"Teal" With It

There are two kinds of Weezer fans: ones who think everything after Pinkerton is trash, and ones who are Ride or Die. I am the latter. Coming off of the high of their chart-topping cover of “Africa” by Toto, Weezer recently released the Teal album as a surprise for their fans in order to hold us over until their Black Album comes out in March. The album is made up of covers of many popular songs from the 80s and 90s, such as “Billie Jean”, and, very notably, “No Scrubs.” It has brought along with it a lot of mixed, and passionate, reviews.


Personally, I was very happy when I saw the album had dropped and instantly listened to and enjoyed it in its entirety, I have been craving some new Weezer content and their next album can’t come soon enough. However, not everyone was sold on it. Many criticised the band for being unoriginal, saying they recorded the album in order to cash in on their fans’ nostalgia. Another issue taken was an alleged note-for-note cover of the featured songs. The No Scrubs cover also heavily disturbed many listeners (meanwhile, it is my favorite cover on the album, aside from Mr. Brightside.)


While it is perfectly okay and understandable that not everyone would enjoy the album, I take some issue with the problems people are having with it. The biggest problem is that most of the people who have negative things to say about it are people who would not usually listen to the band, and this release was clearly meant for the fans. Understanding what a majority of Weezer’s fanbase appreciates about them would help to clear up the accusations of unoriginality. In the wake of the previous summer’s “Weezer cover ‘Africa’ by Toto” campaign, many other Twitter accounts have popped up begging the band to do more, one of the bigger ones requesting “Take On Me” (I am very happy to note that their prayers have been answered by Teal Album.) Even before the “Africa” cover, Weezer has always included covers in their live shows, and even sprinkled them into some albums (example: “My Evaline” off Weezer: Deluxe Edition). Weezer fans love and beg for them to do covers, so it doesn’t make them washed up to release a whole album of them, it means they listen to their fans and know how to have fun.


Speaking of fun, why is it so bad that they have some? It is difficult to accuse them of cashing in on nostalgia when a lot of their younger fans, including me, were not even a happy thought when the original songs came out. They are simply iconic songs we all love, performed by a band whose fans love covers. As mentioned, they have an album coming out in March, and say that they have parts of yet another already recorded. Clearly, originality is not an issue.


The critique of a note-for-note cover being pointless I think has a bit more weight, but are these not different and unique voices? Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer, is an amazing (Harvard educated) singer and musician, why wouldn’t his fans want to hear him perform a song? Again, it’s what many of us have literally been asking for. Not to mention, there is something unique in it for many fans: the backup singer, Brian Bell, taking the lead on the “Paranoid” cover (and killing it). It is not too often that I hear his voice, and I was glad he was featured so strongly on the Teal Album (here’s hoping the same goes for the Black Album).


“No Scrubs”… I don’t know what to say. I was just as taken back as everyone else was when I saw that on the track list. However, anyone familiar with the band and its lead singer would know that it is exactly the kind of weird and unexplainable thing for them to do. It was best put by my boyfriend: “It must be confusing being a Weezer fan.” Yes, yes it is. Despite my initial confusion at “No Scrubs” being included, in a WEEZER cover album of all things, after giving it a listen I couldn’t deny… it slaps. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Many, however, would disagree (this does not include TLC member, Chilli, who fully enjoyed and endorsed the cover on Twitter, just saying). This is something I can’t defend or explain, the fact is a Weezer “No Scrubs” cover invokes a lot of strong emotion. Hearing Rivers Cuomo sing “cause I’m looking like class and he’s looking like trash, can’t get with a deadbeat ass” has that effect.


Maybe I’m just too Ride or Die to see Teal Album for what it really is, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s amazing. If you’re not a Weezer fan and you don’t like it, evaluate why. Alternatively, think about this hot take: a Weezer cover album isn’t bad, you guys just don’t know how to let yourselves have fun. Listen again. If you’re still passionately adamant that it’s a pile of hot garbage… I guess you’ll just have to Teal With It, because Weezer is on the come up once again.