Weezer – Stand By Me

“It’s possible to do covers in an interesting way!”

Tom: I know, I know, we’re meant to talk about europop here. This isn’t European, and it’s not really pop. But I want to talk about Weezer’s Teal Album, because it might be the laziest cover album I’ve ever heard.

Tim: Having heard a couple of songs from that, I’m not minded to disagree.

Tom: I can absolutely see why Weezer released a covers album. Their version of Africa has been getting a ridiculous amount of airplay (despite, in my opinion, not even being the best Africa cover of 2018), and their actual tracks… well, they haven’t. They’ve still got a fanbase that’ll buy it, and the press will cover it: why not do a cover album?

Tim: Fair.

Tom: But take a listen to the tracks. They sound like an imitation of the originals, like a tribute band. Mr Blue Sky even has the same spoken introduction. You might as well listen to the originals, because there’s nothing new here.

Tim: So…

Tom: The exception is this.

Tom: Because Stand By Me is a standard. It’s one of the most covered songs in the world. And because the original is so simply produced, it doesn’t take much for a band to put their own stamp on it: even if it’s just replacing the strings with a distorted electric guitar and maybe going to the harmony line a couple of times.

Tim: True. Still doesn’t make this a particularly interesting cover, though.

Tom: It’s possible to do covers well! It’s possible to do covers in an interesting way! The Teal Album is, sadly, neither of those. I’ll bet it’ll sell, though.

B.o.B feat. Rivers Cuomo – Magic

The most awkward dancing that you’ll see for a long time.

Tom: Okay, brace yourself, because this video features the most awkward dancing that you’ll see in mainstream music for a long time. Rivers Cuomo is better known as the frontman of the band Weezer, who have lately been known more for their gimmicks than their music*, and who may be the whitest guy to appear in a track like this in a long time.

*See, for example, videos featuring the Muppets or every internet meme ever, and their latest album cover.

Tom: This is surprisingly catchy. B.o.B generally has damn good choruses – and his flow (yes, I just used the word flow, deal with it) isn’t bad either.

Tim: You’re right, he does have good choruses – the downside to this is that I often end up just putting up with the verses as a way to get to the chorus, and actually partly wishing they weren’t there at all. It also means that the songs can get known just by their choruses, which, unfortunately for this song, is nowhere near as good as the chorus in Airplanes, which also had a fairly decent melody under the, um, flow rather than some generic drum and bass beat.

Tom: He’s namechecked Aretha Franklin, David Blaine, and Evil Knievil – all of which made me smile – but there’s a few things that annoy me about this.

First of all, it’s three and a half minutes dedicated to how good he is. Don’t say it – prove it. Admittedly it’s nice to see a pop song that isn’t just about love or relationships, but does it have to be ego-boosting instead?

Tim: This irritates me as well. Devil’s advocate, though: at least he’s confident in himself. He’s had a couple of number one singles – why shouldn’t he love himself?

Tom: Second, you’re really doing the ‘was it really all a dream’ thing with the video? Achewood made fun of that eight years ago and it was old then. It was old in the eighties. Seriously. Do better.

Tim: Ah, no. You see, it’s retro now, and therefore cool.

Tom: And finally, B.o.B is pronounced “Bob”? Really?

Tim: More likely that his real name is Bob (well, Bobby), which it is.

Tom: That’s, somehow, vaguely disappointing.