Pinkerton is the closest Weezer has ever come to a bona fide concept album, but I still think Blue has a kind of continuity to it. Between songs like “In The Garage” and “Only In Dreams,” there’s a common theme of the outcast nerd archetype (leading to the fake genre many claim Weezer birthed: “geek rock”), in spite of the record’s lack of a discernible timeline.
As chronicled in Rivers’ Edge: The Weezer Story (a dated and mostly shitty book), Cuomo has gone on record to say that “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” is actually a narrative extension of the preceding track, “No One Else.” As we’ve discussed previously, that song is the story of an abusive, misogynistic boyfriend — or, as Cuomo puts it, “the jealous obsessive in me freaking out on my girlfriend.” “The World Has Turned…” is, again in Cuomo’s words, “the same guy wondering why she’s gone.”
With this in mind, a sad song becomes just a little bit sadder. The heavy-hearted, chugga-chugga rhythm track (augmented by a pretty acoustic lead, echoing former guitarist Jason Cropper’s riff on “My Name Is Jonas”) provides a fitting backdrop for Cuomo’s whimpers, as occasionally embellished by Matt Sharp and Brian Bell’s concise harmonies. The desperation and self-doubt are clear in the near-schizophrenic lyrics: “I talked for hours to your wallet photograph / And you just listened / You laughed, enchanted by my intellect / Or maybe you didn’t…”
Because it’s Blue, a kick-ass solo soon ensues, as does a rhythm guitar outro that raises the heart rate just a bit. There’s something distinct about the counterpoint of the “do you believe what I sing now?” backups on the final chorus, though; I can’t quite place it, but it’s an otherworldly kind of sound and feeling unlike that of any other Weezer song. It feels larger than life.
Some interesting factual anomalies about the song: it is one of the few Blue tunes Cuomo co-wrote with drummer Pat Wilson, before he decided to flex an even tighter grip on collaborative writing until a brief reprieve in 2008. It was written at the very end of 1991, making it the earliest written song to appear on a Weezer record, and is the only song from the first two albums that has not been played live since 1997 (in 2006, Cuomo explained that they “felt it wouldn’t go over that well” live).