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Memories

The way back has never been the way forward, for you or for me or for all the good folks we know in Weezer. Like people (they’re made of ’em, after all), bands need to grow, develop, evolve — and in Weezer’s case, you can hear the sweet sound of progress in tunes like “Run Over By A Truck,” “The Spider,” “The Organ Player,” and “Pig.” Weezer are people, though, and nobody gets anywhere without making a few blunders along the way (some break down and cry; some rob banks, or murder; some release songs called “Cold Dark World”). Weezer’s fans are people, too, though, so it’s equally forgivable that sometimes they forget. Sometimes, Weezer fans want nothing more than a Weezer that plays it safe, that regresses, that simply sounds like they did back in those halcyon days of Blue and Pink.

Not me, I say — Weezer could record a free jazz record for all I care, as long as it’s bangin’ — but damn if this new one “Memories” isn’t more than just a little ironic. ‘Cause just when Rivers Cuomo decides to pen a song about wanting to “go back” (hey! I just listened to “The Good Life” this afternoon!) to the days when Weezer were a young and troublesome band of geeks banging out grade-A rock’n’roll (and pop, of course), the end product is something as far removed from those days as stylistically possible. I’m not sure if “Memories” is pop or rock or in what ratio the two relate during the song’s trim runtime, but whatever it is, it is bad in ways Weezer could have never imagined back then, and in ways Weezer fans could have scarcely imagined even by the standards of yesteryear. Say what you will about Raditude, but anything that we have from its sessions is preferable to this dreck, and the majority of Rad actually crushes “Memories.” Just like “Memories” crushes Weezer fans’ memories of Weezer more than any other of the band’s other (not uncommon) blunders, in that it not only sucks violently, it sucks violently while Cuomo is in the act of remembering when none of his music sucked. “Memories make me want to go back there,” goes the chorus again and again, and sweet damn do I ever find myself agreeing with him…which really isn’t my style! “Pig” might be my favorite Weezer song, dammit!

Okay, it’s a bit neat that Cuomo is screaming from the gut on this track like he hasn’t since the Kitchen Tape days that he’s singing about during the first verse, but only in theory (in practice, it sounds slop-poopy). And seeing how this song represents layer-upon-layer of sedimented nostalgia for Cuolmes — this is a 2010 revisiting of a song he home demoed in 2007, which was itself a revisiting of a song he wrote in 2003, about a time in his life roughly a decade prior to that — I can imagine that at one point or another, this song might have actually been kind of good. Hell, seeing how “Can’t Stop Partying” is at once one of the best (Alone II), worst (live in Korea ’09), and most confused (Raditude) things he’s ever done, there’s a chance that one memory of “Memories” might actually make for a great song (anything’s possible in Weezer’s universe, for better or worse). Because I’m a sick and miserable fuck, I’d really enjoy hearing every version of this song ever recorded and letting you know which is the best (Facebook me, Rivers) — but this new single version from the upcoming Hurley record cannot physically possibly be it. That’s how bad it is.

I’m talking in circles here, but in short: horrible verses (diseased melody, lyrics that go for quirky and wind up with fuck-stupid), one of the most remarkable spiritual deadzones ever placed in the “chorus” section of a Weezer song, a bridge and instrumental breakdown that do absolutely nothing, a grating self-congratulatory tone of wistfulness throughout, and jeez, yeah, that’s really all there is to this one-dimensional songscrap. This is the worst single Weezer has ever released, coming from a band responsible for insta-regrets on the order of “We Are All On Drugs.” This is maybe the worst album track the band’s ever released, actually, presuming this is Hurley‘s worst offering (which has never been the case for any =W= lead single, so…yikes?). And discounting “Cold Dark World,” too, because hey — people make mistakes.

Anyway, this right here right now is one too many for me, and I just needed to break the silence and share that with y’all while the wounds’re still fresh. I wanna go baaaaaaaaaaaack~~~

40 Comments

  1. Soyrev wrote:

    I was including that lyric from “Marryin’ a bi-atch” and on, for the record. Love it love it. 😀

    Also: 100+ comments, woo!

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  2. OOS wrote:

    I really like Troublemaker. There was a great dissection of the lyrics that someone did on A6 (not sure if it still exists) that really made me realize how clever some of the lines are. Add in some great hooks and one of the few times Weezer has actually seemed tongue-in-cheek successfully and you’ve got a very good song in my book.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  3. Lams wrote:

    troublemaker is probably my favorite song on red. yeah the melody is simple and it’s just two chords, but i like how he sings/raps the lyrics.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 4:38 am | Permalink
  4. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Yeah Troublemaker is one of my faves from Red too — it kind of makes me wish that Jackknife would’ve gotten to produce more material for the following album — or that more of the material he produced would’ve been included. Although didn’t he have something to do with the version of Love Is The Answer that ended up on Raditude? Ugh… to me that is the worst song Weezer has ever recorded… you know it’s a bad sign when Sugar f’n Ray’s version of the song is better than yours.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink
  5. Melack wrote:

