There were a few ways I could have approached talking about the catalog of Weezer, and instead of going in order I wanted to talk about the colors versus everything else. To me the self-titled albums, often referred to by color, are my favorites. I see them as a way for the band to regroup before setting out on another direction or making some diversions that you might not expect. This week, Avid Reader, we’re going to look at Weezer by colors.
The most common thread that I can find in all three of these albums is the simple pop songwriting. Most of these songs are nothing too crazy but they can get stuck in your head very easily. I have always found the albums to be straightforward and sticking to the easy instrumentation. With the exception of “The Greatest Man that Ever Lived” these are all short pop tunes to be played over the radio.
Blue can be used as the benchmark, it is their debut album, but it sets the structure for how the other color albums are created. There aren’t crazy guitar solos, the lyrics are pretty straightforward and the artwork is basic. When it comes to these albums, the band will take the formula that works and let it ride for 10 tracks.
Green was the comeback album used in 2001, and the songs are catchy, but the album is very short. It has some of their best material: “Photograph”, “Island in the Sun”, “Smile”, “Don’t Let Go” and I’ve found that the mood is much more uplifting and consistent throughout. When I first heard the album, it made me think of their debut and it’s grown to be one of my favorites in their small catalog.
Red was another return to form; while not all the songs grabbed me at first, the band was bringing it all back home and making a simple record before releasing a few rapid fire over the next few years. The moods were a little darker, but the subject matter was from a group of guys that were older now and had families; these would be themes that could crop up during the next few albums. Still the songwriting was straightforward and the songs were all built of catchy riffs. The biggest change was having each of the guys contribute a song, and that added to the diversity of the record.
No matter what Weezer does, you can always count on the color albums to be consistent and easy to listen to without too many distractions or heavy thinking. Next week we can talk about everything else.