For some reason, people in the MTV Newsroom tend to consider me “The Weezer Guy.” This is probably because I am an older indie-rock dude who wears glasses. Or perhaps because I’ve written stuff like this or this. Or maybe because I once did an interview with Rivers Cuomo that he roundly criticized later on his MySpace blog.
Anyway, yeah, I’m the guy everyone goes to here whenever there’s news about Weezer, which means that today my inbox is overflowing with messages from my fellow employees, all of whom appear to be super-psyched about the brand-new Weez album (June 24th). And then there’s the first single from that record, “Pork and Beans,” which is already streaming on the band’s site and garnering plenty of “Weezer returns to form!” props.
“I. Love. It. And I hate saying it. The music harkens back to The Blue Album, while the lyrics are rather questionable,” some Internet person wrote. “It’s as if Rivers of present day went back in time to Blue Album Rivers and wrote these bad lyrics. That Timbaland one makes me laugh, though.”
Here’s the only problem: I know I should be doing cartwheels about this. I should be playing “Pork and Beans” over and over again and annoying my officemate. I should be as psyched as everyone who’s emailing me.
Only I’m not.
For whatever reason, I can’t get into “P&B.” In fact, I basically think it’s a complete mess. Sure, the chorus is classic — ah, those chords! But there’s so much going in the verses — the plinky keyboards, the goofy “Oohs!” on the backing tracks, the overall Casio-ness of the thing — that it’s borderline un-listenable. It’s herky-jerky (and not in the way Pinkerton was) and geeky-for-the-sake-of-being-geeky, and it kind of sounds like The Muppet Show, whatever the heck that means.
And then there’s Cuomo’s lyrics, which (of course) are still self-loathing to the bone, but now seem so full of “gee-ain’t-I-clever” mentions (check the nods to Rogaine, Oakley shades, and, of course, Timba) that I’m beginning to wonder if his whole “Industry Outsider” thing isn’t a complete sham. After all, there’s only so many times you can dip your feet in the pop-cultural pool (like he did on “Beverly Hills”) without getting wet, no matter how thick your Coke-bottle specs are, or how tight your itchy cardigan is stretched over your pasty gut. Or something like that.
OK. Go ahead. Send in your protests…