Everyone loves a good cover song, and artists from Johnny Cash to Cat Power have proven you can make an entire album of covers work if you’re able to repeatedly inject well-known pop songs with a new sense of life.
Given Weezer’s unique knack for catchy-ass pop-rock, and their playful spirit, it seemed at least conceivable they were up for the challenge. In the case of the ‘Teal Album”— on which they cover classic hits by Tears for Fears, Eurythmics, Michael Jackson, TLC and more—they couldn’t have failed more miserably.
The issue is simple but glaring. As if they recorded the whole thing in an afternoon, the band seems to have put zero effort into giving these songs even the slightest creative twist. Even their rendition of Toto’s “Africa,” which took the Internet by storm last year (and sparked the album’s very existence) doesn’t live up to the merits of its memedom.
I’ll be the first to say that Weezer has received an unfair load of critical flak since the release of the Green Album in 2001. To me their music never seemed disingenuous; Rivers Cuomo is simply a manic songwriting machine who loves pop music. Despite what haters claim, none of their recent albums have seemed like lazy, effortless cash grabs. None of them, that is, until the Teal Album.
When Tyler isn’t busy nerding out about new music, video games, beer or some random new coding project he picked up, he can be found writing for, performing with or shamelessly plugging his mathy indie rock band, Becoming A Ghost.