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Miss Sweeney

In order to understand what it was like for me to first listen to this song, you’ll first have to get to know me as a Weezer fan a little bit. Thankfully, the opinionated narcissist in me has made this pretty easy, as in addition to the traditional “album tags” for the blog, I’ve also set it so that I can distinguish what I consider to be the best and worst Weezer tracks — divided into categories called The Very Best and The Very Worst. Bear with me here while I do some statistics, and run you through a (very small) bit of personal history.

A quick survey of those two tags reveal a lot: of the 11 songs I’ve already labeled as Weezer’s finest, only four of them — “Lover In The Snow,” “Velouria,” “O Girl” and “Island In The Sun” — were recorded after what is arguably the band’s zenith, Pinkerton; the first two of those hardly count, as one is a 1997 home demo Rivers Cuomo recorded and didn’t release for a decade, and the other is a cover. Of the other two, one was only demoed and played live by the band for a few months of touring before it was left for dead. It’s not hard to tell that, for the most part, I consider the vast majority of Weezer’s finest work to be from the 1990s, and even when I find a new millennium tune I adore, it’s often one that the band aborted or forgot. To be fair, I have given post-2000 album tracks considerable love here (to wit: “Hash Pipe,” “Burndt Jamb,” and even the much-maligned “Peace” and “Knock-Down Drag-Out“), but it’s no coincidence that of the 8 tracks I’ve so far singled out as Weezer’s worst detritus, all of them were recorded between 2002 and 2007.

In short, I guess I’m one of those fans that Rivers would have called a “little bitch” back in 2002. In any case, most folks with discerning taste and a mature sense of aesthetics will agree that Weezer’s best days seem to be behind them. Most die-hards today are content to accept this as fact, and simply enjoy the band’s merits when and where they can still be found.

I was one of the folks who had hoped — like Weezer fans always do, before that next big album release — that The Red Album could change that. The band talked a big game this time around, and like most fans without self-control, I downloaded the incomplete 8-track leak of the record as soon as it appeared. I was, of course, disappointed; it didn’t help that two of the better songs on the record were not a part of that leak, but for the most part, the album felt like Weezer stealing second — exciting in a lot of ways, but it happened at a time when the band, more than ever, needed a grand slam. I let the record sit with me a little bit longer and resigned myself to waiting for the “Deluxe” version of the album to be released roughly a month later. No matter what, I’ll always be interested in hearing new studio tracks from Weezer.

“Miss Sweeney” is the first song on the Deluxe sequence, and, after finally hearing the last two tracks of Red standard (the commendable “Automatic,” and the downright brilliant “The Angel and The One”), it was the first song I heard from the small clutch of “bonus” tracks from the album sessions.

The intro alone had me intrigued: dissonant and strange, the oscillating drone of the opening synth felt more daring and off-color than anything the band had recorded this decade. The disembodied, static voice of an intercom cuts in and out briefly before a sudden cymbal crash grounds the track in the physical world of instruments and music proper. But as the acoustic guitars swing like pendulums, punctuated only by the dry crack of stick against snare, something still feels off, almost nauseating in its sway and tumble. The feedback from the earlier intercom cuts in a couple more times, before Cuomo steps forth with a shy, nervous anacrusis:

“Hi…”

Scott Shriner’s bass lurches forth uncomfortably, stumbling into the first verse — where we find what is probably the bravest vocal performance in the entirety of Cuomo’s massive repertoire. In an operatic singspeak, he carries forth an uneasy conversation with an unresponding woman he refers to as Ms. Sweeney, his words moving at a strange and irregular clip. “Hello, Miss Sweeney / Could you please come in my office for a second? / I’m heading home for the day and I thought it’d be good for you and me to check in.” So much for the easy rhymes of “job/slob,” “stop/pop,” “else/shelf!”

What’s so damn SATISFYING about this moment is that, for once, you have NO idea where the band’s going to go next. Broken minor second guitar flourishes percolate to the surface of the murky deep, unknown and threatening; Cuomo’s seems not only to be stepping out of the shoes of his “heartbroken guy” caricature for once, but is in fact singing to his secretary about placing an order for white slab cabinets; Wilson’s austere drumming stays on that same beat, spare and mesmerizing. You are confused, you are intrigued, you are engaged — you want to know more, and just at that moment, Wilson’s hands get a little heavier, the hi-hat hissing against some real pressure now, and Cuomo’s voice grows yet more frantic: “That’s all I’ve got to say to you at this time, Miss Sweeney / Actually, there’s one other thing on my mind…”

Suddenly, euphoria! Those dirty and worn acoustic guitars bloom into brilliant, electric technicolor, thick distortion kissed by a graceful countermelody, Wilson’s cymbals bursting with emotion and purpose, Cuomo finally singing with fluid confidence as he lets all his feelings out, admitting an all-consuming love for his colleague. And taking a line like, “You make the rainclouds disappear / The sun always shines when you’re near,” and making it work so damn well is one of Cuomo’s long-forgotten strongsuits: taking a cliched line and singing it with so much beautiful feeling and melody that the listener can’t help but sing along.

The chorus takes a nosedive back into the sad verse, where Cuomo, awkward and stilted once more, tries to explain: “I’m so sorry, Miss Sweeney, I don’t know where that came from / I think I was overcome by a spontaneous emotion” (now that’s a fucking couplet!). He tries to change the subject and get back to business talk, before finally giving up — “Ah, forget it!” — and leading us back into that glorious refrain.

Just then, as if I thought my jaw couldn’t drop any lower, the guitar lets out a squall of feedback — real, artful feedback, just like Pinkerton used to make — and the song reaches its emotional apex. “I gotta admit the truth,” Cuomo shouts, and at the exact perfect moment, Brian Bell chimes in too, as if to emphasize the point: “I am to-tally head-over-heels in love with you!” It’s just so Classic Weezer and yet so fresh and innovative at the same time — I could hardly believe my ears. The clever, conversational, *human* wordplay (a la “holy sweet goddamn” and “screw this crap, I’ve had it!”); the inspired vocal arrangement; the adventurous concept, and its raucous, dynamic execution; the marriage of classical, operatic composition techniques and perfect pop songwriting; the fact that Cuomo’s writing about an experience that’s SO specific (who here among us is a CEO with a hot secretary?), but with an emotion at its core — that longing, that romantic hopelessness — that remains so utterly universal, relatable, singable…

In 4 minutes flat, I had been delivered. From having the “Beverly Hills” riff hummed to me every time I mentioned Weezer to casual friends; from enduring the insults and flakey beard dandruff of Mala-Rivers; from listening to the intentionally undeveloped Green Album, knowing how much more those songs could have been with another week or two of work; from a cold, dark world that had hurt me for too long. THIS was it. This was everything I had been missing for all these years — the sound of my favorite band coming home. This is the bitter post-adolescent of Pinkerton, all grown up, mature and refined (but still with that teenage fire). This is what the band means when, time and again, they ask us to “grow” with them in interviews (honestly, the only kind of growth “My Best Friend” is would be the kind you put Neosporin on). This is it, ladies and gentlemen, and don’t you forget it.

So Weezer, please, if you’re out there: THIS is the answer. And “Pig,” and “The Spider,” and “The Angel and The One,” and hell, it may not be perfect but “Dreamin’” has its head in the right space, too. Please, when you explore more of the new Red sound in the studio, look to these songs as your launchpad. Please, don’t feel pressured to try writing cross-platform radio hits just ’cause Geffen aches for money. Please, put these kinds of songs on the album-album next time, not just this Deluxe “bonus track” business, where those cynical critics can’t even hear them (they’d love this kinda thing, you know). Please, be PROUD of a masterpiece like this one.

And please, Weezer, please: PLAY THIS SONG LIVE!
____________________________
Addenda: As much as I would like to end this post with that dramatic plea, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that this is one rare instance of a co-written Weezer song. The “Sweeney” BMI entry lists both Cuomo and one Sarah Kim as songwriter; the official Weezer.Com staff bios reveal that Kim is an assistant to Cuomo. Questions of why Cuomo has begun collaborating with personal assistants can be answered by an even more interesting hint on the same webpage: one Sheeny Bang is Cuomo’s head personal assistant. “Sheeny,” Sweeney — coincidence? Probably not. It then seems most tenable that Cuomo started the song, showed a draft of it to Kim (“Hey check it out, it’s about Sheeny”), and Kim chimed in and helped add some words to the lyrics (much like John Lennon’s manager Allen Klein contributed to the lyrics of the McCartney-bashing “How Do You Sleep?”). The only question that remains: are the lyrics a joke, or has Cuomo really been a-pinin’ for his left-hand girl? “Possibly the biggest troublemaker of all, but hides it under a veil of shadows and fog,” says her official Weezer.Com bio. Very mysterious, indeed…

163 Comments

  1. Soyrev wrote:

    1,763 WORDS — that’s gotta be some kind of record. Praying that the next one is a quickie, for your sake and mine…

    [In case you missed it: An official TVS "The Very Best" selection.]

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  2. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    This is a damn fine post, soyrev.

    I absolutely love all the sentiments of the 12th paragraph (CLASSIC WEEZER one) and agree wholeheartedly. I really was taken by this song at the “totally head over heels in love with you” line, even after being a bit confused by the odd (for Weezer) first verse.

    And sorry, but I’ll have to hope all your posts are this long, because they’re really a joy to read for any =W= fan.

    By the way, love the “electric technicolor” description. I definitely feel like Sweeney’s verses are in black-and-white compared to the chorus.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Low wrote:

    i like this song. i really do. but i think the choruses are slight bulshit. like everything good from tga filtered through everything bad from mb. but the concept is great, song is a pleasant listen. i learned to like it a lot. definitely one of the best tracks around. and yeah, rhymes are sweet in this one. more lyrical stuff like this mr. cuomo, please.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  4. BrokenBeatenDown wrote:

    I gotta say…you’re a very talented writer, soy. That was a great read.

    While I appreciate Sweeney, I can’t say that it blew me away the way “Pig,” “The Spider” or “TAATO” did. I agree with Low here. The chorus is a little weak and the melody seems a bit recycled.

    The lyrics and the verses are top-notch, though. I would certainly like to see the band go more in this direction.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  5. voroo44 wrote:

    Fine post indeed, long but still! I ranked sweeney number 1 in the “after 5 months, favorite red album tracks” post. It stands out for me as a classic sounding Weezer tune, reminding me most of “Susanne”. Even if he isn’t sincere in talking about this Ms. Sweeney character, it’s still an enjoyable song to sing along with ;).

