Dr. Cuomo and Mr. Hyde


Alex Boesch, Social Media Manager

Weezer has a Pinkerton problem.  

Weezer’s first album, known as the Blue Album, came out in 1992 to great critical acclaim. In the span of a year Weezer went from nobody to one of the largest bands of 90’s indie.  The weight of their fame started to weigh on them, and in 1996 they released Pinkerton.  

I first got into Weezer my freshmen year, discovering the blue album in the winter/spring of 2019. It was cold outside, I was sitting in the front seat of my teammates car driving to a Drumline competition, and Island in the Sun came onto the radio. It was something different, something that spoke to me in my nerdy 9th grade self. It was emotional, optimistic, sad, and happy at the same time. It was exactly what I needed.   

By the time Weezer released their sophomore album in 1996, they had become global sensations virtually overnight. With their creative juices drained and a growing disillusionment with the music industry, Weezer would form their next project, Pinkerton. Pinkerton was an interesting release to say the least. Formed from the disillusionment of the music industry that front man, Rivers Cuomo, had experienced after virtually overnight success of the blue album. It’s a story of frustration and resentment, of self-hatred, and of the life of a rock star who is coming to terms with his newfound success. The songs as well reflect this, most lyrics reflecting River’s own loneliness in tracks like El Scorcho, Falling for You, and Butterfly.  

 Just to indulge myself, I want to talk about Butterfly. Butterfly, the final track on Pinkerton and the only purely acoustic song Weezer has ever done, deals with this final theme of guilt. Taking it’s namesake from the opera “Madame Butterfly” in which a US Sailor hooks up with Japanese woman, and the leaves her for America, and when he returns she had waited for him. Only for her to find out thar he had an American wife, leading her to kill herself. This song is all about the guilt of past relationships that have befallen Rivers, about how he drives people away, yet is sad when they leave. It, in my opinion, is beautiful. 

 Weezer was never really the same after Pinkerton. With the Album having so much stress on the band creatively, bass player Matt Sharp ended up leaving the band shortly after release, seeing his own influence waning in leu of frontman Rivers Cuomo. The band would go on the release the Green Album in 2001 after the failure of Pinkerton, although it would come back as a cult classic.