Another color, another gimmick, another wasted Weezer album.
Yes, the whole reason behind The Teal Album was equal parts internet fan campaign and promotion for their March proper album release. That’s fine. Plenty of albums have been made in the name of money and promotion. It’s just astounding how dirty you feel, not after, but during the first listen, and this is from someone who loves covers albums.
Covers are when you can really peer into a band or performer and see their influences. Metallica’s Garage, Inc. is one of the best albums in their canon. With Weezer, The Teal Album is just another shade in the band’s extremely tired gimmick.
Let’s start with the Toto cover, “Africa.” Easily the blandest cover known to man. It feels like muzak. There is nothing worse in music or comedy than detached irony. Same applies to “Sweet Dream (…Are Made of This”).” Again, it sounds perfect but there’s nothing here that convinces me not to listen to the original. There is nothing to learn here besides Rivers Cuomo trading in guitar feedback for synths (for the past decade).
The biggest sins are the covers of TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Both lack the POV to do the songs justice. Imagine The Dan Band with none of the winking. And joyless. This whole album is joyless. “Take on Me” is joyless. This album is made for either ironic detachment or for kids who have never heard of the originals. Tragic either way. Even as they try to hide behind all the layers of production, it only proves the point further.
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is perfect because the song is perfect. Not the cover or the band doing the cover. And that’s the problem with Weezer. They’re trying to reach a level that is not them or maybe they’re not capable of. All of these harken back to another time and it feels more desperate than nostalgic.
“Paranoid” is the final kick in the teeth. Totally sounds like a cover but the fact that they can get those tones and choose not to, is tragic.