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  6. GumbyTom wrote:

    Sorry that I don’t have a discerning taste nor a mature sense of aesthetics, but I’m going to comment on this one anyway.

    Sweeney, in an odd way is one of their best songs ever–it wouldn’t be a hit on a radio, but it’s still a great song. You’re right- the guitars ‘bloom’ in this song into the chorus, in a way that few other songs do. It gives even more emotion to the song- the very sound blooming along with the lyrics add to the power of this song.

    When I first listened to the song, I found the first verse intriguing, but I was waiting for it to go somewhere–and then as the guitars started picking up, it did, and I didn’t need to wait anymore.

    Back when he did a few of the interviews that were put on that riverspodcast.com site last winter, Rivers hinted that he was looking at writing from new angles–incorporating different personae, or using a co-author. I think that this song has both of those, and from a lyrics standpoint, is a taste of things to come. Let’s hope you’re right and this is also the direction they go in musically, also.

    I was also curious about Sarah’s influence on the song- whether it was a line or two, or much more. From what I understood, Sheeney was the main assistant and Sarah was her assistant. On a personal note, I met either Sarah or Sheeney backstage after one of the shows on the Enlightenment Tour as part of the meet and greets. I don’t remember which one it was because I was somewhat tipsy at the time, and she kindly gave me a bottled water. Luckily, I sobered up before the band came out, but never really got to thank whoever it was who gave me the water.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  7. farmerpete wrote:

    Great frickin’ article, this song is most definitely the best song since Pinkerton. The 3rd verse always kills me, who’d’a thought Bell had that much talent in him, the ‘get down to work’ harmony makes up for everything I hate about him.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  8. Soyrev wrote:

    Noobs: Thanks so much! And yes, the contrasts between the verses and choruses in this song are very colorful, almost cinematic in a way…

    Re: Low and BrokenBeatenDown’s chorus criticisms, I think it delivers perfectly! It’s hard to believe Weezer fans could want more from a Weezer song in 2008 than “Miss Sweeney”…but hey. BBD gets extra credit for repping for “The Spider,” at the least. :D

    Voroo44: Glad to have you here!

    Gumbytom: Sorry if that sweeping statement offended you a bit. I really don’t want this to get into the old debate of “is some art objectively better than others” or “is there such a thing as an objectively ‘correct’ opinion,” but let me phrase it this way: regardless of personal preference (which I respect, no matter what yours is), Pinkerton is Weezer’s finest album. In terms of artistic vision, inspiration, execution, realization, from the very core of the songs to the product packaging, Pinkerton bets the most and wins the most — period. The Blue Album is also, from an artistic standpoint, a great record, but in many ways a lesser artistic entity than Pinkerton (the lack of the underlying concept, the statements a little less bold, the consistency of the record a little less tight, etc etc). To make myself an example, when it comes to rap, I may want to listen to the singles off T.I.’s new album rather than give Nas’ Illmatic a spin, but I can still tell that, personal tastes aside, Illmatic is by far a greater piece of art. That’s not up for debate, it’s simply fact. As anyone with “discerning taste and a mature sense of aesthetics” would be able to agree. I may rather listen to, say, The Klaxons rather than a Radiohead record (completely random example, but this is mostly true), but I’m still aware that (most) Radiohead records are far finer artworks; again, you see where I’m going with this…

    So Joe Weezerfan’s favorite Weezer record could be Maladroit, and that’s fine — so long as he’s not going to try telling me that it’s better art than Pinkerton (which wouldn’t bother me any further than dismissing him as an idiot, but that’s beside the point). There’s certainly a difference between personal preference and more objective merits of art, however controversial a topic it may be.

    Regarding your comments on the song itself, yes, I would imagine Sarah Kim’s input was minimal…but who knows!? Maybe Cuomo wrote the chorus and she did all the verses (however unlikely that may be). We’ll probably never know…

    Farmerpete: That’s some bridge! Get down to work!! Awesome, awesome moment. But what do you have against Mr. Bell? Yeah, he’s “sassy” and a bit arrogant, whatever. I’m pretty sure we have him to thank for having the chance to have heard this song at all.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  9. Low wrote:

    >It’s hard to believe Weezer fans could want more from a Weezer song in 2008 than “Miss Sweeney”…

    yeah, it’s pretty shocking for me too that some of us want something more than just a quasi-green catchiness with high school poetry sung over it. it’s just not a great melody. it’s passable. it’s not destroying the song, but definitely makes it worse. verses are just so good and then BANG goes the perfect-situation-type nice but nothing more chorus with cheesy melody. come on, people, how can you NOT expect more?

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink
  10. Ludicrosity wrote:

    The bridge in this song and its melody is probably one of my favourite musical moments from the band. When I first heard it, it honestly gave me shivers… I love singing along to this track. When my narration software read “Ms. Sweeney” as the title of this entry I got very excited.

    Soyrev, you hit the nail right on the damn head with this one: Good stuff!

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  11. GumbyTom wrote:

    Soy:

    I was more commenting on the comment that “Weezer’s best days are behind them.” How are we to know what the future holds? They’re on a roll with Red, heading in a good direction. Pinkerton was the vision of one person who was inspired by his place in time. Let’s see what a cohesive band firing on all cylinders is capable of.

    As far as “art,” we could argue all week about the merits of our individual artistic points of view. I love Pinkerton and think it’s a great work of art (as for other albums considered to be art (such as anything by Radiohead), there are many about which I couldn’t care less). But that’s all it is, a point of view, and those are never fact, no matter how many critics weigh in on the topic.

    Getting back to Sweeney–”Get down to work!” is a great line tying the verses and chorus together. I love the emotion with which Rivers belts it out.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  12. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    I often wonder how the critical reception of TRA would’ve differed if Sweeney, Pig, and The Spider were included instead of some other tracks. I think all three of those songs better represent the “experimental” angle that Weezer was supposedly trying to go for with the record.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
  13. Soyrev wrote:

    “Sweeney, baby, I’m ready…Be my girl!

    I’ll never tire of it!

    Low: Quasi-Green, eh? I mean, yeah, it’s poppy, but the vocal melody is a lot more broad and “instrumental” in design, a la the old stuff, in my opinion. I get that it isn’t your bag, but I think that the melody of it is pure classic Weez, as are the lyrics — the first two had cliche lines plastered all over the place (“Or so it seems / Only in dreams”?), but it worked because the melodies and conviction were so great, and they were broken up by other segments that were more original and quirky, lyrically…Just like “Sweeney” (on all counts). And personally, I think “Perfect Situation’s” choruses would’ve been awesome if they were in the context of a better song…a la “I Want To Take You Home Tonight” or “Living Without You” (yep, I place both of those WAY higher than PS).

    Oh, and once again, Ludicrosity gets my vote for greatest Weezer fan that ever lived. What a guy! And yes, I would agree that the bridge to this song is one of the band’s finest musical moments, period. Rock on, my man.

    Gumby: That’s why I said it seems as though their best days are behind them — to keep it from being dead-set pessimistic, and to also cover my ass in case the band whips out a real grand slam for A7. That said, even with the bright spots of The Red Album, there are more than enough glaringly obvious flaws that any competent band would not have let slip to the pressing plant (mostly in the sequencing and track selection). If the four guys can find a way to all write and sing and still come out with a cohesive, quality piece of art in the end, then I would be ecstatic (the feeling I get from listening to “Miss Sweeney,” spread over an entire record!? I’ll buy Cuomo a new Subaru if it happens!). But the actually-quite-uncollaborative way the band is writing now (in solitude, with minimal input from the other bandmates till it’s studio time), and the haphazard way those songs wind up on the record (“Automatic,” “Cold Dark World” and “Thought I Knew” canNOT be on the same record if it’s to be a cohesive one, let alone in a row!), don’t give me too much hope. If we can get another good handful of A+ tracks like “Sweeney,” though, I’ll be pleased.

    Re: art, yeah, let’s not go there right now. But I do think that Pinkerton is an objectively better record than the Jonas Brothers’ new record, however many dipshitted teeny-boppers may disagree with me (to make a point via extremes).

    Noobs: The album’s Metacritic rating would have hopped up a good 20 points, at least. People would be going nuts, and a lot of reviewers, in their excitability, probably would’ve proclaimed the album as good as TBA and maybe even Pinkerton. There would be eventual retractions to be made, but believe me, if you put those Deluxe tracks on the record, subbed off some others, and sequenced it properly, it may still be a flawed record, but critics and fans alike would have gone NUTS. For real.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm | Permalink
  14. tsarczar wrote:

    I usually don’t post if I don’t feel I can add anything (you pretty much said it), but on a meta-songblog level, I would like to say that you have done the Weezer Community a great service with your undertaking. Whether bad or good songs, at least you’ve made them interesting to revisit, and for that you should be commended. Now if only a certain Band Leader would take your words to heart about this song, the world would be a better place. And maybe this wouldn’t be a good radio song in this era, but you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t drive off the damn road if this song got airplay. This is what could fix modern rock radio, if someone would only listen…

    Alright, back to Hyde lol

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  15. sandwiches wrote:

    great post soyrev. once again, i have very little to comment on in one of my favorite songs. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I had been holding a small candle for the return of the “classic” weezer feel since weezer coming back into the spotlight in 2000/2001. even though i enjoyed a fair amount of their post-2000 output, it wasn’t labeled as “classic” to me. It was just so refreshing to hear this song, especially after my initial disappointment in hearing the red album. I shrugged off early “susanne” comparisons, because I didn’t find that as glaring as some of those who don’t care much for this song. You had mentioned needing a “grand slam” and i definitely felt Sweeney was it for them. Also mentioned was the forgotten sense of not knowing where the song was going to go next. i’ve missed that! i’m basically just regurgitating things you’ve already said more eloquently, so I’ll wait for the next song to comment on more. great post! listen up, weezer!!

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:18 pm | Permalink
  16. ifionlyoncecould... wrote:

    Soyrev, I’ve been reading faithfully but have yet to post a comment. I couldn’t pass up today’s entry without a shout-out. Very well written my friend; you capture exactly how I feel about the brilliant “Sweeny!” The “conversational, human wordplay” that you mentioned is exactly what makes this tune an A+.

