Thursday, June 2, 2011
My Troubled Relationship With Weezer
You know that point when you sort of mentally check out of a relationship. That moment you realized that, at least from your perspective, the relationship is over and you're going to stop investing in it?
Well, I'm trying to pinpoint that moment when it comes to me and Weezer; when did I stop being a fan of the music that they produce and become someone who reluctantly buys their album desperately hoping to hear something that harkens back to their first two albums?
Believe me, I hate what I've become. I hate the fact that I'm one of those people who complains when a band grows beyond what put them on the map. I'll violently defend the current direction Iron & Wine has taken by fleshing out their sound with horns and keyboards. I can't understand how someone could not dig the bold sonic decisions Iron & Wine has made.
I just can't cut Weezer the same slack. Maybe it's because I've got memories to The Blue Album and Pinkerton; those albums provided the soundtrack to not only my first steps at relative independence but also when I ventured outside the safe confines of Hip-Hop and music on the radio. Those albums had songs that I liked, and my liking them had nothing to do with my social group.
It might also be because those are classic albums with timeless songs. I've seriously got a friend whose eight year-old asked him to play the song about "the old man looking in the mirror." That's "The Good Life" off of Pinkerton. C'mon, when your songs connect with an eight year-old and their parent it's magical.
Anyway this all comes up because, just as I'd loaded Doves albums into my stereo and listened to them for a week, last Saturday I tossed in the five most recent Weezer albums in and let them play.
It hasn't been really bad, it's just been eye opening. And I think it led me to the answer to the question I posed in the intro; I stopped being a fan of Weezer when Rivers Cuomo started courting the radio.
To me that moment was "Beverly Hills" of off Make Believe. To me it seemed like the equivalent of a respected actor starring in a summer blockbuster; it reeked of trying to cash in on a payday. It felt cheap and it sounded cheap. There was no art to it.
From that point on I think I stopped listening to Weezer albums and searching for a reason to love them and started listening to the albums and find a reason to discount them. And I'm adult enough to admit that. It's on me.
And part of the reason why I've been forcing myself to listen to the recent Weezer albums is so that I'll be able to get past that and maybe appreciate them for what they are. Of course it's hard when you've got a Weezer/Weezy collaboration, but I guess Lil' Wayne is a lot like herpes; if you're adventurous and aren't careful sooner or later it's going to be a part of your life.
I do have a greater appreciation for the recent offerings than I did before. While the albums aren't perfect or classic, there are some songs that offer a glimmer of the spark I once hear those many years ago.
So while I may no longer love Weezer like I used to, I think we can work things out so that we'll still be friends.