Will Everything Really Be Alright In The End?

Weezer Albums Ranked Worst To Best

by Pete Crigler

What can be said about Weezer that hasn’t already been said in the now classic SNL skit from late 2018? Some people are ride or die for Weezer, and others like me jumped ship years ago. With their transition into a full-on pop band in the vein of Panic! At The Disco or Fun now complete, the band doesn’t even resemble the once bright new things in the ‘90s they started out as. Some people might say that’s snobbish, but we are here to dissemble why the band went in the completely opposite direction that gave us an unnecessary hit cover of Toto’s “Africa.” Enjoy these memories or find yourself checking out an album you’d forgotten about.

Special shout-out to Benjamin Ray for his support.

13. Weezer (Teal Album) (2019)weezer_teal_150

Coming months after the unexpected success of their “Africa” cover, this sneak-release took everybody that still cared about Weezer by surprise -- mostly because the covers presented here were so cookie-cutter straight that one would think Weezer had turned into a bar band. There’s nothing here to represent why this record exists in the first place. The version of Sabbath’s “Paranoid” is about the only decent thing here, but all it did was remind me of The Dickies’ version from the ‘70s. There is nothing but straight by-the-book covers of ‘70s and ‘80s classics, with the inexplicable inclusion of TLC’s “No Scrubs” thrown in for good measure. They didn’t even change the pronouns! It’s just another reason to show how the band changed direction and ended up alienating yet another portion of their original fan base.

weezer_blackalbum_15012. Weezer (Black Album) (2019)

Having been hyped and talked about for so long, when it finally landed, it hit with a gigantic thud. One of their poppiest records yet, the band doesn’t even sound like a shred of themselves here. It seems like Patrick and Brian have been replaced by loads of keyboards and other machines. Even the songs that Rivers wrote himself sound forced and uninspired. Even if just for the inclusion of the first two tracks, “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” which sounds like a Raditude throwback and the too-cutesy “Zombie Bastards,” this album deserves to be forgotten and lost.

11. Pacific Daydream (2017)weezer_pacific_150

I think it can be said that “Feels Like Summer” is one of the absolute worst songs of the last five years. It has horrible lyrics and is just trash all around. “Mexican Fender” is one of the few songs with all-out guitars, but the lyrics kinda suck and the hip-hop element rears its ugly head again. After this, things head in a pop/hip-hop direction; the keyboards and drum machines take over and the disc takes a nosedive. Again, they got nominated for Best Rock Album for this one, but it’s sufficient to say this record does not rock in any shape or form. It’s clear from this record at least that Rivers was listening to his management and the record company too much and was trying to replicate the same success that had befallen Panic! At The Disco, Fun., Fall Out Boy, and Paramore. Only Rivers didn’t have the ability to pull it off, and the disappointing results are all over this more than lackluster outing.

weezer_white_150 10. White Album (2016)

This is truly where the band started moving in a different direction and the results were not great. Singles like “Thank God for Girls” and “Do You Wanna Get High?” crashed and burned on the charts and people began wondering about their longevity. The album did get nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album, so go figure. “Thank God For Girls” creeps back into hip-hop territory and has a lot to do with cannolis, which leaves one wondering what Rivers was truly thinking. “L.A. Girlz” starts off really crummy, but by the middle becomes the only other redeeming track here besides “Endless Bummer.” The guitars are still here for the most part, but the keyboards are quickly creeping in as a dominant instrument. This is a very California/beach related disc, yet it makes you want to stay as far away from the Golden State as humanly possible.

9. Raditude (2009)weezer_ratitude_150

What the hell were these guys thinking? Aside from (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” and “Put Me Back Together,” there’s barely anything recommendable here. While it used outside songwriters for the first time and even brought in Josh Freese to play drums for a few tracks so that Pat Wilson could contribute guitar and keyboards instead, this disc was greeted with collective groans. Songs like “I’m Your Daddy” would’ve been better suited for a wacko Rivers solo album. Instead, with its presence here, things get embarrassing and weak. I wanted to hate a song like “Let It All Hang Out,” but aside from the reference to Rivers’ ‘homies,’ it’s a stupid catchy song that proves that not all of Rivers’ abilities had left him yet. “Can’t Stop Partying” might be one of the worst songs that has ever been created.  This certainly isn’t Weezer; it’s not really known what the hell this song even is. Certain songs here aren’t as godawful as first believed, but this is far and away the furthest from a Weezer album as I had yet heard.

weezer_hurley_150 8. Hurley (2010)

“Memories was in Jackass 3D!” Yes, Matt Damon, it was but it doesn’t really hold up that well. Even the Audioslave reference dates it. Recovering a bit from Raditiude, the band turns up the guitars for one of the shortest discs of their career. The thing is, aside from “Where’s My Sex” and “Ruling Me,” there’s not much here. This is one of those discs overrun with co-writers; only two tracks were written by Rivers solo and the last track has a co-write from Mac freakin’ Davis. Several tracks here are decent, but the band feels like they’re on autopilot, just running through the material just to get it released.

