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It’s Easy

Folksy, simple, and all around a very nice little ditty written and sung by Weezer guitarist Brian Bell. Although this song was released as a bonus track for The Red Album (the official coming-out party of Bell, bassist Scott Shriner, and drummer Pat Wilson as lead vocalists on a Weezer record), the performance here is actually culled from one of the many acoustic demo sessions held for 2005’s Make Believe. Apparently per the urging of band archivist Karl Koch himself, “It’s Easy” belatedly became one of the few pre-Red examples we have of non-Rivers Cuomo songs being pitched and seriously considered for Weezer (joining the ranks of Bell’s “Yellow Camaro,” Wilson’s “Reason to Worry” and “The Story Is Wrong,” and original bassist Matt Sharp’s Blue-era “Mrs. Young”).

As the only recording we have of it (and evidently the best one there is), “It’s Easy” is a breezy acoustic jam built on a couple acoustic guitars and an acoustic bass. It’s a very warm and organic arrangement, with a beguiling little run up and down the fretboard at the end of the progression. Bell’s Tennessee boy lead vocal fits the bill perfectly, especially with such breezy and agreeable lyrics: “Let’s not be mean to each other / There’s no need for name-callin’ / There’s no need for chain-ballin’ / Let’s be nice, babe, it won’t kill us.” Hard to argue with that, especially with Shriner and Cuomo harmonizing behind him oh-so-fine.

The chorus finds Bell catching his girl in a lie, placing the song in league with his Red Album cut “Thought I Knew” — which many Weezer fans grumbled was far inferior to “It’s Easy,” as Weezer fans are wont to do. I see where they’re coming from, but considering that “Thought I Knew” sounded quite nice in demo form as well, perhaps it’s best that we never got an arrangement of “Easy” with laser drums and million-dollarproduction.

But surprisingly enough, Weezer might have agreed in retrospect: for the band’s 2008 AOL Sessions in support of Red, “It’s Easy” got an airing instead of “Thought I Knew.” It’s a nice performance that trades in a few of the demo cut’s harmonies for the luxury of having Rivers beneath a beret and behind a cocktail drumkit. Bell plays even more into the victimized chorus with a new couplet: “All this time we could have got along / Instead we bitch and moan, you done me wrong!”

Oh, and Wilson’s extended guitar solo is a nice added touch. The band seems to enjoy playing it quite a bit, so perhaps it really is a shame this tune wound up being pushed into the margins.