Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pinkerton: A Song-By-Song Discussion



NOTE: I found the entire "Pinkerton" album available for my free listening pleasure on imeem, which is a great music site for listening to stuff and not paying for it. You do have to have an account, though, but it's... as I said... free and totally worth it. I use imeem all the time, and NO, I'm not being paid to say that. Sadly

Track 1 - Tired of Sex

Rivers Cuomo gets all screamy about having a lot of sex, but no love. Not... exactly... a song everyone can relate to, at least lyrically. I mean, personally I know exactly where he's coming from... my college days were basically one long lay with a face that shifted nightly like the waxing and waning of the moon. So much sex! It was Slip n' Slide orgies on Monday, all-u-can-bang buffets on Tuesday, pants off/dance offs on Wednesdays, Thursdays were one-on-one encounters only so we could all catch our collective breath, and Fridays were all about the butt. And the weekends... whoa, brother... don't get me started on the weekends. Let's just say Larry Flynt called us, "disgusting." Anyway, my point is that this song is loud, banging, about banging, and a great way to start off the album.

(don't listen to c-dog; he spent most of his college days drinking Shiner Bock and playing marathon sessions of Grand Theft Auto 3)

Hey, parentheses voice, no one asked you. All that stuff I said? Totally true. Now, mov-

(not true)

True. End of discussion. I'm a stud. Moving on.

Track 2 - Getchoo

Kind of stalker-y. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. Stalking has been well represented in music for years and years. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, "Possum Kingdom" by The Toadies, "It's Me Again, Margaret" by Ray Stevens, everything ever performed by The Wiggles, etc. And we can certainly add "Getchoo" to that esteemed, creepy list. Again, it's quite screamy and loud; two right out of the gate that signify a stylistic shift from one album to the next.

Track 3 - No Other One

A few years ago, I dated a girl basically because I was tired of sleeping alone all the time and she didn't smell bad or have any overt homicidal tendencies or anything. That's kind of what this song is about, but with more drugs and references to snake tattoos. It's a little more "traditional" sounding, if we're considering The Blue Album as the bearer for Weezer tradition. Which we are.

Track 4 - Why Bother

What is it with Rivers Cuomo and talking about jerking off all the time? Remember that "wrestle with Jimmy" line? Yeah, well he talks about "wackin' it" in this one, preferring that to getting involved with a woman that would ultimately hurt him. Gotta disagree with Mr. Cuomo on that one. Maybe I'm just more of an "in the moment" type of guy, but seems like the prospect of eventually getting hurt is far outweighed by getting laid and having a fun time right now. Still though, songs about loneliness and regret and missing out on relationships make way more money than songs about happiness and love, so what do I know? Although being all sad and mopey and whatnot didn't really help out "Pinkerton's" album sales...

Anyway, it sounds kind of like "Buddy Holly," but only in the way that Coke sort of tastes like Pepsi.

Track 5 - Across the Sea

The eroticness of pen pals, finally explored! This song's okay... very Weezer-ish, with everything that implies, but also kind of boring. Like if a Weezer cover band (called The Sweaters, no doubt) wrote an original song, it'd sound a lot like this. Also also, there are some crazy chord progressions getting thrown around all willy-nilly in here, which I don't think is something they do just a whole lot of in general (music geeks, help me out here). Whatever, though... a solid midpoint.

Track 6 - The Good Life

This was, I believe, the second single released off of "Pinkerton," and it was basically sent out into the wild with no supplies and left to die and/or get mauled by wolves. No one really cared, by that point, and that sucks because... seriously... I would put this, along with "El Scorcho"... in the top ten Weezer songs of all time. It's catchy, it's kind of funny, it talks about "shakin' booty," and it actually makes you want to shake your booty, too. What more do you want from Weezer, huh, kiddos? They are but mortal men.

Track 7 - El Scorcho

We've discussed.

Track 8 - Pink Triangle

I actually really don't like this song. It sounds... off, to me. Like the lyrics don't quite fit the music or something, not to mention the fact that Cuomo seemingly forgot how to be his usual clever self for a few minutes and landed squarely in the domain of Capt. Obvious. It's a song about falling in love with a lesbian and he writes, "She would never go with me/Were I the last girl on earth/I'm dumb she's a lesbian" Really, Rivers Cuomo? Really? Oh, and there's another masturbation reference in there as well. All in all, a weak effort, but one that everyone else in their fandom seems to like, so maybe it's just me.

