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The First Review Of Weezer’s Surprise Covers Album – The Teal Album

Includes Weezer’s take on Toto’s Africa, Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson and more

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way over the past decade or so it seems that Weezer absolutely lost their minds. We’ve done our best to unravel it before. But today, the ever-enigmatic, net-savvy quartet surprised even us by releasing an album of cover songs by artists as diverse and varied as Black Sabbath, ELO, Eurythmics, TLC and yes, it includes their cover of The Internet’s Favourite Song, Toto’s Africa. Bonkers.

While we collect ourselves and try to get our heads around the rock world’s most unpredictable band for the umpteenth time, here are some stray thoughts and observations about it all.

Weezer’s Take On Africa By Toto Isn’t The Only Great Cover Here

You heard this one already. It’s great. So let’s move on. There are 10 songs here, from a pretty wide-ranging roster of artists – Ben E. King To Eurythmics, anyone? – and Weezer pay each of them a fairly straight-bat homage with a carefree, breezy sense of fun about every single moment. Be cynical about The Teal Album all you want, but something tells us a band who bow down to Black Sabbath as much as TLC aren’t really intending for your hot takes to be of a super serious nature here. Enjoy this surprise, bonus release by a band finally comfortable in their own skin for what it is and you’ll appreciate it so much more.

Thought You Were All Done With Nostalgia?

Think again. Admittedly, in a post-Stranger Things world it does often feel like the thirst for all things looking backwards is well and truly quenched, but The Teal Album is an exception.

From Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World to A-Ha’s Take On Me, these are songs that make us want to wear pastels, ride BMX bikes, hang out with Donnie Darko, tape songs off the radio and daydream about all the flying cars we’ll definitely be driving in the futuristic year of 2001. Nice job, Weezer.

They Tap Into Their Metal Roots With A Cover Of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid

Is that guitarist Brian Bell on lead vocals? If so, sweet Ozzy vibes, my dude.

Weezer Sound Like They’re Having Loads Of Fun On The Teal Album

Listen to their cover of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky for all the proof you need of this. If you don’t break into a shit-eating grin when Rivers Cuomo busts out the high-pitched ‘bah-bah-bahs’ near the end, then it’s absolutely your loss, chum. For a man who has so often sounded pretty bummed out on record, it’s quite refreshing to hear him and the band having a blast again. Even if it as a tourist in other artists’ catalogues.

They Have Impeccable Taste And Record Collections

If you’re a sucker for the originals you’ll likely love the songs they’ve selected for the =w= treatment.

Weezer smartly approach covering some of the most iconic songs of the past with a deft ‘if it ain’t broke’ touch. There’s no indulgent reinvention here. They’re never gonna Johnny Cash Hurt another artist’s song. So they’ve remained faithful to the source and by dint of simply being the four dudes in Weezer, make these their own.

Are Weezer The Greatest Wedding Band That Never Was?

Well, are they? Have a listen to their take on Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. Now imagine a room full of drunk uncles dancing with their ties around their heads while they play it. Glorious. Besides, they’re hardly strangers to cover versions. Longtime fans will recall that Weezer used to do whole sets of covers under the pseudonym Goat Punishment.

What Is It With Weezer And Colours?

If you mix Blue and Green, do you get Teal? No. No, you don’t. Science says so. Apparently you need yellow. So, who’s up for petitioning the band’s social media for a Yellow album, then? After all, it worked for that Toto cover

What Does This Mean For The Black Album?

Is this a signpost of what’s to come on the hotly anticipated Black album? Nah, probably not. More likely it’ll only serve to reinforce the notion that Weezer do whatever they want, whenever they want and no-one is going to dictate otherwise. Zombie Bastards and Can’t Knock The Hustle seem more likely to be a fair reflection of what The Black Album has in store. And anyone hoping for a hit of old school nostalgia on that record, can probably stand down. On that front, Teal will have to do, for now.

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These Covers Are Gonna Be Great Fun Live

Whether you’re still debating if Weezer’s best album is Blue, Pink, Green, White or whatever, even the band’s staunchest critics would be hard pressed to deny that their shows remain absolutely unmissable. When they come back to the UK later this year, we’ll be right up front and centre, probably being the predictable bores wanting to hear El Scorcho B-side You Gave Your Love To Me Softly rather than Pacific Daydream album tracks. But despite the endless arsenal of original cuts they have to call upon live, the band love to drop in a few curveball covers. Now they have a whole album of such things to sprinkle into the setlist. We’re excited.

Words: David McLaughlin

The Teal Album is available now. The Black Album is due for release on March 1.

Posted on January 24th 2019, 11:03am
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