Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pork & Beans

Song: Pork & Beans
Artist: Weezer
Album: Weezer (The Red Album)

I read an article in Rolling Stone about Weezer, can’t remember if it was leading up to 2002’s “Maladroit” or 2005’s “Make Believe,” but I remember thinking that Rivers Cuomo, the bands leader and chief songwriter, came across as a total weirdo. He was strangely arrogant, mixed with equal doses of insecurity, and straight out bonkers. But the most annoying part… I felt it was an act. Weezer is releasing their sixth album in June entitled… get this, “Weezer.” The name of their first and third albums. This time they are going with a red motif, as you can see with the album cover above.

The first single is “Pork and Beans,” which sounds very “Beverly Hills”-ish, yet with an angry/cathartic “Since You’ve Been Gone”-ish vibe. Apparently it was written after the band had a meeting with Geffen and they told them they needed to be more commercial. (Evidence by the line; “Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts, Maybe if I work with him I can perfect the art.”) So what “Pork and Beans” turns out to be is a very ‘Weezer sounding’ bouncy track that finds the front man, possibly for the first time a bit comfortable with himself. (I’m finally dandy with the me inside, One look in the mirror and I’m tickled pink, I don’t give a hoot about what you think.”) Or is he?

Despite having fans worldwide that adore each move, Rivers is a pretty depressed and insecure guy. After their debut made them instant rock stars, their follow up “Pinkerton” failed to match the success… and Rivers went inward, almost disbanding the group. But fans loved “Pinkerton,” and once he realized the album had many admirers, he finally started to re-play the songs live. (He had famously refused to play any of the tracks live when it didn’t do well commercially.) So he was built up enough to get back recording and the end result was The Green Album (Weezer) in which they returned to the artwork style of their debut. The Green Album was a hit, and restored the band to prominence. But their follow ups didn’t do as well… so now we’re back with the Red Album. Okay.

So I’m not overly impressed with “Pork and Beans,” as it fits in with some of Weezer’s more goofy song territory, and it really doesn’t show them doing anything new and exciting. There has been a lot of talk about their work with Rick Rubin, and how he was developing their sound and that Rivers was writing some challenging material that was “out there.” That was back for “Make Believe,” which I think is their weakest album, and a surprise to me because it was so straight forward and… well boring. Rubin is working on the new album, and has started that it’s more experimental, with drum machines, synths, and “Southern Rap.” Really? None of which seem to find their way onto lead single “Pork & Beans.” (Which incidentally was produced by Jackknife Lee, the guy behind the new R.E.M. record.)

What do you think of this new song?


1 comment:

WeCastMusic said...


So, after listening to this track a few more times it has totally won me over. The "Creep"-like "CHUG CHUG" of the guitar before the chorus is pretty irresistable.

I guess I just don't care for the title...