Say It Ain’t So: Why Weezer is Actually a Good Band

Weezers self-titled debut album, commonly referred to as The Blue Album.

Weezer’s self-titled debut album, commonly referred to as “The Blue Album.”

Justin Todd, Contributor

American rock band Weezer was formed in 1992, and while some members have come and gone, the band still exists and puts out music today, with a new album set to release on May 15th, 2020, though this date could be delayed. It’s no surprise that Weezer is successful; their debut album is certified quadruple platinum (over 4 million sales) in the US and Canada, they continued having new albums certified platinum although meeting mixed reviews, and made a cover of Toto’s “Africa” in late 2018 that became one of their most popular recent songs. Weezer hasn’t had an entirely positive career, however; they’ve received backlash on some of their more pop-sounding records such as Raditude and Pacific Daydream and have spawned multiple Instagram accounts purposed solely to ridicule the band, including weezerirony and weezerreference. I can’t stand the constant hate against this band, so I want to set the record straight: I believe Weezer is a good band.

From the get-go, Weezer was a welcome and prevalent presence in the rock scene, with their amazing self-titled debut featuring some of their most popular tracks such as “Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So.” Frontman and vocalist Rivers Cuomo was truly ahead of his time on this record. I believe the lyricism on this record is unmatched, most evidently so on “Undone (The Sweater Song),” singing, “Oh no, it go, it gone, bye-bye (Bye), Who I, I think, I sink, and I die.” Not only did this album gain commercial success, but it also became the centerpiece of meme culture in late 2019 and early 2020 as the album cover was photoshopped in multiple humorous ways. Weezer’s incredible music and songwriting continued on their 1996 sophomore album Pinkerton, which showed a much more vulnerable and hurt side of Cuomo. As with their debut, Weezer displayed strong songwriting and gut-wrenchingly depressing lyrics, including: “Screw this crap, I’ve had it! (I’ve had it!), I ain’t no Mr. Cool,” and, “I asked you to go to the Green Day concert, You said you never heard of them (how cool is that)?” Lyrics like these combined with the rocking guitars and drums make for some of, if not the best music I’ve ever heard. Five years after Pinkerton, Weezer did the unthinkable and made another self-titled project; however, this time the background of the album cover was not blue as it was previously, but green. This completely shattered the rock genre as a whole as it was such an inconceivably impactful decision by the band, who were continuing to break sonic and lyrical barriers: “I can’t help my boogies, they get out of control, I know that you don’t care but I want you to know” as well as “Flexing all our clout,” a revolutionary line that seemingly came from the future. 

Weezer continued to make hit after hit in their discography, with some of my favorite albums being Make Believe and Raditude for their incredibly progressive and unique rock sound. Most Weezer “fans” feel like the band’s discography varied from average to terrible after the 2001 Green Album until 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End, but this simply isn’t true. It is an objective fact that Weezer has maintained a groundbreaking and impressive discography throughout the years and have only improved on their sound during the 2001-2014 era. I also believe this era is Cuomo’s strong songwriting at its peak, as I can’t think of any Weezer lyrics that can top this thought-provoking poetry: “When I was younger, I used to go and tip cows for fun, yeah / Actually I didn’t do that because I didn’t want the cow to be sad” from the Red Album is just one example of many. In 2019, Weezer proved once more that they were a genre-defining band not afraid to push boundaries by releasing not one, but two albums in that year as well as a single for a newly announced album. As you’d expect, both of these albums were legendary and have kept Weezer on their pedestal of good bands. I know my genuine enjoyment of Weezer is incredibly unpopular among “true fans,” but I will not cease to believe that from front to back, the band has a near-perfect discography.