This is going to sound crazy, but hear me out. Pinkerton, Weezer's belated follow-up to their enormously popular self-titled debut, is a...well...uuuhh...it's an emo concept album. Don't get me wrong, it's still pop, but with a new colour and flavour. There is an obvious difference to the Weezer many of us originally fell in love with.
For Pinkerton, the band decided to produce the album themselves, rather than returning to the slick production style of Ric Ocasek. The sound that was created aids in my aforementioned theory. This album has much more of a raw sound. The guitars are more crunchy than distorted, and the drums are more in your face. This, along with strikingly heart-felt vocals and surprisingly personal lyrics, cause Pinkerton to sound reminiscent to some of my favorite indie emo rock albums. It's hard to get used to if you are expecting to hear another Blue Album. But the more you listen, the more it will grow on you.
Lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo seems to be telling a story with the lyrics; a story about the search for love in the aftermath of a top-selling album. Knowing a bit more background of Cuomo's life after hitting it big, one could interpret the album as chronological, and the Pinkerton concept is born. Taking a break from all the attention gained as a result of Weezer's multi-platinum debut, Rivers continued with his schooling at Harvard and tried to stay as much out of the spotlight as he could. Pinkerton's opening track, "Tired of Sex", seems to portray this need to get away. The song is a sexual metaphor (or is it??), in which Rivers admits to being "tired of having sex" and finally asks, "Why can't I be making love (come true)?". A dynamic song with an incredible vocal performance and a kick-ass guitar solo.
The album continues to track two, called "Getchoo," about infatuation, or rather, overinfatuation. Another dynamic song with another incredible vocal performance and another kick-ass guitar solo. After slowing it down a bit with track three, "No other one," they kick it back into gear with "Why Bother?" Track five, "Across the Sea," is arguably the most touching of all Weezer songs and also marks the first direct introduction of the Japanese side theme to Pinkerton. The interpretation is left up to the listener, but it definitely adds a special twist to an already meaningful album.
Track six, "The Good Life," expresses the opposite feeling of "Tired of Sex", which we heard five tracks earlier. On this track, Rivers explains that he doesn't want to be an "old man" anymore and is ready to change BACK to the rock star life -- to "the good life". (The "old man" is referring to his appearance at the time. Rivers, while attending Harvard, had grown a thick beard and had to walk with a cane as he recovered from surgery, giving him an "old man" look.)
Each song on Pinkerton has its own emphasis on an overall concept, adding up to a great, consistent album that never loses its edge. Please, PLEASE, listen to this album. No matter what genre you want to file it under, it's truly one of the best albums of the 20th Century.
1. Tired of Sex
3. No Other One
4. Why Bother?
5. Across the Sea
6. The Good Life
7. El Scorcho
8. Pink Triangle
9. Falling for You