The Blue Album is pure pop-rock perfection, standing out above an era epitomised by grunge. It marks the high point of the genre, and has never been bettered in this reviewer’s humble opinion. It is honest, it is stupid, it is clever, it is heartbreaking, it is joyous, and it is most importantly of all awesome.
It is near impossible to pick a highpoint of an album that is completely full of them, but I shall try anyway. Most people will know the single ‘Buddy Holly’, a goofy love song with a chorus that is hard to forget – not that you’d want to. ‘Say It Ain’t So’ is probably the best song on the album, and of the decade. Based around a simple laidback riff in the verses and guitars the size of Everest in the chorus, it is a formula that works exceptionally well. It is an extremely cathartic song, which frontman Rivers Cuomo wrote about fear of alcohol of all things – the enduring honesty of the album and of Cuomo really shines through here.
Weezer’s real appeal lies in their ability to write quirky yet catchy pop songs that aren’t just mere throwaway radio rubbish, designed to be consumed once and then forgotten about. They cover every subject area you’d expect, and then go the extra mile with classics such as ‘In the Garage’, a song about Rivers’s love of the band Kiss and tabletop gaming. It sounds nerdy because it is nerdy, but they don’t care and that’s the key that makes this album so great.
Look at Weezer today and you may see a bunch of overgrown kids that have been peddling much of the same music for too long, much to the disdain of the hardcore fanbase that they gained from the release of this album and the subsequent classic Pinkerton in 1996. This was before they started collaborating with Lil Wayne; before Rivers went mental; before he proclaimed to be “the greatest man that ever lived” in a way that made you think that he probably believed it himself. The Blue Album captures the essence of a band so good, and sets the bar so high that it has been near impossible to reach ever since.