    The kicker of the song for me is at 3:10 (“GIRL!”) where Rivers drives it home one last time (“I swear I will make you my wife.”) Then we get a little falsetto, and things chill out a bit, and we are left with the feeling that Sweeny has left the office without returning Rivers’ sentiments. *Lights fade down… and… scene!*

    (Also, *Sheeny Bang, not Sheehy)

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  17. Soyrev wrote:

    Tsar: I agree, on all points, and thank you for the kind props. Let’s get on AIM and talk about “Hyde”/”Polynesia”/the other improvs sometime soon, we need to figure out that puzzle so I can be prepared to distinguish once they come up in the iTunes shuffle!

    IfIOnly: Please, comment anytime! We need as many perspectives in the mix as we can get.

    I think the lyrics are what tie this song the most to the old Pinkerton sound. It’s definitely got its own thing going on, but is in many ways a throwback, too…Best of both worlds!

    Yeah, I like your reading of it: the love is clearly unrequited at the song’s close, if the musical imagery is to be taken in earnest. And that climax is also a highlight for me, cymbal crashes on every word: “You-Light-The-Stars-Of-My-Life!” Band firing on all cylinders, just like the old days. :D

    And thanks for the name correction, I’ve edited the post to replace the Hs with Ns. :)

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  18. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Greatest Weezer fan that ever lived, eh Soyrev? Thanks for the compliment, I’ll take it! lol

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  19. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    That post was literally MOVING.

    I just copied and saved that entire entry into a word document, so when I’m sad about anything, I can read it and be a happy man again.

    Miss Sweeney is without a doubt fully-fledged Weezer glory. Everything about this song is perfect. 100 percent perfection. I don’t know if I’m just really worked up right now, but I’m going to say in this post, right now, that Miss Sweeney is better than 50 percent of Golden Era Weezer.

    Soy thank you for that post. It’s things like that that make me love this community. All of you guys are fucking amazing people. It’s so refreshing to communicate with such genuine, incredible people because at my high school I can’t go 15 feet without seeing someone wearing the exact same clothes as a person I saw 10 seconds ago. I know I sound like a Holden Caulfield noob, but I just love you guys.

    And I’d gonna also commend your writing style. I write for my high school newspaper, and hope to achieve the type of elegant intelligence I just read in that entry with my articles. Also, gotta give some street cred for this songblog. This is far and away the Weezer internet community in it’s prime. Say what you will about Weezernation, but with your blog, Albumsix, and Weezerpedia, Weezer fans have a nice little heaven on here.

    What a great song.

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
  20. Chuck wrote:

    Funny moment,

    Someone at work tried telling me what you just said in a previous quote about Maladroit.

    He tried explaining to me that: “I like Pinkerton better but Maladroit is the better album”

    …..

    Monday, November 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  21. justbluemyself wrote:

    Damn soyrev, you love Miss Sweeney with a fucking passion! Of all the deluxe songs I think “Pig” has always been number one in my heart, though this post has admittedly given me a “Miss Sweeney” high. Definitely classic Weezer.

    I also want to give you props for name-dropping “Illmatic”. It’s cool that you are well-versed in more that one genre of music.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  22. s.o.s. wrote:

    yes yes yes yes YES!….

    “Girl…you light the skies of my life,
    I swear I will make you my wife…”

    I’ve waited for that since pinkerton.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 12:21 am | Permalink
  23. Low wrote:

    >the first two had cliche lines plastered all over the place (”Or so it seems / Only in dreams”?), but it worked because the melodies and conviction were so great, and they were broken up by other segments that were more original and quirky, lyrically

    blue and pink lyrics look like written by someone who MAY be in high school, but it’s pretty much stuff that people at almost all ages could wrote. and that’s why it’s so powerfull. there are some clishes, but it’s all well executed. rhymes are well organizd, overall sense is not emberrasing. the new stuff is mostly hard to believe it wasn’t written by someone in his teens. and that’s the main difference, imo. verses of sweeney really touch the old rivers’ *poetry*, with all it’s goodness, but choruses are same pp cuomo with the idea than when you’re writing about love you must use the world love at least a couple of times to make it most simple ’cause otherwise people won’t get it at all. i may be a little too hard on the lyrics, but for fuck’s sake, cuomo used the same kind of love clishe statements so many times that i’m almost allergic to it. look at susanne, so clishe yet so well done. old rivers’ lyrics just looked like he used clishes for purpose, not because he somehow forgot how to not use them.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  24. tsarczar wrote:

    I agree that the song chorus is Pinkertonesque, but I believe it is more in line with the Pinkerton B-Sides than the actual album. I guess more Pinkerton-era, I should say. Waiting on You seems more similar to Miss Sweeney than anything on Pink (or Susanne, for that matter).

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 7:23 am | Permalink
  25. This Is the Way wrote:

    “Sweeney, I’m reaaaddddy” is TRA’s finest moment. Pig is my favourite on the album but that moment is just tremendous. Brian’s backing is great, the whole thing is just across the board brilliance.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  26. This Is the Way wrote:

    Sweeney, *baby I’m reaaaady, you know what I mean.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:06 am | Permalink
  27. Soyrev wrote:

    MNIJ: Thank you, I’m glad this means so much to some people (however few they may be). It’s definitely motivation to keep it going.

    And yes, keep writing for your high school paper. That’s where I started myself.

    Chuck: That’s downright unbelievable. Is his favorite band 3 Doors Down? I’m trying to find some logic in there.

    Also Chuck, ever the pessimist, I’m curious to ask you: what are your thoughts on “Miss Sweeney”?

    Low: You make some brilliant points about PP Cuomo in general, but I really don’t think “Sweeney” — chorus or elsewhere — is an offender. And that’s pretty damn rare, in the 2000s…

    Tsar: Yeah, I mean, it would be impossible to, say, fit “Miss Sweeney” anywhere on Pinkerton proper…but it just has a sound that could so tenably be from that era. A Pink-era b-side is a good call.

    This Is The Way: “Pig!” Now there’s another one I can’t wait to discuss…

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  28. Low wrote:

    oh, tahnks. and yeah, sweeney is not an offender at all, i’m overreacting a little here. sorry. it just could’ve been so much much better with little improvement. but it’s a great song and it feels even greater to see it happening now.

    i’m listening to it at the moment.. yep, it’s good to be a fan right now, when stuff like this keeps happening.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  29. brado8 wrote:

    Just listened to this tune, having only heard the AOL Sessions version of it before a few times. I can’t believe they didn’t just put this on the Red album straight away. The spoken word verses are slightly strange, but it makes the pay-off in the chorus even better. I feel like if Rivers just spoke normally in the verses instead of half-singing(I’m reminded of Undone), it’d be better. As it stands, this is still a grade A song.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  30. brado8 wrote:

    The harmonies toward the end ARE terrific, the best I’ve heard from them in a long while.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  31. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    Amazing post!!!!!

    When i first heard Varz’s description of it being ‘southern rap’ i was very worried and the amazon clip was off putting. Oh how wrong was I. I can’t add to what you said, but that bridge and the amazing slightly off time backing vocals just make it brilliant. Its, for me, the only example of Blue and Pinkerton combining in one song.

    Red could of been an amazing album if the track list was changed and the ‘Dreamin’ ending was cut.

    Also kudos to Brian for wanting this song on TRA instead of ‘thought i knew’.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  32. ThomYorke wrote:

    Soy, you’re well aware that I agree with you completely on this. Sweeney is in fact Weezer’s greatest achievement on a released album in years. It’s essentially the 2008 Susanne, and it boggles the mind that Weezer are SO bad at recognizing their own best work that they didn’t even put this on the standard album. Seriously, Weezer, someone needs to slap you sometimes until you hear that shit like this is what set you apart in the first place.

    That was an incredibly well done piece of writing that you should be genuinely proud of. Stick it on the fridge.

    Now, if we could just convince the band that this is the direction they should keep moving!

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  33. Soyrev wrote:

    Low: There we go. Good vibrations, everybody!

    Brado: I don’t know, the singspeak is perfect in my opinion. Straight spoken word would have been kinda lame.

    Waitingandwaiting: I agree with everything you said. I too hate that “get with your program” outro. And again, props to Brian.

    But…did Cuomo really call this song in particular “southern rap”?? Can we get a quote on that?

    Thom: Thank you good sir; and Weezer, please pay attention!

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  34. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    Thank you Weezerpedia!

    “Miss Sweeney” contains a very different verse style from any Weezer song, which Rivers hinted at in interviews (he referred to it as “southern rap”). Also, Sweeney was co-written with Sarah C. Kim (The band’s personal assistant).

    Also soyrev, this blog is class!! I agree that straight spoken work would be lame but in some rare cases it does work a la The Hold Steady and Art Brut.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  35. Low wrote:

    >But…did Cuomo really call this song in particular “southern rap”?? Can we get a quote on that?

    it’s in last year’s pitchfork interview i believe.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  36. Jonny wrote:

    Interesting read, Soy. You’re putting the song in a perspective where I can appreciate it maybe a little bit more. Still, I think it’s very far from the Greatness of past times, and not that good, to be honest. Sure, the chorus is delightfully melodical and the vocal delivery sortof reminds me of past times. But hey, put it up beside Suzanne, and all you have is a pretty good alternate take on the same theme. The thing that reveals it all is the lyrics; it’s not about ANYTHING. I get the same feeling like if you see some secretly cheating husband bringing flowers to his un-knowing wife to convince her that he’s her man, just so he won’t lose the benefits of staying in her household. It’s a fake love song with no meaning, no meaning at all. That makes the guitar feedback mean none, nothing. The only way it could bear any resemblence to Rivers as the (obviously co-)writer would be that the fake guy singing could be the same age as mr Cuomo, but some random office substitute manager (which might would have made it ok, but no).

    And, also, you have a point in that you have no idea where the song is going when you hear it the first time, but that could be said about a tune like Space Rock as well (only I think like that better than the verse of Ms Sweeney).

    But, don’t get me wrong, this song is among the top five of the (few) best officially (and probably inofficially) released Weezer songs since Pinkerton. But. It’s still just average. And when I hear a band like Scotland’s Glasvegas (debuting in their 27′s and sounding urgent anyway), all I can say is that – Ms Sweeney considered – Weezer still doesn’t matter. I think they could though, and ‘Sweeney’ is definitely a step in the right direction, but it’s very very far. They need no more collaborations with anyone except River’s, his id, his ego and his super ego, and no more Scott Shriner (a damn fine man, but no bassist for =w=).

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  37. Jonny wrote:

    Sorry for the additional post.. Just had to read through the comments as well.

