Reasons to be cheerful, part 384: ‘The Green Album’ – Weezer’s first long-player since ’96 doofus opus ‘Pinkerton’ – is just 28 minutes long. Which makes ‘TGA’ approximately 45 minutes shorter than Limp Bizkit’s latest travesty, and two minutes shorter than either [I]Last Of The Summer Wine[/I] or your average game of bowls.
All of which are reasons for, if not exactly celebration, then at least some sort of relief – for there is only so much Weezer one can bear. After all, these are the grown men who, via such light-hearted hits as ‘Buddy Holly’ and ‘The Sweater Song’, bravely brought idiocy and sexual inadequacy into the pop-place while sounding like The Beach Boys with Y-fronts on their heads.
The most irritating aspect of ‘The Green Album’ is, however, the maddening itch of wasted opportunity. If it was as sonically, lyrically and conceptually as annoying as, say, ‘Pinkerton’, at least there would be something to rail against. Instead, the 11 tracks trundle along in a generally inoffensive slipstream of occasionally admirable but mainly dull AOR silliness. Some of it even sounds like Crowded House. Thus, ‘Simple Pages’ is a breezy rock-around-the-campus chug with a sun-protection-factor of minus 15, and cutesy stompalong ‘Crab’ contains the sort of ambiguity that’ll have closet frat boys snickering behind the pages of [I]Viz [/I]([I]”Crab if you need it/She put her knickers on”[/I]).
Yet for all their tiresome doofus act, Rivers Cuomo and co clearly know their bliss-pop onions. There’s a solid-gold pop heart beating deep within ‘TGA”s braying grooves. ‘I Do’ in particular, is a piano-enhanced breath of FM loveliness. Why, then, they insist on smothering such charm in swathes of tedious, plaid-coloured guitar is a mystery.
They coulda been contenders. Instead, Weezer blew their last chance of salvation on the roulette table of mediocrity. Laugh? This one will have you in tears.