Weezer – Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition

January 01, 1970





The format of their recent Memories Tour said it all: there
are only two albums in the Weezer canon worth celebrating–their 1994 eponymous
debut so lovingly dubbed The Blue Album and
its indelible 1996 follow-up Pinkerton.


Yes, folks, its official: given the deflated premise of the
band’s, what, fifth consecutive creative misstep in their otherwise anticipated
Epitaph debut Hurley, it seems as
though Rivers Cuomo and the boys are virtually incapable of releasing a work on
par with the timelessness of their early pair of aces, the latter of which we
finally get to see its long-awaited deluxe edition after months of speculation
and rumors of its existence. And boy is it a beaut–one that does great justice
to the relentless power pop pulchritude of Pinkerton,
considered a commercial and critical flop upon its initial release but has
since grown a formidable cult following in its 15 years on record store shelves
thanks to its unintended reputation as one of the roots of American emo.


Never before or even since has there been a modern rock
album that struck the perfect balance of silliness, sarcasm and sincerity like Pinkerton, the group’s final album with
bassist and co-songwriter Matt Sharp, who went on to form new wave revivalists
The Rentals (who should have put out as many records as Weezer has in the last
ten years) and never looked back as the band seemed to crumble creatively in
the wake of his absence. It’s hard to find an LP that inspires you to sing all
ten of its tracks enthusiastically from the glass-enclosed solitude of your
car, but the California quartet’s amped-up formula of death metal drop tunings
and beyond-infectious pop hooks–enhanced further on Pinkerton into darker, more spontaneous territory by the recording
work of renowned producer Dave Fridmann–leave you no other choice but to emote
along to insanely catchy ditties like “Getchoo”, “Why
Bother?”, “The Good Life” and “Falling For You”.
Anyone who ever had their heart served to them on a dirty ashtray will fully
jibe with this conceptualized song cycle revolving around Cuomo’s nebbish,
susceptible views on sex, relationships and the pain that comes when confusing
the two entities. Fleeting, fevered thoughts rush through the veins of the
story’s tortured anti-hero as he pines for a barely legal Japanese fan on
“Across The Sea”, harbors the hots for a lesbian who wants nothing to
do with him on “Pink Triangle”, ventures into Lloyd Dobler territory
on “El Scorcho” and ultimately wallows in a pool of
neuropsychological Jello on the gorgeous closing ballad “Butterfly”.


This beautiful deluxe edition of Pinkerton expands the original LP by 25 tracks, including all of
the album’s b-sides, live performances from a variety of festivals, in-stores
and radio session broadcasts throughout 1996 into 1997, tracking roughs,
alternate takes and a few newly discovered gems that have never been released
in any way shape or form until now, including the gorgeous “Tragic
Girl”–a song as good as anything off the main LP–and its equally rare
b-side “I Swear It’s True” and a demo of “You Won’t Get With Me
Tonight”, a song originally conceived for a rock opera Cuomo had been
writing at the time.  Also of note are
the group’s acoustic “Sonic Sessions” for Philadelphia’s Y100, where
quieted renditions of “The Good Life”, “El Scorcho” and
“Pink Triangle” are just as effective unplugged as they are in their
full electric glory, as well as the pretty, previously unreleased piano-based
cut “Long Time Sunshine”, which finds Cuomo in a Todd Rundgren mode
we can only hope he will rediscover at some point in our lifetime.


Unless the band makes nice with Matt Sharp and gets him back
into the fold, which doesn’t look like is gonna happen anytime soon, there
isn’t much of a chance Weezer will be releasing a new album of material as
emotionally invigorating as the songs of Pinkerton,
making this long-overdue revamp of this embattled 90s masterpiece a must-have
for fans who still can’t seem to get the shitty aftertaste of Raditude out of their mouths.


DOWNLOAD: “Getchoo”, “Why Bother”, “The Good Life”,
“El Scorcho”, “Pink Triangle (Live and Acoustic)”,
“You Won’t Get With Me Tonight”, “Butterfly (Alternate

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