    Soy, I didn’t compliment you enough. This blog is the best thing happening in the Weezer sphere since the VCD dvd (already giving me more than the deluxe tracks). I’m amazed that such a “new” and “young” (sorry if those words sound condescending, but relatively speaking, you kinda are..) Weezer fan has such mature insight in the musical output and shockingly often mirror my own thoughts. That’s why I get agitated when Sweeney & Island in the sun get to set nest by the (imo) far greater tunes from Blue and Pink. I guess the real dilemma will come when you discuss Pig (which I can already see most of you have a very unhealthy relationship with…), but we’ll get to that then, it will be very interesting!!

    Love from me. Happy election day all you yankees!

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
  38. Low wrote:

    >But, don’t get me wrong, this song is among the top five of the (few) best officially (and probably inofficially) released Weezer songs since Pinkerton. But. It’s still just average.

    sad and true.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  39. Soyrev wrote:

    Jonny: Well, the implication was that you have no idea where the song is going, but you’re intrigued, engaged; you want to know what’s happening next. If you are to apply that same thinking to “Space Rock,” just know that “Space Rock” is a like a porta-potty: it’s shit on the surface, and you can bet there’s only more shit below. The fact that you would say you prefer any given element of “Space Rock” over any given element of “Miss Sweeney” at all is preposterous and laughable; I guess that’s your take, man, but I’d like to imagine you just got carried away in your comparison.

    C’mon, man. “Space Rock.”

    The point that “Miss Sweeney” is about nothing is pretty baseless. Proximate causation: it’s about a boss who wants his secretary. Ultimate causation: it’s about longing for love, wanting what you can’t have, lusting after the forbidden fruit. It’s a love song, sure — but you would think fans would be GLAD Cuomo found a way to frame it other than the hackneyed standard fare like, say, “Perfect Situation.” Sometimes I think certain Weezer fans are just DYING to find a way to complain about anything not involving Japanese girls or the color blue.

    That said: I’ll agree that Shriner has been more of a negative influence than a good one, in terms of musical aesthetics and direction (CDW, “King,” TITW, facilitating the descent into Mala-shite, his mostly-lame contributions to other songs, etc), but I’ve resigned myself to accepting him as part of Weezer now. Let’s just say he’s integral to a certain side of Weezer, but not the side of Weezer I prefer. But sometimes he comes up with something neat, I guess…”Polynesia” is pretty cool.

    That said, thanks for the props, I really appreciate that. I too pause and think if a song like IITS really deserves The Very Best, but then I try to accept the direction of the New Weez and give them props for doing certain things very well at times (IITS being one of the finest examples of that, however brutally overplayed it’s become). I draw a line in the sand though — for example, I love the hell out of “Hash Pipe,” it’s probably the greatest Dumb Rock Song this band has ever come up with (and on par with the best of other great bands’ DRSs), but I still can’t put it in the same league as Pink and TBA…

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  40. This Is the Way wrote:

    To give Scott some credit, he suggested to Brian that he use a sitar on this song. Obviously that didn’t happen but the final product clearly has a sitar vibe about it, via the wonderfully named Mooger Fooger pedal.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink
  41. Art Vandelay wrote:

    Yep Rev, this one’s pretty clearly at the top of the Red sessions’ heap… Mind-boggling that they didn’t have the common sense to put it on the record, or play it live more than once.

    In general, I’m not a fan of the extraneous gimmicky sound clips they throw in (e.g. EGD), but Sweeny is so rewarding of a song, I think it actually works to have the intercomm bits in the beginning.

    Oh man, the 3-part harmonies. I was SO happy to hear those. This is BGV’s done RIGHT… they could have gone the usual lazy “let’s repeat Rivers’ last line to fill up space!!” approach, and ruined the whole thing. The vocal arrangements and performance just perfectly suit the sentiment of the lyrics.

    I also feel like THIS was the right approach to take if Rivers is hell-bent on integrating his proclivities for rap into his pop tunes. The monotone verses are tempered by a really beautiful and memorable melody in the chorus. Unlike Troublemaker and EGD, which stick to a few notes all the way through (EGD has that melodic bridge, but regardless…)

    Those trilled electric guitar flourishes in the verses… totally adding interest while the vocals don’t do anything melodically. Very nice touch.

    Lyrics… I love the secretary angle. Cuomo somehow managed to put a fresh and endearing spin on the old ‘unrequited love’ horse he’s been flogging the shit out of for the last 8 years.

    The arrangement was certainly well thought out… the moments where the band breaks, and the quarter-note triplet accents in the last chorus add a whole new level of impact. These are the ideas that prove they’re at least starting to care about the music again.

    10/10.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
  42. brado8 wrote:

    This is my favorite song of the moment. Thanks, TVS!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 5:30 am | Permalink
  43. tsarczar wrote:

    Look, I’ve been a Weezer fan for 14 years. Me and my buddy Joe scraped up enough cash to get one of us into the Fan Club (he was #58). I’ve seen this band go through a lot of changes over this time…

    Blue and Pinkerton, I won’t deny it. They hold a special place in my heart. I know them inside and out. I was 15 and 17, respectively when I first heard them. It’s so fun to just blast them nonstop. Two of the best records I own, without a doubt, and very influential to boot, in those teenage years.

    Although not as ‘pristine’ and ‘perfect’, I feel the same way about a lot of material from the last four albums. I struggle giving the ‘new’ Weezer a chance on some of the stuff they put out, solely because of the influence they had before.

    I think the older group of Weezer fans put Blue and Pink up on this impossible pedestal, and the fact that the last 4 albums have not risen to this means to us that it will never happen. I really, really think that is complete bullshit.

    A poster on Weezernation once posed a question for the older generation: “Would you be a Weezer fan if you were a teenager and had only listened to Post-Pink Albums.” I think I could say no to Green and Maladroit, but I would say yes to MB and Red. These last two albums have been huge strides in the right direction. The band has been having fun making music, which is usually a very good thing.

    When a song like Miss Sweeney comes around, I think it should absolutely be put up against the best that Blue and Pink has to offer. A static view of Weezer to me is a stagnant and stale view. The older generation need to see that there are people that genuinely like a lot of the last 4 albums, and these people are not idiots. They are teenagers like we were a LONG time ago, and they are feeding their experiences and getting their influences just as we were. I think we should give them a chance and reserve judgement on Weezer’s albums, for we may very well be looking at these albums from the wrong side…

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  44. Soyrev wrote:

    Oh yeah, first of all, I think Rivers’ claim of “southern rap” is just him trying to pull a fast one over us. This has a lot more to do with singspeak than rap, and even then, “southern”? There’s nothing T.I., Luda or Three 6 Mafia about this. Sorry Rivz, but no dice.

    The opening rap to TGMTEL, though, now that is somewhere I can see a clear T.I. influence.

    TITW: I remember hearing about the sitar (awesome idea), but didn’t remember Scott being associated with it. If so, great call, though this song would be great with or without the intro…(it certainly does add something, though)

    Art: There’s also actual ARTISTIC MERIT to the relatively unmelodic verses — it’s supposed to be regular, day-to-day dialogue, unlike EGD and “Troublemaker,” which are just lazy, uninteresting melodies.

    And yes, “trilling” was the word I was looking for! Thanks for filling in the blank.

    Brado: Thank Weezer!

    Tsar: The idea that MB and TRA are like a parallax and we’re simplying viewing them from the wrong angle is a nice thought, but it’s altogether too wishful thinking. MB goes down pretty decently on first listen, severe hiccups aside (WAAOD, MBF, BVH depending on how you look at it), but its staying power is virtually nonexistent, and TRA is a blatantly flawed album-album from the outset. Both records suffer from very subpar songs, at times terrible ones; MB suffers from a horrendous, flat, sterile mix; TRA suffers from horrendous pacing/sequencing, something that MB doesn’t exactly excel at, either. Any one of these problems preclude either of them from being Great Albums, but the combination of them put them below even tenably being Good Albums, as far as album-albums are concerned. In all honesty, TGA is more consistent and purposed than either MB or TRA, and even though the sequencing falters and the songs themselves only ever rise above the “pleasantly listenable” bracket half the time, it’s a far more focused, purposed, and successful work than any Weezer record since. TGA is a Good Album; TBA and Pinkerton are Great Albums. Mala, MB and TRA (however well-intentioned TRA may be)…well, let’s not go there. For the record, though, I was 14 when I first heard TGA and Maladroit, 17 when I first heard MB, and 19 when I first heard TRA (well, very nearly 20). So it’s not like I’m someone viewing TBA and Pinkerton as an adolescent and the rest as a post-adolescent; I think I was a part of these records’ main intended audience almost across the board, so the age parallax excuse fails with me as much as it would with anybody else.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  45. Soyrev wrote:

    …That said, I am able and willing to recognize (and gleefully celebrate) the band’s unmitigated triumphs when they do come. “Miss Sweeney” is certainly one of them, and as my essay above explains, I am especially grateful for it.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  46. brado8 wrote:

    A list of things that I love about this song:

    -The synth note that opens AND closes the song. At the end it’s an octave higher. Sweet!

    -The way Rivers’ voice changes to his normal singing voice on the line ‘There’s one other thing on my mind…’ Sweet!

    -The ‘trilling’ guitars in the verses. Sweet!

    -The way the guitars are just perfectly mixed and ‘crunchy’ in the choruses. This is something I feel like the song ‘Pork and Beans’ sorely lacks. The guitars come in on the chorus of that song, and I’m underwhelmed. The volume seems to go down, overall. Not sweet.

    -’I AM TOTALLY HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH YOU!’

    -The bass note on the word ‘spine’. Sweet!

    -Those sweet background vocals towardds the end.

    -The backwards guitar at the end of the song.

    Sweet.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  47. Custom Concern wrote:

    Hearing this song just makes me imagine how amazing red could have been, had all the songs been as fresh, innovative, but still classic as Sweeney.

    I wonder why Weezer has never realized how amazing and superior their older sound is. Hearing Miss Sweeney, which I honestly think is on par with Blue and Pinkerton material, I wonder if Rivers is capable of writing an albums worth of quality songs like this, let alone a few songs.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  48. This Is the Way wrote:

    Soy: the sitar thing comes from Brian courtesy of TRA deluxe booklet.