7. Make Believe (2005)weezer_makebelieve

“Perfect Situation” should go in the all-time top 10 of classic Weezer tracks; it’s full of energy and riffs and is just so damn catchy. “Beverly Hills,” on the other hand, is so overrated at this point that you can just skip it. Songs here are a bit longer and take a little more time to digest. I can remember not liking this disc when it first came out and time has not changed that opinion very much. But it’s like a lot of Weezer from this period when they were still good: you knew you were going to like at least a few tracks off each disc. This one is definitely one of their darker and moodier ventures.

weezer_green_1506. Green Album (2001)

This one is a simple pop record that was long awaited after the initial fiasco of Pinkerton. Some tracks like “Photograph” and “Smile” don’t really hold up that well, while others like “Hash Pipe,” “Don’t Let Go,” and the Weezer classic “Island In The Sun” make this record way more notable than others. Given hindsight, not everything here is a winner, but there’s enough strong riffs and some still great solo songwriting from Rivers to justify its place here.

5. Everything Will Be Alright In The End (2014)weezer_alright_150

This was the album many would hope would bring the band back on track after the near disasters of the last two discs. Taking some much-needed time off and then reconnecting with Ric Ocasek, the band rocked again and stayed for the most part away from hip-hop and electronic elements. “Back To The Shack” is probably the most autobiographical Rivers ever got. Aside from “Go Away,” a strong collaboration with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, there’s not much here. The guitars are still strong and the band sound really crisp but alas, it was just a false flag record as the band immediately went into the pop world and stayed there

weezer_red_150 4. Red Album (2008)

A surprisingly fun album. Songs like “Pork And Beans” and the classic “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” wouldn’t have worked on earlier discs, but this is the bridge between the Weezer that many of us grew up loving and the pop band that had all the life sucked out of them. The last record that the band handled on their own, Rivers even gave the others a chance to write and sing their own tracks toward the end of the disc, and ironically, their presence takes a bit away from the overall strength of the disc except for Scott Shriner’s “Cold Dark World,” where the riff makes the song one of the strongest here. If anything, this is half of a good record, but it’s a good half. Other tracks like “Everybody Get Dangerous” and “Thought I Knew” set the scene for the spectacular failings to come.

3. Maladroit (2002)weezer_maladroit_150

This record was a complete surprise. Having forgotten about it since its release, there’s a lot here that reminds one of how great Weezer really were when they turned the volume up. It features lots of great riffs, and the songs are exceptionally strong for an album that was spat on upon its release. Rivers’ lyrics are notable and cool; the songs are poppy without turning into crap and the band actually sound like they’re having legitimate fun. Some of the band’s heaviest songs are here like “Slob,” “Dope Nose,” “American Gigolo,” and “Take Control.” This album ranks as high as it does just for the inclusion of “December” alone. With all of these great tracks, this album is an underrated near classic.

weezer_pinkerton 2. Pinkerton (1996)

When I first heard this record, I was 10. I didn’t get much of it, I just knew I liked “The Good Life” and “El Scorcho” (and still do, by the way; both of these tracks still kickass). As I got older, I realized the majority of the record was insanely interesting. The lo-fi, damn near sloppy nature of the record can’t be ignored, but that’s part of its charm as well. Favorites like “Getchoo” and “Why Bother?” show that Rivers was trying to work his way through his myriad of life issues and the only prescription was rock! Even the moodier, more introspective pieces like “Pink Triangle” and “Butterfly” showed the band were capable of some really good songwriting and musicianship to back it up. There’s always a debate between what’s the best Weezer disc, and I think that Pinkerton will always come in second. But that’s not a bad place to wind up.

1. Blue Album (1994)weezer_blue_150

Okay, hate if you want. But this is still the truest, purest music Weezer ever released. None of it was designed for airplay or mass appeal. If anything, it was made for just the fans they already had, and if anyone on the outside got hooked, then that would be alright, too. Tracks like “My Name Is Jonas,” “In The Garage,” and “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” speak to so many people. Forget that “Buddy Holly” has been as overplayed as “Africa.” This record is a classic and nothing, not even the band’s lackluster later work, can take that away. I don’t even think the band could pull off something as deep and intricate as “Only In Dreams” now without swathing it in keyboards and drum machines. In a way, the band would spend a good part of their career trying to reach this point again and never really came close.

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