Remember when Rivers Cuomo announced Weezer’s four-season albums and described their winter-themed album as stylistically similar to the works of Elliott Smith? Cuomo added that “Winter” will channel “90s singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith” with “lots of loss and despair and kind of quiet.” I hadn’t paid attention but “I Want a Dog,” the first single of “Winter” was released last week, and god, it’s awful.
I don’t remember anything about the other Weezer season albums but I was curious about this one for obvious reasons (as an Elliott Smith fan) and I was ready to give a chance to Cuomo despite my contempt for his music, and in particular for his lyrics. To each his own, anyone is free to love lines like “Mom made my sex, she knitted it with her hands. Sex-making is a family tradition,” or “So I sniff and I lick your envelope/I wonder how you touch yourself” but you have to admit that Cuomo has rarely written subtle lyrics, if ever. Thus announcing an album channeling Elliott Smith sounds laughable and overly ridiculous when considering the late singer-songwriter’s sophisticated and metaphor-filled lyrics.
Not only “I Want a Dog” has the tritest lyrics you can imagine – “I want a dog / ‘Cause he’d try to lick my face / And he would smile / When I get home to my place / I want a dog,” come on, how dare you sell this as lyrics Cuomo? – but the music is simply awful. It has this false pretense of earnestness, with falsetto and violins turning into putrid sentimentalism. Then the second part of the song sounds more Weezer than ever, becoming annoyingly and unnecessarily loud with cringy solo guitars and more falsetto vocals than the worst Christmas-y anthem could offer.
The crazy part is that I have read many very positive comments as tons of people love the song and find it “amazing” Really? Do people really have such low expectations for music these days? This dog song is a joke (plus there is already a much better song with the same title) but I tend to think that every song that Weezer releases is a dog, and I am not even mentioning the tacky music video.
Anyway, if you are still into Weezer’s music after that, “Winter” is set to be the final EP in the season series, and will be released on the winter solstice, December 21.
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