Track 9 - Falling for You

But they rebound! This is a great song for the car, late at night, with a large group of friends and you're all coming back from a party still buzzing on being young and slightly drunk and really into music that's not being played on the radio all the time. It's sing-a-long worthy, but only in that specific situation. One that happens less and less these days; for all of us, I'd imagine. Still, this is the song from "Pinkerton" that I'd put in a rocket and blast towards alien civilizations so they can understand what it's like to be nearly eighteen and in love and ready to kick life in the face and make it your own.

Track 10 - Butterfly

I always turned the album off before this song. And, listening to it again, I realize that I was completely in the right. Not a great way to end the album, particularly since you've got "Falling for You" right fucking there, ready to close shit out like an uppercut to the jaw. I mean, it's not an awful song or anything, but... I don't know... it's just a little too sensitive and whatnot for an album like "Pinkerton" that's all brash noise and hot, light fuzz. Wimpy, would be the word. But we'll let it slide because, on the whole...

"Pinkerton" is a great album. Best in their catalogue? Dunno... going to have to give them all another listen at some point. But it's either number one or number two. No question about that. I mean did you listen to "Maladroit?" I don't even think that was them. I think it was The Sweaters.

14 Comments:

Blogger lestlie said...

Matt has "The Good Life" set as the ringtone that plays whenever I call him. I don't really know what that is supposed to mean. Fucking awesome song, though.

Pinkerton is probably my favorite Weezer album, and El Scorcho and The Good Life definitely rank in the Top 10 Best Weezer songs. Nice tribute to my favorite band...and an album other than the Blue one.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Thanks. Yeah, The Blue Album gets waaaaay too much press. I just listened to all of Pinkerton *again* after posting this and, yep, it's their best album.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous nancy said...

I cannot believe you referenced "It's Me Again, Margaret." My father used to listen to Ray Stevens all the time. Too funny! (you, not Ray Stevens).

Doing this with albums should be your replacement for ICFC.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous wishmewell said...

well this was certainly awesome

i was inspired to listen to Pinkerton on my ipod (over and over)after your post this morning, and was on my way over here to mention that, and this post is here!
Definitely their best album.

3:03 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

it's also the album with the best (at least to me) cover art. or at least the most interesting.

obsessive compulsive fans have predetermined the graphic design of every weezer album after this one apprently.

first the "blue" album,then "green",and now a "red".

3:15 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Nancy... My grandparents were big fans of The Stevens. I remember long car trips and greatest hits cassettes and wishing I was dead. As for this being a replacement for ICFC... maybe. It's kind of time consuming, but I *do* enjoy forcing my opinions on others... will have to think about it.

Wishmewell... Thanks, dude. I aspire every day to awesome-ocity.

Jason... Remember, though, that Maladroit and Make Believe both had non-monochromatic cover art. Then again, both of those albums were terrible, so they hardly count.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Ben K. said...

I see I converted you, Clinton. My job here is done.

3:51 PM  
Blogger NYCPonderings Chick said...

HAHA pants off/dance off wednesdays and slip and slid tuesdays...where do those days go???!!

4:03 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

good point clinton.

but make believe has been called their "black album". it's sorta monochromatic.

that red album cover looks very village people....not that there's anything wrong with that!

cowboy hats and 'staches'll do that.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Ben... You, sir, are the tipping point.

NYC... I don't know, man. Those were good times (or would have been, had they been real).

Jason... Sorta, but not entirely. Also, I'm really starting to dislike Cuomo's mustache. The more I've thought about it today, the more I've wanted for some hot wax and strips of cloth.

4:56 PM  
Blogger TFKoP said...

I use my Maladroit CD as a coaster.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

After reading your comment... and realizing that I'd ripped on Maladroit THREE seperate times today... I went back and gave it a listen via the magic of imeem.

Wow, that was a crappy album. Like, that wasn't even The Sweaters playing. That was an evil band of Weezer imposters trying to besmirch their good name. Or something. I'm tired.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Across the Sea "Okay?" It's one of the greatest songs written by anyone!

5:53 AM  
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10:23 PM  

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