Weezer’s Blue Album
Buried in the Alternative section at you local late-90s CD-store-of-choice, it would be easy to overlook The Blue Album. The cover shows four guys in understated, decidedly 1990s garb. There is no “Parental Advisory” sticker. Wouldn’t the youngsters so much rather buy Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire or Smashing Pumpkin’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness? What merit doth this Blue Album impart?
I have pitied Weezer since 1994. It was this year when I, still a wee lad, had my first listen to The Blue Album on my brother’s Sony Discman. The album was instantly one of my favorites. The big single at the time was Undone (The Sweater Song). We quickly added the opening dialogue to our middle-school lexicon (set, of course, to those three repeating chords).
Hey bra’, how we doin’, man?
It’s been awhile, man. Life’s so rad!
This band’s my favorite, man. Don’tcha love ’em?
It was apparent this album was something special. It would still take years for Blue Album’s true profundity to blossom. Mature folk criticized it for its surfer, “life’s so rad bro” mentality. Nonetheless, those who grew up with Blue Album experienced an unusual occurrence; the songs never really got old. The 90s ended, generation X and Y left school, got jobs, and still Weezer persisted. This was not mindless surfer rock. This music could stand on its own.
You take your car to work
I’ll take my board
Thus, in 1994, my pity took hold and continued to grow. Why pity? It occurred to me that Weezer, or any band, would forever shoulder the great burden of topping this masterpiece album. There was a reason Microsoft included a video of Weezer performing Buddy Holly on every Windows 95 disk. There is a reason Weezer has survived during its years of good (but not great) music. There is a reason
half of the English-speaking world all of the cool kids can recite the lyrics of Blue Album from cover to cover. Not a week passes without at least one song from Blue Album rocking the local karaoke scene.
In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine called The Blue Album the 297th best album of all time. I contend Rolling Stone was off by a few hundred places. I think the world may turn a cool 3 Kelvin and reach maximum entropy before we get another Blue Album. Listen to the 8 minutes of Only in Dreams for lyrical and musical justification of this claim. In fact, listen to any song. There is not a sour grape among the 10 songs on the album.
I wanted to conclude by drawing comparisons between The Blue Album and other historical musical efforts, yet I feel like this is secondary to the point. This album soundtracked the lives of countless friends and continues to be a formidable rock fixture. I need no further justification of its worth.