Weezer (Teal Album): Album Review

Today Weezer surprise dropped this album:

Seemingly playing off the popularity of their cover of “Africa” by Toto, this album opens with that cover and consists entirely of the band covering various popular songs, mostly 70’s and 80’s hits. And I have mixed feelings on this album.

For the longest time, I was familiar with many of Weezer’s songs but wasn’t aware of the band as a whole. My parents had to tell me many times that “Island in the Sun” was by Weezer and not Cake until it was drilled into my head. I got kind of but not really super into Weezer in early to mid 2018, where I realized many of their songs I already knew but didn’t know they made. Shortly after that point, I realized the band has their own very distinct personality, with their songs covering naive childish topics in this overdramatic, sincere way. I tend to catch on to bands’ personalities because Cake, my favorite band, has a very distinct “we don’t care, we’ll do what we want” personality.

I was there for the release of Weezer’s cover of Africa, which is notable mainly for the story behind it: some teenage girl really wanted them to cover that song, and they actually did it. The end result is a little odd, but different enough from the original and good enough to be a worthy piece of music, even considering that Africa is already a song that everyone loves. Weezer covering other hits has a lot of potential, and when their cover of Africa came out I’m sure it felt to many like scratching the surface; what if Weezer brought their personality into other popular hits? The way they did it and their choice of songs is a little weird to me.

The most prominent genre of music is 80’s pop, which makes sense considering how they clearly wanted to make similar covers to Africa. Those covers are done in a roughly similar style to their cover of Africa, and I’m not a big fan of how they seemingly decided to go the route of “hey, let’s do more covers similar to our cover that has a really funny story behind it”. 

Most of the other covers on the album are of older rock music, again done roughly like the Africa cover for the most part; if not in that style, usually done as typical rock music. The covers themselves are decent for what they’re worth and are very faithful to the original songs, which is a good thing because I’d almost worry they would have destroyed the appeal of those songs and made them more generic, but also a bad thing because these covers don’t have much of their character in them. None of the covers really stand out to me, except for one: the album closer, a cover of Ben E. King’s Stand by Me.

Stand by Me is by far my favorite song on the album. It replicates the mostly acoustic original song but with many more guitars and rock elements, and works in Weezer’s character masterfully, ultimately leading to a much different song from the original. This cover represents what the whole album could have been like. 

I wish this album was more like the final song instead of “Weezer Africa but it’s a whole album”. It’s not a bad album, just a somewhat underwhelming “this is exactly what I expected” experience for the most part. I’d recommend this whole album if you really liked their cover of Africa, but if you like Weezer in general, Stand by Me is easily the one most worth listening to.

A New Year’s Announcement Part 2: The Actual Plan, for Real

So the other day, I remembered the posts I planned to write blog posts about the document detailing the Condesce’s story on Earth, on both sides of the Scratch, elaborating on the guardians’ lives along the way.

The short story is, those posts are cancelled.

The long story is, those posts aren’t exactly cancelled. I absolutely plan to discuss this material as I go through my Homestuck blog posts! My current tentative plan is to discuss each kid’s life across the scratch during the relevant reunion scenes in A6A6I5, where all kids except Jade learn their lives across the scratch. It’s kind of a long way from now, but keep in mind this is a tentative plan that could change any minute. A lot of my blog posts I’ve written on impulse, which as you know is how I ended up reviving my Homestuck post series in the first place.

Anyway, here goes:

  • John, Jake, and Jade’s lives will be discussed at the start of John and Jake’s conversation, during the lilypad selection screen.
  • Jane’s life across the scratch will be discussed at the start of her meeting with Nannasprite.
  • The Lalondes’ lives will be discussed at the start of their first conversation, again during the lilypad selection screen.

^ These are going to be handled in the following form: basically “Before we begin going through this conversation, I’d like to discuss ___”. It’s similar to how when a character or concept is first introduced in the comic, I generally take a moment to discuss it before going on.

The Striders’ lives across the scratch are the exception here; since their reunion is so long and detailed, I’ll discuss their lives across the scratch as I go along. Part of why I’m doing this is because their lives aren’t elaborated on very much in the external material, rather only in the actual comic.

As I thought about these posts again, I realized I could expand this idea to discussing the trolls’ lives across the scratch. There’s a major oddity with them: technically speaking, we know a lot about the pre-scratch trolls’ (Meenah and company) lives across the scratch, but next to nothing about the post-scratch trolls’ (Karkat and company) lives across the scratch. Weirder yet, for the most part it’s far easier to compare Karkat and company to their own ancestors than it is to compare Meenah and company to their post-scratch selves (Karkat and company’s ancestors). The biggest exception to this is Feferi, whose pre-scratch life is explored through the general atmosphere of Beforus, just as Meenah’s life is explored through the Condesce’s character and the atmosphere of Alternia. Aradia is another exception in a way, since her ancestor was Lord English’s slave who made Alternia miserable, but she’s always been an oddball character among the trolls so maybe that comparison actually makes sense. Since it’s hard to discuss the trolls without Vriska coming to mind, I can’t stop myself from noting that Aranea trying to be more like Mindfang seems to be a deconstruction of these character comparison oddities, and how they make no logical sense.

I’ll discuss the trolls’ lives across the scratch, as well as the pre-scratch trolls in general, in more detail when I start Act 6 Intermission 3, one of the most controversial parts of the comic. Keep an eye out for new posts in the days leading up to 4/13!

A New Year’s Announcement!

Happy new year! Today marks the start of 2019; the end of a year whose tail end I spent largely returning to Homestuck posts.

Today ALSO marked the release of some brand new Homestuck material, detailing the stories behind the guardians and the Condesce’s time on Earth, especially before the scratch. My reaction to it is as follows:


(Partial) jokes aside, I would go right ahead and write about this new material, but I can’t just yet!!! I will be at MAGFest for the next few days, attending, among hopefully many other things, the SiIvaGunner panel. I’ll probably spend most of my time those days busy with all that stuff.

But after that all happens, I will write two blog posts about the Homestuck content. One with general thoughts, and another comparing in detail the lives of all eight kids—John, Rose, Dave, Jade, Jane, Jake, Roxy, Dirk—against what we now know about their lives across the scratch. I’m super excited to get writing once MAGFest is done! But I’d rather not cram in blog writing during my spare time, such as waiting at the airport, when I go to MAGFest. I have heard that it’s really sad when the event ends, and I can only imagine what state I’ll be in at that point.

I’ll post a lot about MAGFest on my Twitter! This will also be my grand face reveal so look forward to that.