Jim Pfeffer, Photo Editor
The 90s alternative rock band Weezer has put out more hits than one can count on their two hands and feet combined. So needless to say, it came as a bit of a surprise when the band released their most recent self-titled album (Also known as “The Teal Album”). Of the ten songs, not one was an original work by Weezer themselves.
For their most recent project, Weezer released a cover album of songs that were all hits during the 80s and some even during the 90s. Songs such as the Michael Jackson’s hit “Billie Jean,” a-ha’s “Take on Me” and the song that started it all, “Africa” by Toto along with many others made it onto the album. Were they done justice though?
It isn’t uncommon for bands to put their own spin on music they grew up listening to. For example, Panic! At the Disco performs “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen at the majority of their shows. The Foo Fighters do the same thing by performing a mashup of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Van Halen’s “Jump,” though live performances are very different from a studio-recorded album. As previously mentioned, the songs that Weezer chose to cover weren’t exactly obscure tunes that nobody had heard before; they are all, in fact, songs that are very well known and are popular among many generations, and Weezer does them justice.
Oftentimes, when bands or artists attempt to make a cover on a studio album, they will try and change the song so that the song fits the artist’s style musically, whether that means adding a twang to it for country music or changing the tempo to make it more upbeat or mellow. Weezer does the exact opposite: they kept the music of the songs they were covering as close to identical as they could, making it so that the only thing that changes the songs to make them sound like a Weezer song is the vocals of the frontman, Rivers Cuomo. Having Cuomo’s vocals makes it so the songs stand separate from their originals while still honoring the songs and their original writers/performers.
While it had the potential to be a giant miss, Weezer’s “Teal Album” was most definitely a hit. Weezer created a cover album in which the songs they covered are able to exist in the same world as seperate pieces which are valuable in their own way. “The Teal Album” showed that even though Weezer is in its 35th year, they are still rocking just like Buddy Holly.
This article was originally published in the Feb. 8, 2019 issue.