my favorite thing about Weezer

For the second time in a row, Weezer announced an album, then put out something entirely different.

After 2016’s The White Album. the band’s frontman, Rivers Cuomo, announced the band was going to release a follow-up entitled The Black Album. But as they started the recording process, Rivers changed his mind. Instead of the dark brooding songs he’d anticipated, he was writing Beach Boys-inspired summer anthems.

The result was 2017’s Pacific Daydream, and then came a batch of 80s covers with 2019’s The Teal Album. Then and only then did The Black Album finally see the light of day.

(Note I’m avoiding making any judgements about the quality of these records, as Weezer fans tend to be just a little bit crazy…)

In a not-so-dissimilar move, Weezer announced a Van Halen tribute album last summer and dropped a music video for the lead single, “Hero.” Then what happens? They wind up releasing the piano-and-string-heavy Ok Human.

Side projects are important. Hobbies are important. Sometimes, the work you’re doing on the side for fun winds up taking precedent over the work you think you should be doing. How strange and amazing that Rivers Cuomo, a guy for whom songwriting is a scientific formula of box-checking and spreadsheets, has become the poster boy for following the work where it wants to go.