    Best lead single since Hash Pipe imo. Then again I really like all of Weezer’s lead singles except Dope Nose.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  6. arfentul wrote:

    I like those parts of Troublemaker too, but I think all in all this song is a more interesting listen.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  7. ThomYorke wrote:

    I’ll take Dope Nose over this shit ANY day.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  8. Soyrev wrote:

    It’s been some number of years since I last purposefully chose to listen to “Dope Nose,” but yeah — I can agree with that.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
  9. Burgess wrote:

    I think original ss2k dope nose > memories > maladroit dope nose

    those flintstones gang vocals and the “we’re having so much fun!!! really!!!” interjections from the band just kill the final dope nose for me.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink
  10. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I still don’t understand the outright hatred and harshness towards this one… it’s definitely not the best but worse than Dope Nose? Yikes! I dunno, I just don’t hear things as offensively as some of you guys.

    I will say this though, judging from the Hurley reviews so far, it definitely sounds like it’s not the strongest song off the new record so it may buck the trend of lead single being in the top tier of an album’s tracks quality-wise. I do find it funny that, in the two reviews I’ve read, both critics ripped on “Where’s My Sex?” I hope to God that it pushes Cuomo to stop using his daughter as inspiration for creepy/inappropriate references in his lyrics — nobody finds it funny, it’s just bad… and weird.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 6:32 am | Permalink
  11. Demosthenes wrote:

    Couldn’t agree more my friend. This song not only caught The Green Album disease (boring, boring, and boring), but it has one of the worst chorus I’ve ever heard. I know Rivers doesn’t care about writing “good” music anymore but the guy could always write a good hook. This is just terrible.

    There’s nothing even remotely interesting about the song besides the decent bridge which is murdered by the disgusting “scream” at the end. Every time I listen to it I just get more angry at it’s… I can’t even say mediocrity… it’s just a bad song. No heart, lazy singing, eh production, cringe inducing synth, and a chorus that makes bathing in broken glass sound appealing.

    At least The Green Album puts me to sleep before it hurts.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  12. clonus wrote:

    I’m actually kind of looking forward to this record based on the reviews. It sounds like a few great songs and a couple of terrible ones, which I’ll take at this point. (Michael Cera on BG vox, though? Really?)
    The reviews do seem to confirm that “Memories” is more of an album opener than a real “single”. (Why did they release it as a single? Who knows.)

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  13. ThomYorke wrote:

    Clonus – Weezer gave up making sound, logical decisions regarding their releases a LONG time ago my friend 🙂

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  14. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Well, to be fair, it kind of goes along with the nostalgia thing if they plan on doing the Blue/Pinkerton tour. I’m not saying that it turns the song into a good choice for a single but at least it links to the tour idea in some way.

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  15. Soyrev wrote:

    I’ll agree with Demosthenes about the “decent bridge”…there’s potential there, though of course it lasts for all of 5 seconds. =\

    I’ll disagree with Demosthenes about Green, however. Cult classic. 😀

    Friday, August 27, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  16. Demosthenes wrote:

    I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to The Green Album but I make up for the love with my deep black hatred. 😀

    P.S. Hash Pipe is Weezer’s worst song. :O

    Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink
  17. Lams wrote:

    oh i really don’t like the bridge on this song. weezer has been known to make wonderful bridges, but this one it’s just fingerpicking the chords and the chorus melody, not really creative

    Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink
  18. Soyrev wrote:

    The band now plays this song with a solo live. [/irrelevance]

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink
  19. yim_yecker wrote:

    *** Spoiler alert

    There is no noticeable reaction from the crowd when this song is played in the Memories Tour. It’s pretty sad when even your biggest fans won’t groove to your music.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  20. Soyrev wrote:

    I’ll politely bob my head and maybe shake my frame a bit, but yeah, none too excited to hear this song even as a sort of flashback novelty. Coming out with “Time Flies” would be equally as appropriate on a conceptual level, I think, and far more preferable from a musical one. Also would be kinda cool that the band is working back from the “most recently released Weezer song.”

    …Well, there’s the matter of Death to False Metal, I suppose. Which is to say, them coming out with “Blowin’ My Stack” would probably be the best idea. 😀

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  21. OOS wrote:

    Now that I think about it, i’m surprised that Turnin’ hasn’t been played live or given any promotion. Seems like it could be a big single if they pushed it.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  22. nonnymouse wrote:

    man I would give anything to hear “Everyone” live, with cuomo on guitar rocking out the best solo on DTFM.

    but Memories is more popular than you think. I’ve seen at least 30 or 40 peeps on youtube soundtracking their vids with “Memories”, consisting mostly of what the song title entails i.e. “omg Junior Year Memories” or “Hiking mountain last year!”

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  23. Soyrev wrote:

    That’s what I thought too, OOS, but they didn’t produce it as such. Like “I’m Your Daddy,” it’s meant to have a huge pop radio sound, but it winds up sounding more like a demo than a big budget production. This works more in Turning up the Radio’s” favor, but it’s still a little too weird and cluastrophobic sounding for most stations, I think.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  24. yim_yecker wrote:

    I did hear “I’m Your Daddy” on the radio once. It was a little higher pitched but it didn’t sound too weird to be on the radio. But I agree that “TUTR” probably wouldn’t hold much weight as a single. I think “Odd Couple” would do a lot better if they changed it in a similar way.

