Released as a surprise on Thursday January 24, 2019, Weezer’s latest album is a ten song collection of covers known as “The Teal Album”, taking it’s name from the color of the album cover. With one month to go before’s Weezer next release (The Black Album, and more on that here), it’s clear that Weezer is doing as much as they can to ride the wave of success they surprisingly found with their cover of Toto’s “Africa” (which is found on The Teal Album).
In the spirit of Weezer’s long running self titled color themed ten songs on the album approach, here are ten things that came across my mind as I listened to The Teal Album.
- One of my common quotes about Weezer’s recent output is “hey at least Pat and Scott are killing it as the rhythm section.” I don’t feel that on most tracks here. The only track that really stands out with the whole band humming along nicely is “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” Outside of that, this collection of songs sounds like Rivers Cuomo with a bit of Brian Bell tossed in here and there over a karaoke track.
- Rivers sounds like he is over pronouncing every word on every song. This is very apparent in “Billie Jean” where for the first time in my life I was able to understand what Michael Jackson was actually singing. This does not help this song at all.
- “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is the best thing on here and it’s because they captured the groove and Rivers can sing it well. Scott’s bass playing on this tune is spot on and in fact may be the highlight of this album for me.
- “Sweet Dreams” is a perfect example of what I’m calling Karaoke Rock. There’s nothing special about this. Cut/Paste the music into the track and add Rivers singing.
- Rivers tries but can’t ever manage to fully nail the vocal gymnastics of “Take On Me”. This is a song that shouldn’t be covered by anyone.
- Weezer attempted to record “Happy Together” in 2004 and played it live a few times. That version had a darker tone to it and while not perfect, it was better than this version. Listen to the 2004 version here.
- “Paranoid” with Brian Bell on lead vocals is fine. I like hearing the band rock and the Weezer rock comes through here. The wah wah solo sounds dialed in.
- “Mr. Blue Sky” is half baked. Weezer and ELO should be a near perfect fit, but 2019 Rivers Cuomo just can’t seem to handle baroque orchestral pop music.
- I’ll completely pass on “No Scrubs” and “Billie Jean”. They both sound like Maroon 5 outtakes that were produced for maximum Abercrombie & Fitch listens.
- “Stand By Me” is the most traditional Weezer thing here but that doesn’t mean it is good in any way. It feels like RC decided they needed to add something that sounded like they once sounded. He’s reaching for his old sound on this, and my oh my it is sad.