Album Review | Weezer Embrace Memes on The Teal Album
Look, I know what you’re thinking… A Weezer cover album??? In 2019??? Weezer still exist??? I know, I feel you, I get you. But honestly? The Teal Album is kind of really good.
Prompted by fans via Twitter, Weezer released a cover of Africa’s ‘Toto’ in May 2018, which led to them releasing The Teal Album digitally without any prior mention on January 24th 2019, through Crush Music and Atlantic Records. The first round of pre-order copies came with a teal wallet containing a one-dollar bill signed by the band and the second round of pre-orders came with an all teal Rubik’s Cube that you can complete instantly, just by owning it. Take that 14-year-old Lucas Etter from Kentucky and your Guinness World Record.
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Opening the album with Africa’s ‘Toto’ was a bold move. It’s hard to take something seriously when it’s been meme-ified to such an extent. They may as well have just rick rolled us. But it’s a decent cover and it reached number 1 on the Alternative Billboard chart. Entering into the world of memes isn’t too far a cry of what we would expect from Weezer though, as frontman Rivers Cuomo has an Instagram fully dedicated to memes of himself and the band.
Track 3, ‘Sweet Dreams’, is a standout. Originally written by Eurythmics, ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ appeared on their second studio album of the same name, released in 1983. While it stays true to the original song, Weezer have somehow made it even funkier and the result is a fun little synth-pop cover.
Another stand out is the only 90s cover appearing on the record, ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC. Written for TLC’s third studio album FanMail, ‘No Scrubs’ became a feminist anthem, teaching women everywhere never to settle for a guy who uses you and to never give time to catcallers. It was therefore a surprising but welcome addition to the album and Rivers’ vocals are strongest on this track. In parts they’re on the softer side and it’s a nice aspect I’d like to hear more of.
While here and there they do put their own Weezer-y spin on the tracks, I did forget I was listening to Weezer for a while, and not just a really sweet playlist. Is it revolutionary? No. Is it weird? Yes. But is it worth putting 36 minutes into? Absolutely. The Teal Album could have easily become a joke that we all tried to forget about as soon as we heard it, but instead it’s a solid album. Giving us something to have fun with before the release of their upcoming record,The Black Album, which is due for release on March 1st.