    I can’t remember what the A6 masses thought of the AOL performance, but beyond the obvious hilarious absurdity, I thought it sounded really great.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  49. Soyrev wrote:

    The A6 masses trashed it — which leads some to believe that that’s the reason why it never got played live again. Perhaps that’s a bit narcissistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised…In which case fuck A6 in the eye with a fork, ’cause not only is “Miss Sweeney” the greatest song since Pinkerton, that performance of it was pretty spot on (and entertaining). C’mon, guys.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Permalink
  50. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    Yeah I think A6 was a bit too rash in commenting on the AOL performance. I would love it if Sweeney and Pig would get thrown in their live sets (even though the tour already ended….).

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  51. justbluemyself wrote:

    Hold up soyrev, “Miss Sweeney” is the greatest song since Pinkerton? I thought that honor was reserved for TAATO.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Permalink
  52. Soyrev wrote:

    Oh, and Brado: those observations are all awesome. Did not realize that about the intro/outro synth shifting octaves — and there’s a backwards guitar in there!?

    Noobs: Maybe next tour man…maybe next tour…

    Justblue: It’s a close, close race. The jury’s still out, I suppose.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  53. clore wrote:

    Hey, Soy –

    I’ve been keeping up with your blog since Karl referenced it on the Weezer site, I just rarely find time to comment. You some how manage to pinpoint my exact feelings on the majority of songs you’ve covered thus far.

    When I saw “Miss Sweeney,” appear in my mini-feed a few days ago, I was thrilled, and I really have nothing to add to what you said. The chorus crystallizes the sound of classic Weezer, yet the song remains so fresh and unpredictable. The suspended Rivers/Brian/Scott harmony at the end blows me away — it’s such a beautiful moment, especially upon first listen.

    After listening to this song, I was pumped and listened to it 4 straight times in a row as if I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A return to classic Weezer! It’s such a pity (if you will) that it took Brian’s efforts to get this song included into the BONUS tracks of this album.

    I was wondering if you saw them live this year? If you did, I’d be really interested to read an entry or even a short comment about what you thought about their tour this year. The reworked barbershop quartet intro to Susanne was priceless.

    Next time I comment, I’ll try not to post so late after you post your entry, haha. Keep up the great work. Your input is definitely well-needed and much-appreciated in the Weezer community.

    Friday, November 7, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  54. Soyrev wrote:

    Well clore, this is as good a time as any to clarify: comments are always welcome on these entries, even if you’re a little late to the party. I still get an email notification about it and will probably respond even if it’s months later, especially if someone asks me something or engages me specifically. I would like very much for there to be ongoing discussion on as many of these song entries as possible.

    Indeed, this is a fantastic song, and it’s kinda mind-numbing to know that if Brian had not “desperately tried” to get this on the album proper, we probably wouldn’t have gotten the Deluxe edition at all. If I may venture a guess, I think that was released as a way to compromise with him; I know he made a huge effort to get “Love Is the Answer” and some other unreleased tracks onto Make Believe and was very upset when the band disregarded him on that. (The fact that he vouched for both “Sweeney” and “The Other Way” suggest he has the best in-band understanding of Weezer’s strong points at this point)

    Re: the ’08 tour, yes I did see them — twice (my first two times seeing Weezer at all). I enjoyed it a lot and it was great to finally see them in the flesh…I’ll agree with the consensus that a Rivers-sung “Susanne” would have been ideal, but I think Brian did a great job handling that considerable task, and yes the a capella intro was undeniably the highlight of the show. I’d been keeping up with A6 reports on the Japan shows and the KROQ Breakfast so I saw it coming, but I met a fellow diehard at MSG, and to see the look of utter surprise and joy in his eyes when that song started was a heartwarming experience. I was also really surprised at just how good the band had gotten, vocally, by the time I saw ‘em — the Japan bootlegs weren’t promising, but they nailed that “Susanne” intro as well as that insane classical choir section in TGMTEL. Very cool to see.

    I have more to say but I don’t have much time right now, I’ll try to add later.

    Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  55. Chuck wrote:

    Well to be unfair to Brian, while Rivers was at Harvard, they did turn his songs into the pile of shit that became on Make Believe.

    Friday, November 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  56. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I thought that The Damage In Your Heart was the only song they worked on during Rivers’ absence that made the cut for MB? I seem to remember the Karl’s Corner updates on the site saying that they wanted to tackle three songs after Rivers left and it was the only one named specifically in the band’s comments about the album as being worked up after Rivers went back to Harvard in the fall. I might be wrong but I’d always thought that it was the only song from those late MB sessions that made it onto the album.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 2:29 am | Permalink
  57. Chuck wrote:

    I don’t think it’s worth of “The Very Best” and I’m getting sick and FUCKING tired of “rapping” in everysong, Troublemaker (Yes) TGMTEL, Heart Songs, ect.

    All of his “rapping” specifically was “inspired” by the wonderful Eminem.

    Still a great song though.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  58. Peter Kriss wrote:

    LUDA:

    That’s definitely not true.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  59. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    I wouldn’t classify this as rapping though. I think it’s more like singspeak, which in this case is intended to mimic the awkward, boring, business-related prose of the subject and contrast it with the bursting, flowing melodies of the chorus.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  60. Soyrev wrote:

    …Concluding my comments on the ’08 tour, I think that, while the band’s shenanigans (uniforms, costume changes, Tom DeLonge) didn’t represent the Weezer I like to imagine seeing live, it was still entertaining and a quality, bombastic rock show (well, except for the coked out Tom DeLonge, who was more pathetic than anything else).

    That said, sometimes they crossed some lines. “Say It Ain’t So” is one of my 5 favorite songs of all time, but their performance in Philly, while tight, ruined the moment for me — Rivers looking up at the venue ceiling, waving his arms around like a baby bird waiting to get fed by its mother (or simply suffering from hypothermia), really doesn’t respect the sincerity and genuine quality of the original song. At least I enjoyed it at the NYC show, although maybe that’s just because I was rocking out too hard to really pay attention to what was going on onstage…

    Also, they didn’t do it at either of my shows, but “Dreamin’” with a Backstreet Boys/Miley Cyrus-style headset is just kinda stupid…Especially when I hear it cut out midsong at more than one show. That’s just form-over-function stupidity, aside from being inane to begin with.

    Chuck/Ludicrosity/Peter Kriss: Weren’t the last-minute change songs TDIYH, “Perfect Situation,” “The Other Way” and WAAOD? Yeah, WAAOD was definitely regrettable, but the others are the album’s brightest spots. I might be wrong about that though (although I’m sure of WAAOD), so if someone want to clarify, go ahead.

    Noobs: Spot-on. It’s more of an operatic technique (singspeak) than it is rap, as Cuomo might be wont to say. And again, it serves an artistic purpose here, as you and I (and many others) have mentioned, so I dig it — a lot. But regardless, I always appreciate Chuck’s frank, pissed off assessment — I laughed out loud when I read, “I’m getting sick and FUCKING tired of rapping in every song.”

    Also — 60 comments! That’s some kinda TVS record, and I’m glad it happened with “Miss Sweeney.”

    Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  61. Chuck wrote:

    I’m glad you enjoyed my comment, but I can assure you the inspiration for this song is much more Eminem than it is classical stylings, artistic purpose, ect.

    Can Rivers just SING anymore? Please, just an album of singing songs about girls or his girl or a “bad” girl or just SING about something? But, with that said, I’ll sure as hell take this song, over most of the other post 2k shit out there on the ol Masterfile a.k.a C.O.R

    BTW, does anyone know why he changed the “name” from C.O.R to “The Master File”? I was just wondering.

    P.S. I’m sure the song “Can’t Stop Partying” co-somethinged by Jermaine Dupree is going to be so much fun (like Beverly Hills).

    Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:11 am | Permalink
  62. Soyrev wrote:

    He changed the name of the COR to “The Master File”? When/where?

    And I know you’re still pissed about these verses, but you do see that it’s here meant to be a verite representation of daily conversation, right? I think that any other kind of presentation of the verses, at least as how they’re written here (and I wouldn’t want them to be changed, these are some of my favorite lyrics since Pinkerton), would’ve ruined the song.

    Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:33 am | Permalink
  63. GumbyTom wrote:

    >He changed the name of the COR to “The Master File”? When/where?

    I don’t remember where the “Master File” info came from, but he mentioned transitioning away from the COR in the ’96 fan interview:

    Are you still updating the Catalog of Riffs, and if so, what is your ultimate goal in compiling such a library?
    —Jeff A.
    Seattle, WA

    I merged the COR with the Grand Schedule in 2002 (I think) and have called it the Grand File ever since. I dont update it anymore unless I discover a particularly striking nugget of info from my passed that I want to document.

    The fan interview isn’t up on .com at it’s original location, but weerez.com has a copy: http://www.weerez.com/media/albums/userpics/10004/rc_fan06.htm

    Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  64. Chuck wrote:

    Well, I read your comments about Tom DeLong (SP?) joining them on stage and I finally saw it. I’m finally proud to announce that I no longer have any pride in this band.

    I slightly understand bringing Atom Willard on stage (even that, if I’m goign to a Weezer concert, I’d like to pay to see Pat on Drums, Brian on Backing Vocals, Ect,) since he’s known Rivers/Weezer for a long time. But Tom Delonge, yikes, degrading a song, that used to have a lot of meaning to Rivers (I think) to this level.

    I’m done for a long time, well, probably until Alone II leaks. But, I will never again try to tell my non-weezer friends that Rivers actually was a genius songwriter.

    R.I.P Weezer (2008)

    Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  65. Chuck wrote:

    Wait a second…Did that guy say “Space Rock”? Really? Am I dreaming?

    Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  66. Kyle wrote:

    The reason you’ve got over 60 comments on this thread is that Sweeney really is the best song they’ve put on an album in ages, and it’s clearly struck a chord with the majority of fans.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:29 am | Permalink
  67. Soyrev wrote:

    The sad thing is, it wasn’t really put on an album — Deluxe hardly counts. Imagine this opening TRA…then you’d be bookending the album with the best shit the band has done in over a decade, and the faults inbetween would be a little easier to forgive (I’d settle for it at track 2, too).

    Chuck: Hope to have you back soon. Keep an eye open for Alone 2, I’m sure it’ll have a slew of gems on it…

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  68. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    I love this song!!!!!

    It still sounds like they put on a really enjoyable show, although I didn’t go so I’m taking other peoples views on this. That’s the main point of the show. Also you can’t deny that River’s is a genius songwriter just because his recent stuff isn’t up to your tastes. Also i am currently playing ‘I want to take you home tonight’ and it seems to be a bit genius to me.

