Ranking Weezer’s Studio Albums

So I’ve been listening to Weezer’s new album Hurley for a couple weeks now and I’m really digging it. This is their third effort in as many years, and it really is groovy. That got me wondering where this fits in among their other studio albums. So here is ranking of the Weezer albums as I see it. The only disclaimer with this list is that I’m a Weezer fan, so my opinion is biased. Oh also, on the more recent albums, I own the extended versions. Now it may or may not be fair to rate an album based on the extra songs, but that’s what I’m gonna do.

  1. Product Details Raditude – 2009 – Deluxe Edition
    Best song: Put Me Back Together
    Worst song: In the Mall

    Starting off this list with my least favorite album, Raditude. My initial listens to this album were very positive. But as I listened more and more it just didn’t stick with me as much. I’m still listening to it pretty frequently because it’s only a year old! Plus there are a couple gems on the CD. As mentioned, my favorite song is Put Me Back Together which is über-emo, but in a good Weezer way. But I had hard time deciding on that song over Love is the Answer which is fantastic. It reminds me of The Beatles if only for the theme of the lyrics and mix of Indian and American Rock sounds.

    But then there are a couple of songs I could toss out like In the Mall and The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World. While those are by far my least favorite songs on the album, there are also plenty of songs that are uninspired and mediocre (by Weezer standards). This album felt so rushed after the Red Album the year before. That made me particularly nervous for Hurley. But maybe the comparison is what is making me like Hurley so much. Time will tell.

  1. Product Details Weezer (Red Album) – 2008 – Deluxe Edition
    Best song: Miss Sweeney
    Worst song: Thought I Knew

    I like the Red Album. It has lots of tracks that I like quite a bit. Miss Sweeney (a Deluxe Edition track) is simply incredible. It’s not catchy, and it won’t be found on the radio, but I really like cranking this one and singing along. The Red Album has lots of other great tracks. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is one of those epic tracks that ambles along without much repetition of structure (no real chorus, etc). Normally I don’t like that, but it works great here. Pork and Beans is catchy and fun.

    But this album is very inconsistent. There are lots of tracks that I would call generic and even bad. This includes Troublemaker and Everybody Get Dangerous. While these two tracks are ones that were used in movies and TV media more than others, I feel they really aren’t that creative.

    Lastly, I want to mention this album featured three songs that are sung by and were partially written by band members other than front man Rivers Cuomo. This first two, Thought I Knew (written and sung by guitarist Brian Bell) and Cold Dark World (written by Cuomo and bassist Scott Shriner with vocals by Shriner) are both mediocre. Automatic (written and sung by drummer Patrick Wilson) is also fairly boring. The best of these songs (by far) is King (sung by Shriner) which is the last song on the deluxe version of the album. According to Wikipedia, the rest of the band wasn’t interested in this song, but Shriner demanded it be on the album. Cuomo said then he should sing it. It took the longest to record. It’s a very simple song musically, but executed really well in my opinion.

  1. Product Details Make Believe – 2005
    Best song: Freak Me Out
    Worst song: Beverly Hills

    I remember pretty much writing off Make Believe when it came out. My initial listenings just didn’t sell me on the album. I think a lot of this has to do with the front song being Beverly Hills. I am not a fan of this song. Not only was it the promoted single on the album, but it is also the first track. And personally, I feel the album would be much better without it.

    However, songs from Make Believe kept coming up on my iTunes through various mixes and random playlists. So I grew to like many of the songs on the album once I was listening to them not in the context of “Oh this is from that album I don’t like.” Freak Me Out is a quirky little song that is supposedly about a spider (not the only song Cuomo has written about creepy crawlies) and I just love it. Overall, this album is alright, and I enjoy listening to it. But I don’t get excited about listening to it in its entirety.

  1. Product Details Weezer (Green Album) – 2001
    Best song: Photograph
    Worst song: Glorious Day

    This album was hard to place for me. It’s really the only album on this list were there are no stand out great songs for me, but there isn’t any terrible songs either. The whole album is just good, and there are few songs that I would rate a 4 out of 5. Picking my favorite and least favorite songs was particularly hard. I chose Photograph as my favorite because it’s catchy and great to sing along with. It’s very upbeat, and it feels happy (even though the lyrics aren’t really happy). I chose Glorious Day as my least favorite on the album, but really that was almost a random choice. I could have easily chosen Smile or Simple Pages. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of those songs. But that’s why it was hard to choose. Just compared to a lot of other Weezer songs, they’re only so-so.

