Looking again at it a quarter-century later, it's fairly clear that 1994 was an absolute watershed 12 months for various rock. The checklist of iconic artsits who launched traditional albums that 12 months is nearly too lengthy to checklist in a single comma-separated sentence, however consists of Soundgarden, Hole, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Blur, Jeff Buckley, Green Day, Liz Phair, Beck, The Offspring, Tori Amos, Pavement and numerous different acts then thought of among the many finest and brightest of their period.
Yet flash ahead to 2019, and the act that also carries probably the most industrial weight and cultural forex is one few would've guessed on the time: the power-pop cornball tunesmiths of Weezer. With the discharge of their '94 self-titled debut (generally referred to as "The Blue Album" for its sky-colored cowl), Weezer grew to become sensations of MTV's Buzz Bin, purveyors of post-grunge bangers that combined So-Cal sunshine with in-the-garage moping, with catchy melodies and even catchier music movies. But important response was combined, 1996 sophomore album Pinkerton flopped commercially, and the band — led by the more and more enigmatic Rivers Cuomo — was little heard from for the remainder of the century.
Turns out, it'd be the longest the band could be out of the highlight for the subsequent 20 years. A revitalized (and instantly much-namechecked) Weezer returned in 2001 with a profitable self-titled comeback album (dubbed "The Green Album" in what would turn into a dependable sample of color-branded LPs), and although their industrial fortunes have gently waxed and waned with every launch since, the band has remained an alternate radio fixture, and cultivated a large and devoted fanbase that appears to fully regenerate each 5 years. And final 12 months, they followed a fan meme down the rabbit gap and ended up with their greatest hit in a decade: a trustworthy rendition of Toto's Hot 100-topping 1982 smash "Africa." That cowl now additionally gives the impetus for his or her newest effort, out this week: a shock covers album (heretofore referred to as "The Teal Album"), which serves as an impressed stopgap effort from a band that is aware of how you can hold its followers engaged in 2019 in addition to any group half their age.
Outside of the album's surprising look on a Wendnesday at midnight, not a lot is shocking about The Teal Album. If you anticipated the group to both use a covers album as a possibility to shine a lightweight on both obscure early influences or present up to date favorites — or to reinvent outdated classics in new and revelatory methods — properly, you most likely haven't been paying a ton of consideration to current Weezer. The album as a substitute takes its lead from "Africa," presenting a collection of 10 dutiful, proficient covers of beloved pop songs that not often shade exterior the traces. It's enjoyable however unmistakably frivolous; no new depths are plumbed, no new quirks are uncovered, and no actual likelihood is taken — a thrash by means of Black Sabbath's metallic customary "Paranoid" (led by guitarist Brian Bell) registers because the closest factor to a left flip, a token nod to the band's early days as headbangers. Artistically, there's not loads about The Teal Album that's all that admirable, however in the event you needed to listen to what "Take on Me" or "Mr. Blue Sky" or "Billie Jean" would sound like as Weezer songs, now .
From a promotional perspective, although, The Teal Album will definitely go down as one in every of 2019's smartest releases. It's not the form of launch that may actually maintain greater than a day or two's price of respectable curiosity, so the band took the trendy method to its rollout, dropping it from the skies with out warning in a single day on Wednesday, securing 24 hours' price of consideration earlier than the conventional slate of beforehand scheduled albums are unleashed this Friday. It has the one barely novel cowl alternative (TLC's "No Scrubs") to ensnare social media — pissing off the band's old-school followers and delighting their millennial disciples — and comes shut sufficient to the height in reputation of their "Africa" to re-engage debate over the worthiness of that cowl, and by extension, this complete venture. It may even give various radio programmers a pair new tracks to check out in rotation and see if they will't catch lightning in a bottle twice with the identical components.
In all chance, although, the excitement round The Teal Album will probably be extraordinarily short-lived, and even devoted followers will most likely simply give it a pair listens earlier than saving a favourite or two for future playlists and shifting on with their lives. But that's positive for Weezer, since this album isn't even their major launch of the primary quarter: That'd be their "Black Album," which Rivers and Co. have been teasing for properly over a 12 months and which is lastly due on March 1. Two songs from the album have been launched already as advance tracks, however neither has fairly caught on in addition to "Africa" but, so the band would appear to be hedging their bets slightly with this launch. Regardless, The Teal Album is a best-of-both-worlds proposition for Weezer: it reminds followers of (and expands upon) their greatest hit in recent times, whereas additionally basically clearing the decks for his or her subsequent album. In truth, the set is just out there for buy on the band's website as a part of a bundle with The Black Album, reinforcing the notion that the previous primarily exists in assist of the latter.
It'd be straightforward, and maybe not completely unfair, to want that Weezer had pushed themselves slightly extra on The Teal Album. But that'd largely be lacking the purpose: This wasn't a set meant to problem and enlighten, and its creators possible didn't spend all that for much longer devising it than you in the end will singing alongside to it. Weezer in 2019 are crowd-pleasers before everything, actively steadfast in giving the folks what they need, and given the pure fan-service origins of their "Africa," this album couldn't be a way more logical extension of that.
Call it empty and even cynical if you would like, however acknowledge that you just don't get to be a 25-year-old band that headlines Madison Square Garden, that will get slotted subsequent to Kid Cudi and Billie Eillish on the Coachella poster, or that finds its fandom on the middle of a whole SNL skit by being too proud to pander. Weezer are the uncommon '90s band prepared to do what it takes to remain related within the late '10s, and whereas they proceed to obtain their justifiable share of Internet snark for it, assured that there are a half-dozen bands of their period watching them pattern on Twitter at the moment for The Teal Album and going, "Why didn't we consider that?"