Pinkerton, Weezer Geffen

Paul Wong
Members of the Get Up Kids chill on their porch with an odd-looking bald fellow.<br><br>Courtesy of Vagrant Records

Released: 9.24.96

Somewhere between the Fonz and Jonze, Weezer”s cutesy image was shed and irony rich lyrics were left by the wayside. Pinkerton”s looser production and autobiographical lyrics burst at the seams with Cuomo”s sing-a-long choruses and intelligent hooks.

Instead of tongue-in-cheek slackjaw rock, Weezer follows their eponymous triple platinum debut with 10 carefully penned songs about Cuomo”s reclusion at Harvard following Weezer”s tour in 1995.

Painfully personal and still rich with the melody and wit that drove the band to success Pinkerton”s songs were built around the concept of Giacomo Puccini”s Madame Butterfly, turning the enigmatic Cuomo into a morally bankrupt rockstar traveling from town to town seducing women.

Puritanical rock and roll opener “Tired of Sex” displays Cuomo”s roots as a reformed shredder with a Scorpion-esque display of soloing. “Across the Sea,” was written around a letter that was sent to Cuomo from an overseas fan. Cuomo took the letter almost verbatim and turned it into the first verse for the song he is sharing royalties with the fan. Hook-y and riff driven “El Scorcho” is arguably the strongest track on the record. Gang-vocals and obscure falsetto harmonies, driven by a double time interlude collide in an ending that oozes pop. In “Pink Triangle,” Cuomo is again shut down, this time by a lesbian.

Rivers Cuomo has recently recanted his feelings on Pinkerton, saying the record was like “waking up after a party where you got really drunk and spilled your guts.”

Drink up boys. Drink up.

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