Weezer (The Teal Album)
The story of how Weezer came to cover Toto’s classic 1980s anthem Africa is the stuff of Internet legend, but has the band taken the joke too far with this album, made up entirely of covers of songs from the 1960s to the 1990s?
Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Ben E. King’s Stand By Me, A-Ha’s Take On Me, Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr Blue Sky… these classic songs defined an era, and Weezer’s versions seem content to let them remain there.
Much like its cover of Africa, Weezer stays true to most of the songs, with most of the arrangements not really straying far from the original versions. As it is, the only difference between the originals and Weezer’s is frontman River Cuomo breezing through most of the vocals like it was karaoke night.
Then there’s Paranoid, in which the band does a passable impersonation of Black Sabbath, but without the snarling attitude of the metal band. The result is a watered-down cover that lacks a crucial ingredient, like decaf coffee, a gin and tonic without the gin, or ice kacang without the kacang.
There is one exception here though – No Scrubs, which is arguably the one song on the album that you could not possibly imagine Weezer covering in the first place.
TLC’s version is a no-nonsense R&B classic, but Weezer manages to give it a nice pop rock twist. Some of the sassiness of the original may be a little lost, but it’s still a fun reinterpretation that is the highlight of the entire album.
As far as Weezer albums go, this is hardly one of its better albums, but hey, what do you expect from a record that was born from an Internet meme?
Knowing the band, they probably did this for a laugh – just look the 1980s inspired fashion they’re wearing on the album cover. Just think of this as Weezer: The Karaoke Album, and you’ll enjoy this a lot more.