weezer albums in order from Worst to Best

13Nov07

To commemorate the announcement of the release date for Weezer’s sixth album (April 22, 2008), I have compiled this list of Weezer’s albums in order from worst to best.

Maladroit (2002)

Why is Maladroit the worst Weezer album? Well for one thing, nobody cares about it, not even the band. On their most recent tour in support of Make Believe, they only played one (or maybe none, I can’t remember) song off of that album. What’s interesting is that the record was made in such a progressive way. Weezer posted tons of demos on their website and fans discussed and voted on them on the message boards. It was a very democratic and transparent way for a band to make an album. Unfortunately, by lifting the curtains on the recording process, a lot of the magic was lost on the final product. After all, most fans had heard all of the songs before, and many of them sounded a little better without the aggressive Pro Tools compression they used on this disc. Also, the fact that Rivers’ songwriting feels genuinely uninspired gives all of these tunes a throw-away song vibe. Although it’s definitely the worst Weezer album, there are still some good tracks on here like “Slob”, “Slave”, and album closer “December”. Overall though, if this album had never been made, it would not be missed.

Make Believe (2005)

The second worst Weezer album, and the most recent, was 2005’s Make Believe, which does win the award for worst album name. The problem with the record, and for that matter the name too, is that it’s… lame. The lyrics, the subject matter of the songs, the fact that they released a version of “We Are All on Drugs” called “We Are All in Love”, well the list goes on. The difference between this album and Maladroit is that even though these songs are lame, at least there was some thought put into making them. There is a certain payoff here, but only if you’re willing to think less about the lyrics and just accept it as a very straightforward pop record. Even in strictly musical terms, these songs are about as simple as you can get, featuring none of the occasional key changes or interesting modal interchange chords (pardon my music theory) that can be found on the other records. But “Perfect Situation” is still a great song, and for my money, “Haunt You Everyday” is the best Weezer song they’ve released in years.

The Green Album (2001)

The middle ground of Weezer records, the second self-titled record they released seems to be a good summation of what is good about the “new” Weezer but also of what is lacking. For what it’s worth, as a pop record, you can’t do much better than this. Every song is catchy, the album is short and easy to listen to all the way through, the production is clean but not overly polished, ect. But like Maladroit there is a certain sense that Rivers wasn’t really putting a lot of thought into these songs. Like, what the hell is he talking about in “Crab” and did he just say “I’ve got my ass wipe”? Despite the questionable nature of the lyrics, the melodies tend to speak for themselves. The big problem with this album doesn’t have so much to do with the album itself but rather how it compares to Weezer’s two previous albums. The Blue Album and Pinkerton both have an aura of gravitas to them, a certain sense of importance that makes them sound and feel like classics. The Green Album is enjoyable and fun, but it is, without a doubt, not a classic.

The Blue Album (1994)

Well, I think the debate over whether Weezer’s debut is better than their much beloved followup Pinkertonis one that won’t be resolved any time soon. After all, this record was certainly the more commercially successful of the two albums, and the songs from this record are definitely more recognizable by the world at large. The fact that every guitar player you know can probably play at least one song off of this record is a testament to the enduring influence of these tracks. So why do I think Pinkerton is better?

Pinkerton (1996)

Because it’s raw, emotional, practically broke up the band, legendary, totally esoteric but completely relatable, has the most musically ambitious Weezer songs, vaguely conceptual, contains songs that were supposed to be on a space rock opera, has lots of references to Japanese things (and girls), has lots of weird vocal “noises”, probably impossible to really like on the first listen, everything that a good pop record should be and more. I could probably keep going. Pinkerton is my favorite album of all time and I’m probably not the only person out there who feels that way.

So where will Weezer’s sixth album fall on the list? I would be happy if they could at least top The Green Album, but I’m not expecting a masterpiece. Unfortunately, I think Rivers has lost his edge over the years. But hey, writing two of the best rock albums of all time is better than writing none, so I think we should just be glad he’s still making music at all.

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4 Responses to “weezer albums in order from Worst to Best”

  1. 1 klk

    agreed.raw is the best word to describe the album. raw feeling, totally felt and totally pure.

  2. 2 Rubicon

    /signed

  3. 3 Jordan

    Red Album is worst now

  4. i kinda enjoy maladroit. i had forgotten about that whole fan input thing. i just did a post like this, glad i stumbled on yours (yours is better haha)

    mine:

    http://www.listosaurusrex.com/2008/12/23/ranking-weezers-albums/


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