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  69. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    It’s a massive crime against Weezer that this and other bonus tracks were left off the album. In fact, with our wonderful 20/20 hindsight I’m sure we could vastly improve every Post-Pinkerton album with some simple tracklist changes.

    Btw, when’s the next post coming?

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  70. Soyrev wrote:

    waitingandwaiting: If Rivers Cuomo has been a genius in the past decade, he’s been modest in letting on. Weezer seems incapable of churning out a start-to-finish great song nowadays, let alone a full album (the truly great album being the unit of genius in music, if you ask me). TGA was focused but highly flawed, and the past three have all had some bright spots but really fail on the broader level. I think there are two problems with Weezer right now, and that’s 1) Rivers’ focus (if he really wanted to, he could take the time to make an ALBUM of TBA/Pinkerton quality again…but you get the feeling he doesn’t care that much), and 2) the translation from Rivers’ original idea to the final product (usually a big regression, as far as post-2000 material goes). “Miss Sweeney” is one of three and a half instances wherein Cuomo and the band overcame those frequent trappings in 2008 to create songs that could very well be pieces of a Great Album. If they can up the ratio for the next outing I’ll be very pleased — especially if they all actually make it onto the album-album itself this time.

    And “I Want To Take You Home Tonight” is not on the same level as “Miss Sweeney” or “The Angel and The One” are…but I still fucking love it. The bridge and the song’s vocal arrangements in general are SO money.

    Noobs: Yes, we could! And that’s exactly what I’m going to do (or imagine doing) once this songblog is through. In due time, my friends, in due time…

    And sheesh, won’t give me a break, will you? I got a LOT to do in the next few days but will be back in TVS action after my midterms cut out this Wednesday afternoon. Thanks for your patience, and please keep on discussin’ the songs already posted in the meantime! I dig real comments, they make up for all the spam for “zoo porn” and ambien health warnings that I have to sort through…

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  71. Srevir wrote:

    “If Rivers Cuomo has been a genius in the past decade, he’s been modest in letting on.”

    Now that’s genius!

    Monday, November 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  72. brado8 wrote:

    At the end of the song, when it’s back to the verse but with no lyrics, you can hear a little backwards guitar flourish. It’s similar to the guitar ‘trills’ that occur during the proper verses. Good stuff!

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  73. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    i hope someday i get to tell a special lady that she makes the rain cloud disappear.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  74. will wrote:

    my inner =w= fan is in love with your inner =w= fan.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  75. will wrote:

    also: miss sweeney? it’s like weezer came home. that song actually has prevented me from sleeping it was so stuck in my head the first time i heard it. lyrically, it may not bet their best, but the vocal delivery is killer. it’s what i’ve been waiting for for the past 12 years.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  76. brado8 wrote:

    They still have it, that’s for sure. This song proves it.

    C’mon, next song!

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  77. tsarczar wrote:

    I predict the next songblog will be a huge letdown from this one, though it won’t be the fault of Soy lol.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  78. Soyrev wrote:

    MNIJ: So you want a hot secretary to lust after, forever unfulfilled?

    Tsar: You’re right, the next song in the pipe isn’t quite as interesting (or inspiring), in terms of subject matter. I’ll try to keep it decently engaging though.

    My psych exam is at 2.30 today, meaning the next post could drop as early as tonight and as late as a couple days from now. Keep your eyes peeled…

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  79. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    Haha soy’s going to have to drop out of school to keep up with the insatiable appetite of =W= fans

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  80. sleeptalker wrote:

    the “spontaneous emotion” line is my favorite.

    Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  81. ThomYorke wrote:

    Peace Shalom

    Friday, November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  82. brado8 wrote:

    One more thing I love about this tune. The drum fill that introduces the second verse. Simple but effective!

    Honestly, I’m beginning to think that this is the best song they’ve made since Pinkerton. It’s just moving in a way that totally set Weezer apart for me back in the day, and in a way that they haven’t been near since. Good times…

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  83. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    I just read this entry again. It’s fucking amazing. It’s almost as beautiful as Sweeney itself.

    and I just saw that little response about the hot secretary, haha. I guess that would be kinda cool, just to be like the Varz.

    I had a super hot English teacher in 8th grade. That was sweet.

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  84. H wrote:

    Favorite post yet.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
  85. blueguy wrote:

    lol at chuck for saying rivers is “no longer a genius song writer” because he invited someone else to sing a song at a concert.

    i don’t really think those have a correlation. besides you have MUCH better reasons (like three sub par albums in a row) as a better reason to not think rivers is a genius anymore (once genius always a genius? maybe he’s a misguided genius, i don’t know…)

    anyway, i am late to the party but enjoyed much of the discussion…my only addition is that this song should be the “the official song for office crushes”. this song brings back many fond memories of my summer job when i was in college when i worked in a federal courthouse a few summers in a row ..i fantasized about spilling my love for a few of my co-workers (it changed every summer) and this song taps into that feeling.

    even better would be a video for this song, (featuring rivers with his mustache sporting a short sleeve shirt and tie) i imagine the whole video unfolding in rivers’ head but never actually following through in reality…

    anyway….

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 8:09 pm | Permalink
  86. Soyrev wrote:

    Noobcakes: You should IM me soon.

    H: Always great to see you here!

    MNIJ: Thanks for the props. Hopefully I’ll be able to top it sooner or later.

    Blueguy: “Once a genius always a genius” doesn’t really work. Look at Orson Welles, or Brian Wilson — it’s very common for someone to seem like a total prodigy at a young age (the early 20s), only later to find themselves completely unwilling (or unable) to match their previous masterpieces. And you could certainly add Mr. Cuomo to that unfortunate list…unless, of course, he pulls another masterpiece out of the bag and silences the critics like he says he will in “My Day Is Coming.”

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  87. blueguy wrote:

    soy – i agree with you that it appears you can lose “it” at least in terms of focus or emphasis.

    maybe it’s not even a genius thing (although frankly rivers mental instability and social behavior lends more credence to the genius label). it’s really a pointless argument…

    maybe it’s more of the “rock stars never produce their best work after they’re 30” argument.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  88. Soyrev wrote:

    I hate to reference him to death, but Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices + a million side projects) is a great example of one artist who actually did his best work from around 35-38. But for the most part, what you say tends to hold up…

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  89. ridd wrote:

    Yeah. Can’t get enough of this song. Great review. Great blog, too.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  90. Soyrev wrote:

    The famous Ridd! Good to have you here. Thanks for the compliments, stay as long as you’d like. : )

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  91. brado8 wrote:

    I’ve come around to the ‘sing-speak’ in this song, especially the way he sings ‘the cash deposit of five thousand dollars will need to be sent to the property owner tomorrow…’

    This song is so good.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
  92. richard wrote:

    I’m not kidding when I announced acclaim for this song – It’s definately the best song this side of Pinkerton. And I HATE it when people say that.

    Alright, probably a contender for one of the best Weezer songs ever.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  93. Soyrev wrote:

    Richard — I most certainly agree! Love it love it, and I won’t stop loving it.

    Friday, February 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  94. GuessWho wrote:

    Love this song. The chorus is a bit weak and generic, but the verses are pure fucking genius. The “I’m so sorry Mrs. Sweeney…” line kills me every time I hear it.

    I wrote a comment about the bridge, but then I realized there’s no point in posting it – your paragraph about it is so spot-on and well-written that nothing more can really be said. Just incredible.

    Friday, February 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  95. brado8 wrote:

    ‘probably a contender for one of the best Weezer songs ever.’

    Hell yes. This song is magic I tells ya!

    *gives a very loud listen*

    Friday, February 13, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  96. OOS wrote:

    Man, Red could have been up there with Blue. They could have so easily made one of the best comeback albums ever with this one. They just made some really bad decisions. I mean, how on earth can you record a song this good and not put it on the album?

    Friday, February 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  97. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    I just watched the AOL live performance of this and I really enjoyed it, I thought it was weaker than the album version but Rivers voice sounded so endearing and the little sketch reminded me of Weezer’s quirkyness. I wonder what other peoples opinions are of it?

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  98. Soyrev wrote:

    I love it. Wish the dolts on A6 didn’t absolutely trash it when it happened, ’cause I feel like we might have heard it live a couple times on the Troublemaker tour if it had gotten the props it deserved…

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  99. ThomYorke wrote:

    It seems as if Rivers will take our opinion seriously when I don’t want him to (i.e. Sweeney), then he ignores us when actually have good advice.

    Friday, February 20, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  100. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    That wouldn’t be antagonising us enough though, but at least they played Susanne which is a fair settlement and they didn’t play CDW which is a positive.

    100 posts, wow, you made it big Soy

    Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  101. ThomYorke wrote:

    Well “Waiting & Waiting,” I’d like to point out that Brian was singing Susanne; thus, they only get partial credit.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t stand it when the other band members sing Rivers songs. I was thrilled to hear my favorite =w= tune ever was back in the lineup though. I’ve still never got to hear it live, but come on’, that’s Rivers song!

    Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  102. Soyrev wrote:

    I think when the other guys handle post-2000 Weezer tracks as well as or better than Cuomo can, it’s definitely fitting…And the only thing that comes to mind w/ that is Scott’s “Dope Nose,” but hey, I’m sure there are other songs where it could be done.

    That said, old classics…leave that shit to Rivers. I can’t believe they let Scott sing “IN THE FUCKING GARAGE” back in ’05!

    Also: Yes! Over 100 comments! A happy day indeed.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  103. Martin wrote:

    What I like so much about this song is how the character in the verses juxtaposes the character in the chorus. Such a weird and awkward timing on the vocal delivery with NO melody creates a character who seems dull, boring, all he can talk about is work, etc. It’s probably how a lot of us view people in such positions.

    Yet, during the chorus, the melodies and guitars spring out and suddenly the character is beaming with such personality. It’s a song with such depth and character that it feels more at home in a Broadway musical than a Weezer album.

    Everything in this song works. The harmonies are fantastic, the guitars are wonderful, and Cuomo’s voice is spot on.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  104. Martin wrote:

    Oh and one time when I was talking to Sarah as she was taking me to Brian (hehe) I asked her what she contributed to the song and she simply laughed and said “You’ll have to ask Rivers”.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  105. Soyrev wrote:

    Great insight per usual, Martin. And that Sarah comment sounds…racy.

    Taking you to Brian? What’d you guys talk about?

