Why is The Green Album not as great as the classic Pinkerton and The Blue Album? Is it because of the departure of Rentals frontman Matt Sharp? Because of Rivers newfound refusal to write songs with meaning? The pressure and expectations of Geffen/Interscope? Who knows, maybe it's all of the above, but there is definitely something lacking on this album.
The Green Album spits out the catchiest Weezer choruses since their debut self-titled album Weezer (aka The Blue Album). The sweet melodies are the driving force of the album with the presence of thick, strong harmonies, but like chocolate chip cookies, you can only take so much of that sugary sweetness without having to gulp down some milk with it.
The first thing I noticed lacking on The Green Album compared to their previous works is the creative use of dynamics. No longer are there innovative breakdowns and buildups. Instead, Weezer use a clichéd guitar solo in almost every song that mimics the melody of the verses. This results in predictable and redundant music that causes my eye to twitch every so often.
Also, because of the lack of dynamics, lead singer/guitarist/nerd/songwriter Rivers Cuomo has no room to vary the dynamics within his voice. On Pinkerton, Weezer would often start off incredibly loud, but would always somehow get even louder building a catastrophic pop frenzy. But The Green Album retains a constant volume and tempo which results in radio-friendly commercialized pop.
But what's great about this album is that with every spin, the music seems to get a little better. With cute vocals, minor-ish chords, and an acoustic guitar, "Island In the Sun" provides the necessary break from the other straight-forward rockers. And album closer "O' Girlfriend" is a great Weezer tune and wouldn't seem that out of place on Pinkerton.
This is definitely not the Weezer of the mid-'90s that we depended on to provide us a break from grunge/alternative music. This is Weezer 2001. They may have lost some elements in their music that made me fall in love with them, but they have not lost the ability to make me smile and fill me with that euphoric joy that makes me want to bounce off the walls for hours. And because of this, I believe Weezer is semi-successful with The Green Album. But someone really needs to tell Rivers that good music is not judged by album sales, maybe then the Rivers we came to know and love will be back with even thicker glasses.
1. Don't Let Go
3. Hash Pipe
4. Island in the Sun
6. Knock-Down Drag-Out
8. Simple Pages
9. Glorious Day
10. O Girlfriend