Skip to content

The World Has Turned And Left Me Here

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).

23 Comments

  1. Soyrev wrote:

    “If all of Blue and Pinkerton are the “Very Best,” then all we’re really saying is that Weezer used to be better than they are now. In order for it to be a meaningful designation for pre-2000 work, there has to be some sort of cutoff. For me, those two songs are sacrificable.”

    What you’re saying implies worse — that we should hold different standards for Weezer songs based on the decade during which they were made, as if the post-2000 stuff deserves a handicap. In all honesty, what kind of post-2000 stuff holds a candle to the likes of “Surf Wax” and “Jonas?” Well, I would say stuff like “O Girl” and “The Organ Player”…which are the other “lower rung” of TVB material that’s been featured on this blog so far. (Beyond that, I’d say “Pig,” “Miss Sweeney,” “Island in the Sun,” “The Spider,” “The Angel and The One” are more “upper wrung” TVB material that is better than those two Blue tracks, or at least MNIJ. “Pig,” as I have said before, is on the level of your SIAS, ATS and OIDs, in my opinion.)

    Point blank: quality is quality. I’m not going to be making any compromises or special exceptions there, be it to a song’s advantage or disadvantage.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
  2. Soyrev wrote:

    …And as an addendum, I reiterate that these are of course all my opinions. Which is what I find entertaining about songblogs to begin with: a band’s entire discography, through one fan’s eyes.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  3. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    “If all of Blue and Pinkerton are the “Very Best,” then all we’re really saying is that Weezer used to be better than they are now.”

    What if…..they were?!?!?!

    (repeat of soy’s response)

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  4. Brownerton wrote:

    Of course Weezer was better back then! But that’s a trite statement, since you’ll never find anybody who disagrees, outside of Rivers himself. Anyway, I would at least put “Surf Wax” below quite a few post-2000 songs. I’ve never liked it much at all.

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  5. andy wrote:

    This is not only weezer’s best song, this is my favorite song off all time! The melody of the acoustic guitar playing while the crunching rhythm pushes through the intro. The lyrics are naive and simple, yet devastatingly and powerful. The way the band belts the climax of the song beautifully and awkwardly. Its the perfect blend of poetry melody, and a definitive song that era.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  6. Madcap wrote:

    I’m flabbergasted at the dislike for this song! This song ranks way over Jonas and even Buddy Holly for me! Just the way rivers says “Behind my face” going into the solo, then the notes that follow just seem to seal the coffin and make it completely final… Probably one of, if not my favorite song on blue!

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
  7. Soyrev wrote:

    Dislike? Whose?

    I definitely dig “The World Has Turned” more than “Jonas,” too. “Jonas” might be my least favorite track on Blue, actually…

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink
  8. OOS wrote:

    Same here. I do not get the praise for Jonas.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  9. ThomYorke wrote:

    Jonas has is one of the band’s hardest rocking songs, and it has a truely awesome harmonica solo. Enough said.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  10. Soyrev wrote:

    I’m not bagging on MNIJ — it kicks ass and I thoroughly enjoy it any time it comes on. But it’s definitely one of the songs on TBA that I seldom seek out as a stand-alone.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  11. clonus wrote:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Soy-Jonas is a perfect opener for Blue. I’ve never really liked it out of that context, but when I put Blue on and play it start to finish, I love it and it works perfectly.
    (The fact that Rivers doesn’t seem to want to sing the song live doesn’t help, though. I wish he’d just make a setlist of songs he wants to sing! I’d rather hear Rivers rock out on EGD than have Scott sing Jonas for no reason.)

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  12. brado8 wrote:

    Listening to this song today, I realized it has something I love: a solo section that is different than the rest of the song(not just a solo over the verse or chorus)!

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  13. AF wrote:

    I think that Pat’s drum intro to this song, despite being so simple, is the most awesome thing ever. There is a live video – from VCD or a VCD outtake, I think – which starts with Pat doing a drum-roll followed by the “ba-bah-bum, ba-BAH-bum” which kicks off the song (yes, totally accurate drum tabbing, I know). The rest of the song isn’t too crash-hot in recording quality, but I’ve sat here in the past clicking back to the start of the video and watching the intro over and over just because it makes me feel so good.

    Actually, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkXPw78xDxA

    The “Black Sessions” is another amazing version of this song too, but that one actually keeps up the quality the whole way through.

    Soy, I think your “Lounge Act effect” theory way (way) above is spot on, from my perspective anyway. I have thrashed the absolute shit out of this album over the last 16 years, and TWHTALMH is one of the few songs which still feel fresh due to the lack of attention I originally gave it.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
  14. Madcap wrote:

    Never understood why you didn’t like Matt’s version, I find it to be hauntingly beautiful and at the same time one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen/heard

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  15. Soyrev wrote:

    You know, it’s a little dumb of me, but I never really considered what that song means when sung by him alone in a coffeehouse, playing to a few dozen people or however many it was. If he had even co-written a little bit of it, I think it would’ve been even sadder…

    Some of his performance tics (fucking with the meter of the vocal melody for no particular reason, adding pointless words like “now” for the hell of it here and there) get in the way of it, but watching it again now it’s really not so bad. Had he had even just one another musician there to sing harmony or maybe add a little bit of musical flair to the mix, it could’ve been great.

    Perhaps I’ll change the end of this entry to make it sound a little less condemning sometime.

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  16. Madcap wrote:

    yeah some of the “nows” sound a little stupid and when he goes high he sounds a little silly but it’s so depressing in context and so… different. I’ve yet to hear a better acoustic version of the song.

    and yeah, if he had even played the intro it would’ve been much better.

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  17. Burgess wrote:

    It’s crazy how simple but effective this is. This song is pretty much the sound of the blue album squashed into one song.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  18. Soyrev wrote:

    I just got a fan back into Weezer through Blue and it’s his favorite on the record now. Can’t agree with him by a long distance, but it’s still fantastic.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink
  19. Oldmancane wrote:

    I love the little ascending guitar figure after the solo, beginning around 2:37. It just adds that much pathos to the already-perfect bridge.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  20. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    Am I reading that Matt Sharp did this solo acoustic? I just googled around and couldn’t find it – is there a recording that could be shared?

    Friday, January 8, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  21. Soyrev wrote:

    If you can’t find it, I can’t find it. Consider yourself spared.

    Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 1:48 am | Permalink
  22. Bitterandalone wrote:

    You guys mean this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HaiJZntFCA

    Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  23. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    Yes! Thanks.

    Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*