When Weezer's debut album came out in 1994, frontman Rivers Cuomo didn't sound too much like a new spokesman for his generation. Sure, he rattled off some great and funny lines, but it's mostly the music that made 'The Blue Album' a hit. But by the time they returned with 'Pinkerton,' it seemed like Cuomo was opening random pages of his diary and penning songs about his most personal reflections. Most of the songs in our list of the 10 Best Weezer Lyrics sound like they were ripped from Cuomo's journal, but we made room for some of his lighter cuts, too.
"You take your car to work, I'll take my board / And when you're out of fuel, I'm still afloat."
Cuomo was still feeling around with his songwriting style when Weezer released their debut album in 1994. While several cuts reflect the introspective and anxiety-riddled singer that would surface more prominently on later records, there are plenty of tossed-off good-times cuts on 'The Blue Album.' This one both ribs and celebrates surf culture, with foamy lines about commitments, snobbery and riding big ol' waves.
"When I daydream, we're eating ice cream / It's such a nice scene, but then I wake up crying / I know I've just been lying right here."
This love song from 2009's 'Raditude' can be summed up by another line Cuomo sings: "I'm a mess since you left." But the above lyric, which makes up the song's bridge, cuts to just how much the failed relationship meant to him. Dude just wants his girl back so they can eat ice cream together. Aww ...
"Dear Daddy, I write you, in spite of years of silence / You've cleaned up, found Jesus, things are good, or so I hear / This bottle of Stevens awakens ancient feelings / Like father, stepfather, the son is drowning in the flood."
This hit from Weezer's debut works both ways: It includes some terrible lines, and it includes some good ones, like this raging bit that comes during the bridge. It seems a little out of place with the rest of the song, but it carries the track ... and that wonderful guitar line.
"All of the drugs she does scare me real good / She's got a tattoo and two pet snakes / Nobody knows me like her."
Cuomo is at his best writing love songs. Or at least writing songs about love, since many of them move in and out of the actual act of being in love and settle into a territory of breakups, pining and perpetual fretting. His best love songs are on 'Pinkerton,' like this one about a girl whose bad-ass ways turn him on.
"If you blew it, don't reject it / Just sit drawin' up the plans and re-erect it."
Cuomo dispenses some advice to the lovelorn on this track from Weezer's self-titled comeback record from 2001 ('The Green Album'). 'Photograph' is pretty simple, and its springy tune makes sure it stays that way. But Cuomo, who's shared plenty of his romantic ups and downs over the years, wants you to learn from his mistakes.
"They say I need some Rogaine to put in my hair / Work it out at the gym to fit my underwear / Oakley makes the shades that transform a tool / You'd hate for the kids to think that you lost your cool."
Cuomo poked at his nerdy image all the way back on Weezer's first album (he claimed 'Buddy Holly' was written about a friend, but you just know it's really about him). By the time he wrote 'Pork and Beans,' he was more than settled into this image. It's pretty much just confirmation that everything is OK in Nerdville.
"Excuse the bitching, I shouldn't complain / I should have no feeling, because feeling is pain / As everything I need is denied me, and everything I want is taken away from me / But who do I got to blame? Nobody but me."
Cuomo opened his heart and spilled its contents all over 'Pinkerton.' Written during a time of confusion and doubt, the album remains his most personal and best work. 'The Good Life' chronicles his halfhearted (or whatever was left of it) attempt to get back in the game of life.
"You are 18-year-old girl who live in small city in Japan / You heard me on the radio about one year ago, and you wanted to know all about me and my hobbies / My favorite food and my birthday."
Weezer's second album, 'Pinkerton,' pretty much reads like a journal of Cuomo's desires, anxieties, neuroses and insecurities. 'Across the Sea' is the album's most revealing track, a response to a fan letter he received from a Japanese girl during a low point in his life. He's said he found hope in her words and often thought about her, but he never met her.
"You can't resist her, she's in your bones / She is your marrow and your ride home / You can't avoid her, she's in the air / In between molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide."
The debut album's sprawling closing number, which clocks in just shy of eight minutes, is one of Cuomo's best early shots at a love song. How strong is this love he's singing about? He says it's as crucial as the air he breathes. And you believe him.
"Goddamn, you half-Japanese girls do it to me every time / The redhead said you shred the cello, and I'm Jell-O."
More than any other song in our list of the 10 Best Weezer Lyrics, 'El Scorcho' depends on its music, a loose-limbed groove that the words ride through every twist and turn. Cuomo drops lines about pro wrestlers and indie rockers throughout the song, but we like the opening lines the best -- autobiographical jabs at his penchant for Asian women who can be just as nerdy as he is.