Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weezer - s/t (aka The Blue Album)

This is where the little objectivity I have flies right out the window. Weezer has been my favorite band since 1994 for reasons I will explain in this review, and I have therefore been a Weezer apologist since 1994. I can't write rationally about this band, so be forewarned.

In 1994 I was in my sophomore year of high school. I had just hit my stride in the drama club and speech and debate team (did I mention that I'm a nerd? Yeah, all you fakers with the non-prescription glasses can just step aside) so things were looking up. Until I was introduced to Weezer, I only listened to things my friends and family listened to (From my family: Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie, Air Supply, Herb Alpert, and the Flashdance soundtrack. From my friends: Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Depeche Mode, and New Order). I did have a short dalliance with Nirvana back in 1992, but my parents outlawed and smashed my copy of Nevermind, so it wasn't part of my repertoire when I hit high school. Anyway, until the fall of 1994, I didn't have my own taste in music. Weezer changed everything.

My friend Richard (who was also my duo interp partner on the speech and debate team) put "Undone (The Sweater Song)" on a mix tape for me, and it got so stuck in my head in so short a time, I vowed to own the album. I picked up Weezer as soon as funds would allow. This album was an absolutely transformative experience. Just look at the guys on the cover. They're a bunch of nerds in thrift store clothes. Until that point I was ashamed that most of my clothes came from thrift stores and yard sales. Until I heard this album, I had no idea that nerds were allowed to rock, let alone rock about playing D&D in the garage. This was a massive paradigm shift. From the moment I heard this album, new musical vistas were opened up to me. About 95% of my current record collection would be unapproachable for me if Weezer hadn't unlocked the doors of my mind. I don't know if any other band could have done for me what Weezer did. They invented and defined my sense of musical style. All the good things that have come since can be attributed to this album.

Because this album has meant so much to me over the years, I count it as the single greatest album ever made. I know there are those that don't agree with me, but they don't have the personal connection to this album that I do. I know how it goes. I am unable to emotionally connect to anything the Foo Fighters have ever done. There are things that click for some people and don't click for others. That being said, The Blue Album is the greatest accomplishment of mankind in the modern era. Is that overstating it a bit? No. No it's not.

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