I’ve never been a big Weezer fan. Through their six albums I’ve smirked at their flirtation with power pop; they created songs laden with hooks but always managed to do something to piss me off.
Maybe it was their laissez-fare attitude, their attempts to position themselves as the quirky, geeky guys who didn’t think it was cool enough to play pop music. They had to throw in funny lyrics, way-too-powerful guitars and tongue-in-cheek videos to call attention to themselves. “Buddy Holly” was catchy, but it left one wondering if these guys were really serious. Song titles included such mindless drivel as “Pork and Beans,” “Can’t Stop Partying” and “We Are All on Drugs.” They’ve released three albums with the title Weezer. I likened them to Fountains of Wayne – a group with potential that just didn’t want to take themselves seriously.
Now I’m reconsidering them. Their latest single, “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” is an infectious tune that is instant ear candy. Racing along at a staggering 220 beats per minute, the energy is fueled by the tempo, not the guitars. The verses are extremely simple – I-vi-IV-V form (Think “Stand by Me”), the melody repetitive but catchy. Then it moves to a transitional bridge, in which Rivers Cuomo raps over the pell-mell drum accompaniment, before launching into a soaring chorus.
That’s basically it. The bridge features eight measures of Beatlesque chords and harmonies before Cuomo does his spoken word pre-chorus again. Chorus, repeat, end.
It’s down to business – pure pop sweetness delivered in an energetic way. And I can’t get the damn thing out of my head.