  1. Product Details Hurley – 2010 – Deluxe Edition
    Best song: Smart Girls
    Worst song: Trainwrecks

    And here we are with Weezer’s latest effort: Hurley. Rated #4 on my list! Now as I already mentioned, I’m rating this one so high maybe because it’s new. But Sara can attest to the fact that I’ve been listening to this album a ton the last few weeks. It’s got great rock-out songs, great quirky fun songs and some songs that hearken back to the old Weezer sound.

    There are a couple blemishes on the album. Trainwrecks is not a trainwreck itself, but it’s lyrics are cheesy and almost cliché. The other song I don’t like is really unfortunate. Weezer has some great covers (see this MGMT’s Kids / Lady Gaga’s Pokerface mashup), but Hurley features the first cover on one of the main album. (Okay there’s been covers on their B-sides, and this one is technically on Extended version, but it’s the first for me), and it’s Viva la Vida by Coldplay. It’s an okay song I guess, but I’m definitely biased against this song. This has to do with the fact that I’m a former member of the a cappella super-group DeCadence, and watched a lot of a cappella shows, and waaaaaay too many groups covered this song. Plus, it’s not a very inspired cover.

    But beyond those two songs, there’s just lots of songs I love so far on this album. I walk around the house singing Smart Girls so much that Sara is even getting it stuck in her head and I’m already trying to learn it on guitar. I love Rivers’s vocals on Unspoken. His voice is very clear and innocent sounding. Where’s My Sex is gritty and young sounding in a way that reminds me of the Weezer-of-old. All My Friends Are Insects is quirky in a way that I LOVE out of Weezer (although the fact that literally all his friends are not insects (on of them is an earthworm) kind of bugs me). Time flies is super scratchy and dirty sounding. It’s so different in this way, that I really like it (but I’m glad only one song is like this). And I love the instrumentation of Hang On which includes mandolin and hurdy gurdy! The album also includes background vocals by the Jack-ass cast (on Memories) and Michael Cera (on Hang On). Great album.

  1. Product Details Maladroit – 2002
    Best song: December
    Worst song: Space Rock

    Ah Maladroit. One of my favorite things about this album is the guitar. It’s got a nice harsh sound throughout the album, and yet they songs still some variety. For example, in my favorite track, December, the guitar is very raw sounding, and yet the song is really beautiful thanks to Rivers’s lyrics and slow moving chorus. I generally like every song on this album. Keep Fishing always makes me happy because of the great music video involving the Muppets.

    What can I say that’s negative about this album? Well the harsh guitar does get a little old eventually. I do have to be in the right mood to listen to this album as a result. I chose Space Rock as my least favorite song on the album because it’s not a song I sing along to (which is important to me). Other than that… not that many negative things to say.

  1. Product Details Weezer (Blue Album) – 1994
    Best song: Say It Ain’t So
    Worst song: Holiday

    The first album. Considered by many to be the best. The album that got so many people into Weezer. It came out when I was in 8th grade, but it wasn’t really until the end of my freshman year that I was really exposed to it. And I have enjoyed them ever since. And what’s incredible, is that even after 7 more albums and 15 years, I can still listen to this album and rock out. I’m listening to the Blue Album as I wright this. It is just so good.

    The album opens with great guitar lick (that’s quite a challenge in Guitar Hero 3) in My Names is Jonas. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here is, in my opinion, the definition of “emo” lyrics. Buddy Holly‘s music video reminds me of Windows 95 because the video was so popular it was included with Windows 95 as a demonstration of the operating systems video capabilities. Undone (The Sweater Song) is one of the first songs I learned on guitar. In the Garage is an anthem for dorks and geeks everywhere. But the crème de la creème, is certainly Say It Ain’t So. I don’t know what else to say other than it is one of my favorite songs of all time.

    I put down Holiday as my least favorite song of the album. But realistically, this mean almost nothing. Almost like I was forcing myself to pick something.

  1. Product Details Pinkerton – 1996
    Best song: El Scorcho
    Worst song: Falling For You

    Pinkerton is Weezer’s second effort, and by my account, their best. Like The Blue Album, Pinkerton has an edgy sound. But it feels more varied. I have El Scorcho listed as the best song. It’s my favorite Weezer song. But that’s mostly do to the fact that it’s quirky, weird, and fun. Pink Triangle, Across the Sea, The Good Life, and Tired of Sex are all phenomenal songs as well. Even Falling for You (which I listed as the worst) would be top 5 in several of their other albums. It really is a great album.

I’ve been reading lots of articles, that are reviews of Weezer’s last several albums. Most of them are simply complaints that the band has not lived up to Pinkerton since it’s release. According to my list, that’s true, but I have Hurley being the best effort in years. Some people are so mad at Weezer, they’re offering the band money to break up! I say rock on! And leave you with Weezer’s collaboration with Auto-Tune the news:


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