Out of nowhere Weezer decided to grace fans with a cover album last Thursday, which is being called The Teal Album.
Coming a little over two months before a healthily anticipated new album, referred to as The Black Album, due out March 1. Also of note, on an interview with Zane Lowe Weezer let slip that they’re mostly done recording the follow-up to The Black Album. It’s a good time to be a Weezer fan.
Throwing back to classics that span nearly 30 years, the covers mostly come from the 80s
There is a lot to like on The Teal Album, but the album’s peak is the cover of The Turtles’ “Happy Together.” The song has been in almost every movie and TV show ever made, but Weezer managed to perform some necromancy and bring this track back to life. The most significant change is the tempo during the chorus — it’s slightly slower, along with just a touch of improvisation during the guitar riff in the chorus.
Weezer’s cover of “Mr. Blue Sky,” the song from the opening credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 originally by the phenomenal Electric Light Orchestra, is very good. They don’t really alter the song in any significant way — it’s simply a very well done cover, though, sadly, they do lose the robot voices from the original version.
Weezer’s rendition of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is just uninspired. You might as well just listen to Tears for Fears’ original, or the much better cover by Ninja Sex Party. (They also do a better cover of “Africa.” If covers of songs from the 80s are your thing, NSP has two great albums full of them.)
I love the cover of TLC’s R&B classic “No Scrubs” cover for how completely absurd it is. Frontman Rivers Cuomo’s explanation for how they covered it is better: “I was trying to decide which gender perspective to sing it from, then I saw this tweet that said, ‘If you’re a guy covering a song by a girl, you gotta keep the pronouns. For those three minutes, you’re gay,’” Cuomo told Apple Music. “So I was like, ‘Cool, let’s try this.’”
In conclusion Teal Album is a solid covers album. It’s not going to change the world and your opinion of it will likely depend on how much you want to hear what is basically just River Cuomo karaoke. That said it is a fun album overall and serves its purpose as a bit of subtle publicity for The Black Album.