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  106. Blinkoboy13 wrote:

    This particular entry gives me chill because it reminds me of the first time I listened to “Miss Sweeney” in full. Oh, to listen to this song for the first time again, would be magical. Your entry is the closest I will ever get to that feeling again and for that I thank you.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  107. Melack wrote:

    I love this song, I really do.

    But as Red era accomplishments I still consider it third behind both “Pig” and “The Angel and the One”.

    I don’t know what it is, but I never really listen to this song these days.

    Maybe it’s the comparison to “Susanne”
    If I want to listen to this kind of song I rather go to “Susanne” for that feeling.

    Say what you want about it. But they both convey the same kind of feelings and have a similar theme.

    But as I said still love the song. But personally I wouldn’t put it in “The Very Best”.

    Still this is one of your best songblog entrys, great writing soy.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  108. Soyrev wrote:

    I would definitely put “Pig” above this song, and possibly “The Angel and The One”…but these are all decimal distinctions. “Miss Sweeney” deserves TVB nonetheless, in my opinion.

    Also, I think “Sweeney” and “Susanne” have very different feelings to them, and even entirely different subject matters. Although they’re both about loving coworkers, you wouldn’t ever guess that about the lyrics of “Susanne” except for the Izzy/Slash/Axl Rose reference, perhaps. There’s a very happy, appreciative love song feel to “Susanne,” whereas “Miss Sweeney” is pure angst and unrequited love a la Pinkerton.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 12:28 am | Permalink
  109. OOS wrote:

    Yeah, and Susanne was, to me, not really a LOVE song, more of a “you’re a great person, thanks for everything you’ve done for me” kind of song. Also, Ms. Sweeney is not like Susanne musically at ALL. They’re both about a person, but that’s pretty much the only thing I can think of.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  110. Soyrev wrote:

    Well that’s what is weird to me about “Susanne.” It’s supposed to be a thank-you song, but it comes off as though having some very ulterior motives…

    And to dismiss the musical similarities in the choruses of the two songs is a little unfair. It’s definitely there, but I feel like it’s more of a wink-and-smile reference than unconscious self-plagiarism. On certain days, I much prefer “Sweeney” to “Susanne.”

    Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  111. OOS wrote:

    I guess the chorus is slightly similar, but still, some people say that Sweeney is a complete rip-off, which is untrue.

    Also, in regards to Sweeney vs. Susanne, I MAY have to go with Sweeney, though i’m not sure.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  112. JAY wrote:

    This may be their best song!Certainly the best post pinkerton! I will never understand what theyre thinking when putting albums together. i love red alot, but this song blows everything on red out of the water and its a “bonus track”? what the fuck rivers?

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink
  113. Soyrev wrote:

    Jay, check out my latest comment on the “Autumn In Jayne” entry, I think you might like where I’m going with it:

    http://tvs.soymilkrevolution.com/?p=595

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  114. OOS wrote:

    Does anyone else think that this could’ve been a good single? I mean, the ones they released after PNB were too safe and too random, respectively. Sweeney, though, may have hit more indie-leaning rock radio perfectly.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  115. Soyrev wrote:

    The verses are too obtuse and creepy. It may have done well at college/alt-rock radio, if Weezer hadn’t just become the “Beverly Hills” band to all of those people.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  116. OOS wrote:

    I don’t find the verses creepy at all. Personally, I think that alt-rock radio would’ve still played it, because the indie scene strangely still has something for Weezer.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  117. Soyrev wrote:

    Eh…that’s debatable. Pitchfork still reports on them, but as “staple sellout punching bag” than anything else. Of everyone I’ve ever met at my college (and pretty much anyone else I know at any other college, lest those people I have personally converted), nobody has ever had positive things to say about Weezer. If I mention them as a personal favorite, my credibility is instantly shot.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  118. OOS wrote:

    Well, they usually don’t report positive things (then again, would any of us at this point?), but they seem to be wanting them to pull together.

    Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink
  119. ThomYorke wrote:

    Your credibility would only be instantly shot if you claimed Beverly Hills was their best song.

    There are plenty of serious music critics and hard-core musicians that absolutely love Weezer. Granted, it’s often a specific era, but you’ll rarely get shit on for just liking Weezer in general.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  120. OOS wrote:

    Yeah. In fact, your indie cred goes up if you like Blue/Pink/Green (sometimes).

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  121. Soyrev wrote:

    You have to realize the average person (FALLEN SOLDIERS OHMYGOD), and even the average indie person, doesn’t know about Blue or Pinkerton anymore. Everyone’s heard “Undone” and “Buddy Holly,” but they don’t necessarily know that they’re great songs that are part of a great bigger-picture album. At least, not the people I’m meeting…

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  122. OOS wrote:

    I thought that indie fans knew about Blue/Pinkerton, though I guess I could be wrong.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  123. Brownerton wrote:

    Most people don’t really know much about music, period. People who are knowledgable about music tend to know them. The people I know who are actually in indie bands tend to revere Blue and Pink. I mean, a lot of people don’t know who the Pixies are, but they’re still as important as ever.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  124. ThomYorke wrote:

    You’re hanging out with the wrong crowd, Soy.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  125. Soyrev wrote:

    So an interview just surfaced today in which Rivers said that “Miss Sweeney” was the last song to get cut from the standard Red Album, and that he thought it deserved to be on the actual record. Jigga what?

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  126. GuessWho wrote:

    In his defense, Everybody Get Dangerous was far more deserving of a spot on the album.

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink
  127. Soyrev wrote:

    I just don’t get how if both Brian and (supposedly) Rivers are ardently in support of a song, it can still not make it.

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
  128. danup wrote:

    While this one is on top of the comments list, I’ll say that “You ask me if I’m ready to get down to work / Sweeney baby I’m ready—be my girl” is one of my favorite Weezer lines ever.

    I was going to say it was definitely my favorite since Pinkerton, but then I remembered the entirety of “Run Over by a Truck.”

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  129. arfentul wrote:

    weee first time commenting

    I’m not sure if anyone has said this already, but I feel like Rivers felt obligated to include a song from every band member. He was so into the whole collaboration thing, and to me it seems like he prioritized it over what he considered to be the strongest material available.

    It’s also noticeable how there is neatly just ONE song each from the others, and that they’re all bunched together. It’s like saying, “WEEE HERE’S THAT OTHER PART”

    So anyway, maybe when it came time to select the tracks, it just lost out to what the band thought was… okay I still don’t know why it got cut, but at least this narrows it down to EGD and Heart Songs

    as a side note, I love that little guitar riff every time Rivers says, “You make the rain cloud disappear”. Reminds me either of drops of rain, or maybe rays of sunlight.

    Love the blog soy!

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink
  130. AF wrote:

    I’m very hesitant to comment on songs which haven’t been commented on for a while (which is why this is only my 2nd one), so I’m really glad that this song has come up on the “recent comments” list.

    I actually have 2 copies of TRA, because I bought the regular Australian version on the first day it came out, and then bought the US deluxe when I found it in a store a couple of weeks later (that’s the kind of fool I am). Despite the fact that I have two copies of an album I don’t really like, I still don’t regret the 2nd purchase, based almost entirely on “Miss Sweeney”.

    The first time I listened to it, and the verse sing-speak started, I thought “ugh, what the hell is this? What is he doing?”. It just sounded strange to me – I didn’t understand it, and at this point I was already pegging it as yet another TRA “not-even-ripped-to-iTunes” track. But when the drums built up and that chorus came in, things changed. “Wow, OK, that part was better than anything else on the whole album,” I thought, then it was over, back to the verse. I liked it slightly better than the first verse (possibly because my outlook was now more positive), but still all I wanted was for that chorus to come back.

    I can pin-point the bridge’s “head-over-heels in love with you” and “get down to work” backing vocal as the moments where I got “that” feeling – the best feeling you can get while listening to a song – where you get a chill for a moment, and a big, stupid grin unconsciously spreads across your face. I still get this feeling when I listen to the bridge in this song (I just did it now!), and it makes me glance around awkwardly if I’m on the bus when it happens.

    I think it took a couple of listens before I “got” it – the purposely stilted, awkward dialogue of the verse vs. the emotional chorus/bridge – and on subsequent listens shifted my opinion of it from “weird song with awesome chorus/bridge” to straight-out “awesome song”.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  131. ThomYorke wrote:

    Nice post AF! There are so few new songs that still give me that “big stupid grin,” and boy it felt good to feel that again the first time I heard Sweeney.

    Soy – Only Weezer could have 50% of their band, including a historically powerful leader, in favor of a song like this and STILL manage not to put it on the proper album.

    *bangs head against wall* Maybe the band needs new management. Someone like Karl to just step in the middle and say “Listen, idiots. X, Y & Z are CLEARLY better songs. There is no debate. Go with your gut, and put your best material on the record”.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  132. Soyrev wrote:

    Danup: Indeed, though I think Rivers has had plenty of solid-to-great lyrical outings lately. “Sweeney,” “Run Over,” “Pig,” “Spider,” “Angel” (mostly great), “The Underdogs”…Only problem is he has a hard time getting them on the albums proper! And when he does get a great lyric in there (the “Marryin’ a biatch” verse of “Troublemaker”), it’s often surrounded by terrible ones.

    Arfentul: Glad to have you! Come back anytime…And you’re right. Though it’s interesting to note that Brian didn’t want “Thought I Knew” on the album in the end, and wanted to put “Sweeney” on instead…Rivers axed that idea right quick.

    AF: PLEASE comment on old threads! It’s stuff like that that keeps this site alive during times when I can’t spend much time on it (like finals right now). Especially since you seem to have a knack for good comments. As for me, I was thrilled the first time I heard the “Sweeney” verse, all by itself actually — when it was an Amazon.com MP3 clip. Just to hear the band doing something so wildly DIFFERENT from anything else they’ve ever done before, with such a dark, weird vibe…It was thrilling. :D

    Thom: I think we can probably give up all hope of that ever happening and just accept great songs like “Sweeney” in whatever form we can get them. It’s frustrating that the band really shot itself in the foot both w/ the fans and w/ the critics by filling the album w/ half-baked stuff — Red almost definitely would have sold better thanks to word-of-mouth and “Weezer’s finally back!” hype if it had this and the two other deluxe Rivers tracks on it instead of the weakest main disc offerings — but the band’s suffering for that now with the Raditude debacle. Reap what ya sow.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  133. ehsteve14 wrote:

    Perhaps it was ultimately due to Geffen forcing them to make the album more commercially friendly, as I’ve heard was the case for the Red Album? Just a thought.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  134. AF wrote:

    Thanks TY and SR :)

    I think perhaps either Rivers only kind-of wanted it but didn’t care enough to argue for it, or maybe only now in hindsight thinks that it deserved a place. I also have a hard time accepting that it would have been cut if those two really wanted it to stay.

    Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  135. Soyrev wrote:

    It’s either hindsight, or perhaps the label found some trace of Pinkerton in this song and wanted to terminate it on sight.

    Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink
  136. Gecaj wrote:

    Great job on this Soy. I see at the end you wanted them to play it live. At the MSG concert when I met Scott, he said that he wanted to play it live. I guess the other members (well I can imagine Brian wanting to play it) said no.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  137. Soyrev wrote:

    Scott may have just been being friendly, but yeah, I imagine Rivers squashed that one. Probably a little too weird/obscure for his liking, as far as your typical Weezer set goes (even in 2008).

    Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  138. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    “As much as I would like to end this post with that dramatic plea, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that this is one rare instance of a co-written Weezer song.”

    If only….

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink
  139. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Who would’ve thought that something so good would end up being tarnished by being one of the first collaborations that made it onto a Weezer album? An experience he enjoyed so much that it led him to his involvement with others, which ultimately led to the P.O.S. known as Raditude? That’s a very ugly footnote to add to a very awesome song.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  140. Soyrev wrote:

    Wow, yeah Waiting…A lot can change in a year, huh?

    I’m not entirely against the idea of co-writing in Cuomo’s repertoire, I think it’s led to a handful of great songs — this one, “The Underdogs,” the earlier versions of “Can’t Stop Partying.” And I’m in the minority that actually enjoys a good portion of Raditude. But I’d be lying if I said the two best tracks on there were written by anyone other than Cuomo and Cuomo alone (“Let You Go” and “Tripping”).

    Well, okay, I do think “The Underdogs” is a better song than either of those. But that’s compromised by not existing on the album itself.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink
  141. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I dunno if we can be friends now that I know you like Underdogs, Soy. Then again, I am one of the people whose ears don’t bleed when they hear I Don’t Want Your Loving so I guess I shouldn’t talk eh? lol

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  142. ThomYorke wrote:

    I have to agree with Ludicrosity once more in that I fail to see any greatness in Underdogs.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  143. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    The Underdogs is a brilliant song, I think the production is great and has lots of nice touches to hear on repeated listenings, but most importantly it’s the only Rad song song where the band (and Rivers) actually sounds like they give a fuck. It’s by far the most emotion filled Rad song.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  144. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    Back on the (sort of) topic of Rivers co-writing. Given his track record, I’d much rather gamble with Rivers writing on his own rather than co-writing.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  145. Brownerton wrote:

    Underdogs would be better without the harp. It’s sappy.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  146. nate wrote:

    Am I the only one that thinks that Pat is the most negative force on the band?

    As it’s been said, both Brian and (supposedly) Rivers pulled for “Sweeney” to be on the album.

    I don’t know about Scott (not that his opinion would matter anyway) but I can see “Sweeney” not being Pat’s cup of tea. And because Weezer was essentially founded on Rivers and Pat, I can see his opinion counting enough to get it off the album/not played live.

    Plus, judging from the songs he wrote on the last two albums, it seems his ideas are radically different from the rest of the band and actually has enough voice to get Rivers to do it, while Scott’s ideas are different too, I can sort of see him just suggesting things and having them okayed or denied by Rivers/everyone else. Unfortunately, it seems that only his bad ideas have been accepted.

    But I don’t know at all. It’s not like I’m backstage or anything. And I really like Pat as the drummer for Weezer, which is why this garbage with him on guitar and Josh Freese on drums is irking me a bit.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  147. Soyrev wrote:

    Man, I feel bad for some of you guys. I really believe that “The Underdogs” is one of the best songs since Pinkerton, totally brilliant and very moving. I wish you guys could appreciate that gem, ’cause if you can get into it it’s fantastic.

    Brian was definitely vouching for “Sweeney,” and Rivers has been said to really dig it, but I’m not sure that means he wanted it on the record. As someone on ATW said, no matter how much he “loves” “Miss Sweeney,” it’s obvious that he was voting stuff like “Everybody Get Dangerous” and the 3 non-Rivers songs onto the record over “Sweeney.” And his vote, as Karl has said, counts a lot more than any of the other band members’ in their so-called ‘democracy.’

    I’m not going to speculate into Pat or Scott’s opinion of “Sweeney” because I’ve never heard any comment on it from either of them. My gut impulse would tell me they’d both like it, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Scott did say to a fan that they tried to convince Rivers to play “Sweeney” on the Red tour but he was afraid it “wouldn’t work” live, so it didn’t happen — but maybe that was Scott just making up a story on the spot.

    Pat just wants to “rawk.” He got his song on the album this time around because his tune just so happened to fit the 15-year-old lyrical themes that Cuomo was gunning for on Raditude.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  148. nate wrote:

    Yeah, obviously, there’s no way to know what Pat’s thinking. But, as you said, Pat likes to “Rawk” and I was always under the impression that he never cared for Rivers’ “artsy” songs.

    On the subject of “The Underdogs,” I dig it. I’ll wait for the actual entry to come up to explain more, but Kazuhiro Hara, the producer/writer for J-Pop singer BoA, wrote the music for the song and as a result, it definitely has this J-Pop vibe to it.

    If Hara produces Rivers’ J-Pop album that was announced, it’ll probably alienate most Weezer fans, but it probably won’t be bad. Now, if only Rivers’ Japanese improves…

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  149. Soyrev wrote:

    I don’t know about Pat’s opinions re: Rivers’ “artsy” songs (really, how artsy do they ever get?), but the Raditude version of “Prettiest Girl” is one of the more psychedelic and self-consciously “artistic” recordings in the band’s oeuvre, and Pat called it “the sickest Weezer song ever” or something to that effect.

    I agree that we’re jumping the gun a little on this “Underdogs” discussion, but how do you know Kazuhiro Hara wrote all the music? I never heard any confirmation on whose contributions were what in that song (though it’s fairly obvious that Cuomo wrote the words).

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  150. Soyrev wrote:

    Also, Maladroit is Weezer’s most RAWK album, and Pat thinks it’s their worst.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  151. ThomYorke wrote:

    Good point, Soy. Regardless, Pat’s always been a positive influence on the band, and I think we’re really reaching to make serious assumptions about him being anything other than that positive force..

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  152. Ludicrosity wrote:

    If I remember correctly, didn’t Pat tell Rivers he’d quit the band if he didn’t start writing lyrics that had actual meaning (or something to that effect) between Maladroite and Make Believe? While MB didn’t turn out that well, any member who says something like that isn’t a bad influence — especially if it’s one of the things that broke him out of his rubbish lyrics from Maladroite and the original A5 demos.

    As for Underdogs, I just think it sounds like cheese. I’ve tried to get into it but the lyrics and the way they’re sung just make me cringe.

    As for Sweeney, someone in the band with significant pull must’ve liked it for them to have played it on the AOL sessions. Out of all the songs they could’ve played to promote the album there, they did It’s Easy and this one… someone must’ve liked them enough to push for that.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  153. Soyrev wrote:

    Those two AOL Sessions selections are some of the best evidence for the whole “Weezer really does listen to the die-hard fans!” belief. When the record came out, everyone on A6 was putting “It’s Easy” ahead of “Thought I Knew,” “King” ahead of CDW, and “Miss Sweeney” ahead of pretty much the whole damn album. In fact, I think the way in which the AOL Sessions version of “Sweeney” was almost universally panned by A6 members might be why Rivers never wanted to try it again after that…(what good is a for-the-diehards performance if the diehards don’t like it?)

    So we got “It’s Easy” instead, which Brian said was at least considered for the Red tour setlist, and CDW has (thank GOD) never been played live while “King” was one of the most played Weezer songs of 2008.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink
  154. Ludicrosity wrote:

    You know it’s a real shame that Sweeney from the AOL sessions was panned by the fans. Sure it wasn’t as good as the album version but I didn’t think it was an outright bad performance. I understand why fans are so harsh on the band and demand quality but sometimes they really get caught up in being snobs for no real reason almost. It’s situations like those which must make Rivers feel like he can’t win no matter what he does.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  155. Ludicrosity wrote:

    BTW, re-reading this post makes me sad: Weezer did pretty much the complete opposite of what you asked them to do in your plea. Oh well, at least we have Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition) next month right?

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
  156. AF wrote:

    I really liked the AOL session version. The suited-up Rivers looked good (and like his actual age!), and even though when “Miss Sweeney” started dancing I thought “what?”, I still thought it was cool. It seems odd to me that people didn’t like it…

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 3:33 am | Permalink
  157. Brownerton wrote:

    The AOL version is the first one I heard, and it probably was the tipping point for me to go from casual Weezer fan to diehard. So though it’s not as good as the studio version, it’s still very compelling. It’s unfortunate that other diehards bitched about it, but internet people are always difficult to please.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  158. arfentul wrote:

    yeah, the performance seemed fine to me… it’s was a pretty straight forward acoustic version of the song, along with the quirkiness of the lady and and office to keep things interesting. How was it disliked?

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  159. Soyrev wrote:

    I remember a huge chorus of “WTF!? THIS IS STUPID” when it came out. I said I loved it, but I was definitely in the minority on that.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  160. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Didn’t someone even envision a video treatment similar to the AOL sessions before the band released that version? I think it was Ohjonas?

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  161. Eric_E wrote:

    I’ve noticed that you have written about every deluxe red album track except for “King”. I’d love to read what you have to say about that song.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  162. Soyrev wrote:

    It’ll come up sooner or later, for sure…Only question is when I’ll have the time to get back to a productive pace with updates.

    Oh, and I’d love for the Rivers home demo of “King” to leak or be released beforehand, but perhaps that’s wishful thinking.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7:24 am | Permalink
  163. brad dunbar wrote:

    This might be the most heartfelt description of a piece of music I’ve ever read.

    “Just then, as if I thought my jaw couldn’t drop any lower, the guitar lets out a squall of feedback — real, artful feedback, just like Pinkerton used to make — and the song reaches its emotional apex.”

    Exactly. I still love El Scorcho 15 years later and I’ll still love Sweeney in 2025.

    Friday, August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

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