is different. Let’s keep on listening.

DON’T LET GO

Songwriting: Welcome to Rivers Cuomo Songwriter Part II. Very simple and focused. Almost calculated. Scientific. We get the sense that Rivers is on a quest to write the perfect pop song.
Arrangement: You can’t much simpler than this. Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Barely a solo. Weezer will repeat this for almost every song on the album.
Production: Ric Ocasek brings the crunch back to Weezer and reigns in the wild Pinkerton vibes.
Performance: It sounds like a well oiled machine.
SCORE: 7

PHOTOGRAPH

Songwriting: More of the quest to perfect the pop song. This is a good short burst.
Arrangement: Simple once again. I have a feeling we’ll be repeating this again and again.
Production: Sounds like Weezer in a room ripping through a pop song. Well done.
Performance: More of the same as Don’t Let Go
SCORE: 8

HASH PIPE

Songwriting: What the hell is this James Bond-esque riff and lyrics about a hash pipe? I don’t get it, but it rocks. And I will take that.
Arrangement: Simple, but the nice buildup section after the second chorus changes things up. Experimenting with the perfect pop song!
Production: Wow, does that riff pack some wallop. Keep it up.
Performance: Weezer at some of their rock music best.
SCORE: 8

ISLAND IN THE SUN

Songwriting: Simple and perfect, the lyrics combine with the music to evoke a very good mood for the listener. A very successful songwriting experiment for Rivers Cuomo.
Arrangement: More simplistic arrangements but for this one it is perfect. Every instrument falls into place.
Production: Ric Ocasek adds the perfect touch. The shakers and acoustic guitar make the song.
Performance: This song could not be performed any better.
SCORE: 10

CRAB

Songwriting: The Rivers Cuomo songwriting experiment tries to write a balls to the wall rocker. It’s interesting!
Arrangement: Straight forward and focused. The song does not let up on the rock.
Production: Some wah guitar spices up the whole “let’s repeat the vocal melody for the guitar solo” schtick that is so prevalent on this album. I’m good with it.
Performance: Strong rock. Nothing much going on here but it is good.
SCORE: 6

KNOCK-DOWN DRAG-OUT

Songwriting: A very straight forward and rather bland rock song. The lyrics, the melody, and the chords really don’t do much here. Is this the first dud of Weezer’s career? I think so!
Arrangement: Nothing special happening here at all, move along.
Production: For such a bland song, you’d hope the production might take it to a new level. It does not.
Performance: A rock band going through the motions.
SCORE: 4

SMILE

Songwriting: A beautiful pop rock song with a strong melody.
Arrangement: Very basic. The only thing that stands out to me is the introduction and not in a good way. It doesn’t open the song in a strong way.
Production: Once again, a confusing production move. This song has an excellent melody and the songwriting is great, but the Green Album style of production just does not fit the song well. This song should’ve been given a lighter treatment.
Performance: Despite the choices on the production, the band still performs the song well.
SCORE: 6

SIMPLE PAGES

Songwriting: A typical Green album era song. The verses are really stand out.
Arrangement: Let’s follow the Green Album Arrangement Schematic again, guys!
Production: Some nice touches on the lead guitar that help propel the track. The outro is a key moment of emotion on the album, which we don’t see much of other than on this song.
Performance: The band feels energized.
SCORE: 7

GLORIOUS DAY

Songwriting: Interesting stuff here. It doesn’t exactly fit the Green Album mold, but that is a welcome change. On any other album I don’t think this one would make the final cut.
Arrangement: A great intro, but everything else is really more of the same
Production: Nice touches on the introduction with production.
Performance: I don’t hear a lot going on here with the band. More going through the motions.
SCORE: 5

O GIRLFRIEND

Songwriting: A great Rivers Weezer ballad. The song hits a lot of emotional high points for this band at this time in their career.
Arrangement: Good stuff. Great introduction and an amazing bridge.
Production: The song has always sound a bit echo-y to me, giving it a unique sound for this album. It is a welcome closer.
Performance: A band working together to bring a strong closer to an album that is a bit divisive to the listener.
SCORE: 8

THE FINAL WORD

There are days where I really enjoy the quick burst of energy that is The Green Album and there are other days where I write it off. Back in 2001, this album drew strong emotions from me. At that point, I was a hardcore Weezer fan and I did not expect this. Going from the emotional rawness of Pinkerton to the scientific songwriting/controlled environment atmosphere of The Green Album was jarring. Over time though, what I’ve noticed is that a good song is a good song no matter how you record it or what album it ends up. This is the lesson I’ve learned from The Green Album. While not the best work the band has done, there are some great songs and performances.

 

TOTAL POINTS: 69
AVERAGE SCORE: 6.90

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