    Friday, December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  25. Soyrev wrote:

    “I’m Your Daddy” just sounds thin to me. If it sounded as full and expensive as “The Girl Got Hot” does, it’d be another guilty pleasure of mine — but as it is, nah.

    Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  26. andybedingfield wrote:

    Hey, SoyRev, I’m new to TVS, and may I just say that you do a great job on this blog(please find time to do the whole Weezer canon, I’m looking forward to it!). 9 times out of 10 I agree with what you say, and yes, Memories, along with Smart Girls and Where’s My Sex is one of Hurley’s worst offerings.

    But how does anybody hate Dope Nose?! Other than the terrible lyrics of course(Maladroit era Weezer lyrics make I Don’t Want Your Lovin’ sound as epic as Stairway to friggin’ Heaven). The riff is solid, the “oh, oh, oh” chorus is as catchy as it gets, and the solo is the best on Maladroit, one of Rivers’ best IMO(though not nearly THE best). I hate Maladroit as much as anybody, but I genuinely enjoy this one.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  27. Soyrev wrote:

    Thanks for the encouragement, and please do stick around! Lively commentary/discussion is pretty much the main reason I keep this thing going (so…slowly…).

    Ahem. “Dope Nose?” It’s not bad. It’s the kind of thing where if it comes on, or even if they play it live, I can get into it and enjoy myself — but it’s not something I ever seek out.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  28. yim_yecker wrote:

    I saw two live performances of Dope Nose, one was super epic and the other was super lame. They had a false start and the vibes were ruined. The song dragged and there wasn’t a lot of motion in the crowd for the rest of the song. It was more of a forced false start by Rivers… I didn’t hear anything wrong and I was pumped for the song but he thought they went too fast and they started over from silence (instead of transferring from “Perfect Situation”).

    Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  29. arfentul wrote:

    While we’re talking about Dope Nose, just thought I’d mention I noticed they’ve been skipping the second “Oo-oh… This dope nose!” bridge, and going straight into the outro instead, which just makes me scratch my head cause there really isn’t any reason FOR taking it out, and it happens to be one of my favorite parts of the song. Whatever, I guess. :\

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  30. andybedingfield wrote:

    Well by all means Soy, put up some more song discussions if you get a chance. I’m in school too though, so I totally understand, I’d just like to get to where all the songs are covered. But I’m looking forward to hearing everybody’s more detailed thoughts on some of my favorites.

    (It might be a nice treat for Christmas to have a short post talking about that Christmas with Weezer EP or something. That’d be easy I think.)

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  31. Soyrev wrote:

    I’m wrapping up the semester, and while I have a million and one (mostly more important) things to do over break, I’ll try to bang out a few more in that time. As for “getting to where all the songs are covered,” man, w/ Rivers’ sudden enthusiasm for releasing music at a nigh constant clip, I’m not sure we’ll ever get there!

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  32. andybedingfield wrote:

    …when is Weezer going to release another single from Hurley? Irrelevant I know, because none of it’s radio material, but if only to get something more representative of Hurley’s best out there.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  33. Soyrev wrote:

    “Hang On” in January, Rivers said semi-recently.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  34. andybedingfield wrote:

    Ah, good choice. I love that one.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  35. nonnymouse wrote:

    the radio mix of Hang On that’s leaked out sounds really really great, more “Weezer” injected into the song. Great solo as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqTcGyNvIC8

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
  36. Xavier wrote:

    I absolutely adore the way he shouts the lyrics at the end of the bridge. “CAUSE I’M FREAKIN’ BORED!!”

    Otherwise, meh.

    Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Permalink
  37. Jonathan wrote:

    “Memories” is most definitely *not* the worst album track Weezer has ever released. The Raditude “bonus” track, “Turn Me Round”, wins that category by a long shot.

    Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink
  38. Soyrev wrote:

    I don’t consider bonus tracks “album tracks” — they were left off the album proper, after all — and especially not if the bonus track is a recording from 7 years prior. Either way, I’d much rather listen to “Turn Me Round” than to “Memories,” though if I once contended that “Memories” was as bad as Weezer album tracks got, I was wrong. It’s a bad track, but not quite “Cold Dark World” bad.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
  39. catfamine wrote:

    Like most recent Weezer singles, I initially branded it as being amongst the band’s worst offenses, but after time, it has really grown on me. It’s certainly not a flawless, classic track by any stretch, but I think there’s a lot to be said for the raw energy in it. The bridge certainly stands out to me as one of the few moments in their recent output where Cuomo’s been able to successfully translate more contemporary personal issues (aging and family) into a compelling song.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 4:39 am | Permalink
  40. jack moihoff wrote:

    ‘Memories’ makes my cock SO flaccid. So does ‘Hang On’ (all versions)

    Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

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