Without question, “Oh Lisa” is the worst product of the Green Album era. As one of two tracks on the flipside to the “Island In The Sun” single (paired with the relatively benign “Always”), it is in some ways difficult to distinguish from its many contemporaries — the opening lyrical couplet is a rehash of a line in “Simple Pages,” and the guitar intro sounds quite like almost anything else Rivers Cuomo was writing during this period. But its own unique ugliness comes to the fore rather quickly: a lyric like “I’m wanting to / I wanna do you” is unforgivable (especially when it’s the chorus) and it has one of the weakest melodies in a period of great ones. The fact that the song is 3 minutes long despite revealing all it has to offer in its first 40 seconds doesn’t help, either. And Cuomo’s half-hearted performance here as the snotty brat vocalist is also offensive, making this perhaps the most blatant (and unfortunate) Green Day imitation of the several Cuomo attempted for his big commercial comeback.
If I had to find at least one vague redeeming element of this song, I would have to admit that I love the lyric “Taking stock of feelings stored” dearly — on paper, there’s something very poetic and elegant about it. In the context of this glossy-gross punkout, though, it might as well not even be there.
Credit to the band, though, for knowing not to put this one on the album. Anyone know if this stinker was ever played live?