The following is a letter in response to a message from a great friend, Clayton Snyder (the original message is posted on his blog). Clayton and I became friends during our freshman year in college after jamming out multiple Weezer songs. I’m not talking about a little “Island in the Sun” and “Beverly Hills.” I’m talking BACK catalogue Weezer. We instinctively knew what parts to play, what parts to sing, and we knew every lyric. Needless to say it was a bonding experience. Since that time, our opinions on Weezer have changed. Since I became a music snob, I became less forgiving to their continued venture into the pop realm. Anyway here’s my letter to Clayton trying to reconcile Weezer’s new direction.

Dearest Clay,

It was so much fun sharing that drunken Weezer karaoke at dinner the other nite. Great times.

I know what you’re saying about the direction Weezer has gone in. Of course they are older people who have different lives and goals than they did when they were in their early twenties. I think when bands or artists are in their infant stages as young adults trying to prove themselves, the drive to succeed yields a higher degree of artistry in the music.
So was the case for our beloved Blue and Pinkerton. They will go down as classic albums because nobody really can say “oh Blue album sucks, Green is much better.”
After the hiatus after Pinkerton and the fact that it flopped initially, I think Rivers wanted to play it safe, and Green was a safe pop-mobile but still had good songs. Maladroit had good songs and bad songs, but had much more of a rock vibe. Make Believe, more poppy, but still solid. I listened to Red the summer it came out, but it was the last Weezer record that I was really excited for. It ultimately didn’t stick with me. And I honestly haven’t listened to Raditude in its entirety.

I should probably give the new record another chance. However I think my problem with Weezer now versus Weezer then is that I don’t have the nostalgia tied to albums. I still like Make Believe because it brings me back to a very specific point in time where the sense memories are still vivid. Same with every record before Red.

Bands evolve. Happens with every band, hell even Metallica and Megadeth to an extent. Fans still give Metallica shit for going soft in the nineties when they used to be the epitome of thrash music. I think that’s a danger an artist inevitably has to go through. They could never evolve and please a narrower fan base, or they can use their improved resources and bring their music to more people. I think Weezer is making really smart business decisions. With the state the record industry is in now, its amazing that Weezer, a band that were essentially a cult band, are thriving and are at the peak of their popularity.

I think I just don’t have any attachment to new Weezer. We should continue writing Weezer-related messages. I’d love to hear more stories of how the band complimented your adolescence because it really complimented mine.

Anyway I’m gonna try to come down to Malibu to see you and Christian before you guys leave. Gimme a ring tomorrow and let me know what you guys are doing. Also check your mail, I sent you a clip of me playing “Waves” over a backing track!

Love you man,

Zach

In closing, go out and listen to the new Weezer record, Hurley, and tell me what you think. If you can see them live, do so. They put on an awesome show. Even though I’m not digging their newer stuff, they still are a great band. Later.

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