Weezer (retrospectively known as The Blue Album to separate it from the band's other self-titled releases) is the debut studio album by Weezer, released in 1994. Upon release, it generated massive critical acclaim thanks to its softer, more radio-friendly sound in the midst of the Alternative Rock and Grunge movements of The '90s. The album's Power Pop and Arena Rock melodies helped elevate Rivers Cuomo's charming but angst-filled lyrics, which made the subject matter accessible to a mainstream audience.
Produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars, The Blue Album captured a sense of irony characteristic of younger bands, while the band's nerdy persona garnered a cult following from audiences outside the core Post-Punk movement.
"Buddy Holly", "Undone The Sweater Song", and "Say It Ain't So" were very well-received on the radio; the music videos for "Buddy Holly" and "Undone" were directed by Spike Jonze, whose creativity contributed to extensive airplay on MTV. Weezer's clean-cut image spurred their success, though it proved to be a thorn in the band's side as their lyrical concerns began to mature and style began to progress.
Rivers Cuomo would later dismiss the videos as "gimmicky", and his disillusionment with the rock lifestyle which caused a Creator Breakdown for him resulted in the band's original plans for their second album, a Rock Opera titled Songs from the Black Hole, to be scrapped and eventually replaced by their Darker and Edgier 1996 follow-up Pinkerton.
The album as a whole inspired countless softer emo and Pop Punk bands. Though critics had a lukewarm response to the record upon release, Weezer's style proved to be distinctive, and it stands apart from every other genre of music popular during the mid-nineties. It has appeared in various best-of lists; Rolling Stone marked it as the 297th greatest album of all time, and NME listed it as the 250th greatest album.
- "My Name Is Jonas" (3:23)
- "No One Else" (3:14)
- "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" (4:26)
- "Buddy Holly" (2:40)
- "Undone The Sweater Song" (5:05)
- "Surf Wax America" (3:04)
- "Say It Ain't So" (4:18)
- "In the Garage" (3:56)
- "Holiday" (3:26)
- "Only in Dreams" (8:03)
The deluxe version of the album featured, apart from live versions and remixes, the following tracks:
- "Mykel and Carli" (2:53)
- "Susanne" (2:47)
- "My Evaline" (0:44)
- "Jamie" (4:19)
- "Paperface" (3:01)
- "Lullaby for Wayne" (3:36)
- "I Swear It's True" (2:57)
- Rivers Cuomo lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
- Brian Bell guitar, backing vocals
- Matt Sharp bass, backing vocals
- Patrick Wilson drums, percussion, backing vocals
Woo-ee-ooh, I trope just like Buddy Holly
- Album Single: "Undone-The Sweater Song", "Buddy Holly" and "Say it Ain't So"
- Alcoholic Parent: The premise of "Say It Ain't So" is a subversion of this. Rivers thought his parents split up because his dad was an alcoholic, though this wasn't actually the case.
- The Alleged Car: The car in "My Name is Jonas":Tell me what to do
Now the tank is dry
Now this wheel is flat
And you know what else
- Ascended Fangirl: "Mikel and Carli" describe two young girls who started the Weezer fan club during the band's earliest days.
- Asian Buck Teeth: Not quite buck teeth, but the Asian girl whom Rivers defends in "Buddy Holly" is described as having racial characteristics.Your tongue is twisted, your eyes are slit
You need a guardian
- Break-Up Song: "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here". It alludes to the fact that the boy in the song was not very nice to his ex, though he's an Unreliable Narrator.
- Clothing Damage: "Undone", obviously.If you want to destroy my sweater
Pull this thread as I walk away
- Concept Video: "Buddy Holly" is done In the Style of... a Happy Days episode, complete with a commercial break halfway through.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: The narrator of "No One Else" doesn't want his girl hanging out with any other guy but him. Even though it sounds rather sexist and harsh, it represents the beginning of Cuomo's maturation as a songwriter, as he would later expand upon this in Pinkerton.
- Filk Song: "In the Garage" is one of the more genuine ones of the genre, since it mostly discusses how Rivers is awkward around people, but loves how his fans share his passions.
- Garage Band: "In the Garage", obviously, though it's more about how the band wants to stay true to its roots and fans despite their fame.
- Geek Reference Pool: The motor mouthed lyrics during the bridge of "Buddy Holly", "What's a matter you" specifically, is an obscure reference to The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show, which featured the fake university "Wossamotta U" in the show.
- Location Song: "Surf Wax America" and "Undone" generally reference the beach party culture of SoCal.
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album closes with "Only In Dreams" (8:03).
- Long Title: "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here".
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The band's picture on the cover reflects this. It has become so iconic that the band reprised it for Green, Red, and also White, to an extent.
- Mood Dissonance: "Say It Ain't So" is about alcoholism and the lyrics reflect this, along with a sad guitar riff but it's so catchy that the song got famous for its charming attitude toward depression. The music video, thus, features the band simply hanging out at their old house.
- Nocturnal Emission: Done through music at the end of "Only in Dreams". The elevated crescendo is supposed to represent an orgasm, though most listeners don't know this.
- One-Woman Song: "My Evaline" and "Jamie" are both about girls whom Rivers dated, but the former seems to be done In the Style of... an old rock hit.
- Sequel Song: According to Hari Kondabolu, a comedian and huge Weezer fan, the song "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here", describes the same character as its previous song, "No One Else", atoning for his jealousness. The character in "No One Else" as mentioned above is a jealous guy; in the next, his girlfriend has broken up with him for being so possessive.
- Singer Namedrop: Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore, obviously, in the fourth track.
- The Something Song: "Undone (The Sweater Song)" is named for two words in the chorus, which appear separately.
- Song Style Shift: "Surf Wax America" and "Holiday" have slower bridges among the other faster-paced parts.
- Spoken Word in Music: The conversations in "Undone", both with an unnamed protagonist who feels bored about catching up with his friends.
- Step Up to the Mic: Matt Sharp, who had never sung a verse before joining Weezer, learned to sing an octave higher than Rivers in songs like "Buddy Holly" and "Undone".
- Surf Rock: "Surf Wax America" is a tip of the hat to this genre.
- Three Chords and the Truth: "Paperface" was recorded in the band's kitchen, which explains its rather primitive sound. It was an early session that later got included as a B-Side.
- Unusual Euphemism: In "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here":I just make love to your sweet memory
One thousand times a night
- Working-Class Hero: The titular character in "My Name Is Jonas", who convinces the workers to strike to oppose unfair regulations.