The Weezer Compilation – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-09-11 12:35:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

With Weezer’s eighth studio album – and the third in three years – being released next week, I thought this would be the perfect time to reorganize, update, and publish my Weezer compilation.

Of course, after Tuesday, it will be in need of an update once again…

I haven’t adjusted my Weezer playlist since 2007, so the necessary selections from The Red Album and yes, even Raditude have been added, namely “Pork and Beans” and “Troublemaker” from the former and “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” and “Put Me Back Together” from the notoriously inferior latter.  “Put Me Back Together” is the only addition that I’m not fully committed to, having to knock out “Fall Together,” one of my favorites from Maladroit, and “The Damage in Your Heart,” a great song from Make Believe that is just a bit too slow and a bit too long for this compilation.

I’m certain that this list won’t please every Weezer fan.  Some may argue content (songs that don’t deserve top billing, songs that should’ve made the cut) and others may argue order (“Why is ______ so far down the list?!,” etc.), but that’s half the fun of creating a compilation like this.

I didn’t originally intend to order the tracks in bursts of chronological order, but I just loved the flow and transitions when I arranged them like this.  With the exception of the last three songs, the order (as you will no doubt pick up on quickly) is in order of album release: two full runs through their seven album catalog and a Blue Album-era outtake to kick off the third round, which extends to Maladroit before I alter the balance with extra tracks from The Green Album, Maladroit, and Make Believe.

The bottom line is that Weezer is one of the best rock bands of all time.  They’ve recently become embroiled in a critical cluster-cuss, but the dissension really extends back to Maladroit, which is – in this writer’s opinion – one of the finest rock albums of all time. Criticizing Weezer’s recent music has become a very acceptable, reasonable even, practice, one that I’ve contributed to with regards to 2009’s Raditude.

Meanwhile, Weezer rocks on.

I say, let’s rock on with them.  If you can’t applaud their recent work, then you should at least appreciate the attitude.  And, after a run through the compilation below, you just might remember why Weezer deserves so much respect.  They may not be the smartest lyric-writers or even musicians out there, but I dare you to find a band that’s more consistently fun to listen to!

1)  “My Name is Jonas” – Weezer (The Blue Album)

2)  “The Good Life” – Pinkerton

3)  “Don’t Let Go” – Weezer (The Green Album)

4)  “American Gigolo” – Maladroit

5)  “Beverly Hills” – Make Believe

6)  “Pork and Beans” – Weezer (The Red Album)

7)  “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” – Raditude

8)  “Buddy Holly” – Weezer (The Blue Album)

9)  “Pink Triangle” – Pinkerton

10)  “Island in the Sun” – Weezer (The Green Album)

11)  “Dope Nose” – Maladroit

12)  “Perfect Situation” – Make Believe

13)  “Troublemaker” – Weezer (The Red Album)

14)  “Put Me Back Together” – Raditude

15)  “Jamie” (Live Acoustic) – Dusty Gems and Raw Nuggets

16)  “Say It Ain’t So” – Weezer (The Blue Album)

17)  “Why Bother” – Pinkerton

18)  “Photograph” – Weezer (The Green Album)

19)  “Keep Fishin’” – Maladroit

20)  “Hash Pipe” – Weezer (The Green Album)

21)  “Slave” – Maladroit

22)  “The Other Way” – Make Believe

Running Time:  71 minutes

Music Review: Weezer’s “Raditude”

Originally posted 2009-11-15 22:22:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

RATING:  1 / 5 stars

By Chris Moore:

I was the first to scoff at early negative reviews of the new Weezer album.  It seemed there was an inordinate number of swipes at the admittedly odd title, Raditude.  After all, I reasoned, Rivers Cuomo hasn’t exactly built his career by being serious.

So, it was with high hopes that I started listening to Raditude.  From the opening track — “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” — it became immediately apparent that the lyrics would be juvenile.

And yet this was never a turn-off.

I had heard this song, the first single, about fifteen or twenty times before the album was even released.  It had been leaked on YouTube, then removed, then reposted by another source, and finally released officially as the single.  And, each time I heard it, I liked it more and more.  This is saying a great deal, considering that the song includes references to watching Titanic and eating meat loaf as key plot points.

The way I see it, there are two types of great Weezer songs:  introverted, introspective ballads and catchy, fun rock/pop gems.

Any serious Weezer fan who will disparage the quality of Cuomo’s lyrics in 2009 needs to think back to such earlier tracks as “No One Else” — “My girl’s got a big mouth, with which she blabbers a lot…” — and “Getchoo” — “Sometimes I push too hard; sometimes you fall and skin your knee…”  And can anyone even begin to transcribe the lyrics to “Hash Pipe”?

I didn’t think so.

