5 Pink Triangle– Pinkerton (1997)
Pink Triangle is one of those songs that everyone knows but no one quite knows what it’s about. It is perfect in its ambiguity. The protagonist is ambiguous.The object of the protagonist’s affection is ambiguous. Everything takes place in the protagonist’s head, making it metaphysical and therefore ambiguous. Even the slow, meandering, distorted guitar feels vague and obtuse. The off-kilter slower pace of the song makes the listener feel unsteady, which you have to imagine is how the protagonist himself feels. Fun fact – it is the bands least successful single. Obviously, the general populous is not ready to be so freaking unsure of themselves as poor Pink Triangle boy is (probably because we all are, on the inside).
4 Cold Dark World – The Red Album (2007)
Cold Dark World sounds just like a cold dark world would. Rivers’ usually melodic voice takes on a spoken-word depth and power. The distinct and heavy bass coupled with the ironically discordant harmonizing is purposefully unsettling. “Angel girl / I’ll make you understand” has a very threatening feeling to it. The song, as well as all of The Red Album, is completely different from anything else Weezer has done. Cold Dark World has a heaviness that goes beyond the distorted guitar and really shakes your bones. Just for its unique content, Cold Dark World is indisputably awesome.
3 The Damage in Your Heart – Make Believe (2005)
Despite releasing to lackluster critical acclaim, The Damage in Your Heart is one of Weezer’s gems, in my opinion. It has more honesty to in than some of their other ventures, and in Weezer’s ever-present success of not taking themselves too seriously, The Damage in Your Heart shines through as a surprisingly serious song – both in lyrical content and musical style. There is something sweet in the simplicity of the words. While on the surface, the song might seem like your typical ‘emo’ song (“one more tear falling down your face/doesn’t mean that much to the world”), there is something more poignant in it – a hopefulness that comes out of the connection between two people. In the end, the protagonist is preaching to let go of those ‘emo’ feelings, and to join the world of the living – where people actually care about what each other say.
2 Buddy Holly – The Blue Album (1994)
In stark contrast to the previous song, Buddy Holly has a much more bizarre and upbeat tone to it – I mean, the first line alone has the words “homie,” “dissin,’” and “front” – your classic 90s slang that makes any listener want to bust out with laughter. The same heaviness that is typical of The Blue Album, but the lyrics are much more cheerful. The song has a strong sense of that typical teenage lack-of-care, but not in a whiny obnoxious way. Instead, there is an empowerment in the lyrics that was lacking during the grunge-washed world of the 90s. There is a subtle humor to the song, as if Weezer are making fun of themselves. Any listener who takes the song 100% seriously misses the point of Weezer’s genius. Then again, the beauty of Weezer, as exemplified by Buddy Holly, is you can love every second of the song without having any clue what is supposed to be going on beyond the surface enjoyment – and that’s totally fine.
1 The World Has Turned and Left Me Here – The Blue Album (1994)
Indisputably an anthem of every lovelorn teenager, The World Has Turned and Left Me Here is simply put: totally amazing. Weezer’s inimitable lyrical talent is in full force in this track and set the bar for the musical world. In a world awash with apathy, The World Has Turned and Left Me Hereevokes a more personal emotional connection. It isn’t just general apathy, it isn’t apathy at all – it’s pure loneliness that can only come when you lose something you truly, deeply loved. The heaviness of the music is an audible embodiment of the all-encompassing depression and despondency that this song represents.