The 10 best album tracks Weezer have recorded since 2002
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Weezer – and frontman Rivers Cuomo in particular – are masters of the perfectly crafted pop rock song. Pick their 10 best songs and it’d be quickly filled up with the tracks that make up their classic 1994 self-titled debut (aka ‘The Blue Album’), its darker follow-up ‘Pinkerton’ (1996) and their second self-titled album – aka ‘The Green Album’, released in 2001. It would be too easy and of benefit to no-one.
So what about concentrating on their career post 2001? The albums where they’d slightly lost their way? There’s some gems to be heard on the likes of 2002’s Maladroit and 2010’s Hurley. We posed the challenge to Weezer obsessive Matt Stocks, who duly tied himself up in knots. Here’s the definitive list of their 10 best album tracks recorded from 2002 onwards...
**10. TURNING UP THE RADIO (Death To False Metal, 2010)
**Death To False Metal is a compilation of Weezer recordings from the mid-90s to the time of its release. By singer Rivers Cuomo’s own admission, it was a collection of “great songs” that “for some reason didn’t make final the cut for a record.” Ironically, many of the songs contained are better than some of the ones that did make the cut, and as a collection of outtakes they hold up better than some of Weezer’s actual albums. Turning Up The Radio is a delightful ode to the medium that’s given Cuomo so much inspiration over the years. The classic guitar shredding, keyboard flourishes and impassioned vocals make the band sound like a supercharged Pavement as they pay ultimate homage to FM radio, and the result is a triumphant celebration of the power of music.
9. SLOB (Maladroit**, 2002)**
Maladroit is to The Green Album what Pinkerton was to The Blue Album. That’s not to say it’s as iconic or noteworthy as Weezer’s sophomore release, but that the brighter, lighter mood of its predecessor was replaced with a darker, more aggressive sound. Self-financed by the band, the tracks were compiled with the help of fans and one of the songs people requested for inclusion was Slob, which dated back to the summer of 2000. "I never would have thought to put Slob on the record if the fans did not request it”, Cuomo confirms. We’re glad they did, because the self-loathing on this grunge-tinged rocker wholly encapsulates the solemn tone of Maladroit, and the riff is as heavy as it gets for Weezer.
**8. EVERYBODY GET DANGEROUS (The Red Album, 2008)
**Weezer have always inhabited a perpetual state of puberty. They sum up teenage feelings of anxiety and sexual alienation better than actual teenagers, in fact. But with The Red Album the band were forced to address the fact that they’d finally grown up. They reasserted their identity – as all the self-titled coloured albums do – by throwing everything at the wall in the quest for a career-defining epic. The result is a certifiable mess, but an incredibly fun listening experience, and the faux-rap-metal Everybody Get Dangerous is a definite highlight. It’s an entertaining reflection on the follies of youth, and stylistically it's such a departure for Weezer that it's strangely refreshing - the band is in full-blown musical experimentation mode, and clearly loving every minute.