Weezer's "Raditude" (2009)

Weezer's "Raditude" (2009)

So, the credibility and entertainment value of “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” being established, the other nine songs on Raditude should be addressed.  In a nutshell, the new album is generally a mixed bag — one part catchy guitar hooks, one part derivative stylistic choices, and two parts juvenile and (to be frank) ridiculous lyrics — that all amounts to a mediocre collection of material.

I’ve always been drawn to Rivers Cuomo’s firm embrace on the simple, pure, and raw emotions that we generally attribute to the innocence (and immaturity) of youth, but this time around, there is little for me to relate to or feel moved by.

“I’m Your Daddy” is about as two dimensional a song as you’ll ever find, stripped of Cuomo’s trademark quirky innocence to reveal an inexperienced Romeo.  It is also a bit creepy to listen to after learning that he began writing it while watching his daughter.

“The Girl Got Hot” is driven by catchy, distortion-drenched guitars, but again the lyrics fall short.  I kept waiting for a moral to the story — I would have settled for something as simple as “don’t judge a book by its cover” — but all I ended up with was the singer’s revelation that, when it comes to Kiki Dee’s friends, “She got hot, and they did not.”  Oh, and the phrase “buyer beware” is potentially problematic, but I won’t even go there.

Then comes the piece de la resistance, “Can’t Stop Partying.”  Again, I waited for the subtext that the lyrics must surely contain, considering the minor chords and Cuomo’s diction — “can’t stop” implies addiction.  And again, I was met with lines like “If you was me, honey, you would do it too” and “Screw rehab; I love my addiction.”  Just when I thought it couldn’t get less redeemable, Lil Wayne lays down a chauvinistic, obscenity laden ode to excess.

The remainder of the album is divided between forgettable, inane tracks — like “In the Mall” — and solid, albeit middle-of-the-road songs — like “Put Me Back Together.”  The latter track is one of my favorites from the new album, even though it is difficult to shake the feeling that this would have been a filler track on any earlier Weezer release.

Other tracks like “Let It All Hang Out” and “Love is the Answer” are debatable — on the upside, they do tap into the aforementioned pure, raw emotions that the band’s best material always has, yet there is nothing extraordinary about them.

At the end of the day, I have to reluctantly admit that my opinion is not so divergent from that of Slant reviewer Huw Jones — strictly in his opinion of this album, but NOT his opinion of Weezer’s overall career arc (he’s seriously off there).  Weezer has finally released an album that I can’t endorse — and that I, unfortunately, can’t listen to for very long without feeling disappointed.

The BEST COVER SONGS of 2011 (The Year-End Review Awards)

Originally posted 2012-01-16 10:00:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

What better way to kick off a Monday at the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video blog than to unveil the Weekend Review’s picks for the top ten cover songs of 2011.  After all, this is kind of our thing.  And this has been a busy year for covers.  Not only were there two – not one, but two! – collections of Buddy Holly covers released as tribute to the legendary singer/songwriter in 2011, but there were also two covers EPs put out by Relient K.  This is not to mention Brian Wilson digging back to his childhood (farther back than the Gershwin brothers this time) for the inspiration to In the Key of Disney.

A regular amount of covers wasn’t enough for 2011.  No, no: 2011 needed more covers!  Now, as you’ll recall from our mission statement, it has always been the goal of this blog to put an end to the proliferation of bad covers on YouTube.  In keeping with that tradition, we will now take the time to recognize these non-YouTube covers that have demonstrated excellence this year, standing out from the pack of mediocre (or worse) ones:

1)  “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” – Cee Lo Green (Cover of Buddy Holly)

2)  “Caroline No” – America (Cover of the Beach Boys)

3)  “Here Comes My Girl” – Relient K (Cover of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

4)  “Colors of the Wind” – Brian Wilson (Cover of the Disney song)

5)  “Baby” – Relient K (Cover of Justin Bieber)

6)  “Not Fade Away” – Florence and the Machine (Cover of Buddy Holly)

7)  “Interstate Love Song” – Relient K (Cover of Stone Temple Pilots)

8)  “It’s So Easy” – Paul McCartney (Cover of Buddy Holly)

9)  “Listen to Me” – Brian Wilson (Cover of Buddy Holly)

10) “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Brian Wilson (Cover of the Disney song)

 

Honorable Mention:

“Surf Wax America” – Relient K (Cover of Weezer)

“No One Else” (Weezer Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-22 14:22:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

It’s hard to believe “new bands week” is almost over! It’s been a lot of fun — hopefully we’ll do it again soon before we run out of new bands!

My song for today, “No One Else,” is from my second favorite Weezer album, their self-titled debut known among fans as “The Blue Album.” For some reason, I had a hard time getting into the album when I first heard it. When I listened again about a year later, I really fell in love with its sound and energy. It’s about as close to garage rock as my preferences go… I felt this song translated easily into an acoustic version, and it was fun to learn a song from a band I have never covered before!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the seventh day of “new bands week” — Jeff’s up again. And, of course, don’t forget to check back here on Sunday when he releases his new album Greenlight!