Several weeks ago, a couple of friends and myself were discussing music/bands over a few drinks. One thing led to another and next thing you know we're discussing Weezer. I think it all started while a gentleman (hired help) in a bar was acoustically strumming Island in the Sun by Weezer (which, is on a not so stellar 2001 Green Album). Naturally, if Weezer comes up, mention of the Blue Album will soon follow. It did. I was the first to plead my case and say how great the Blue Album is and go on and on about what a great, great album it is and how every track is a winner. Then the question came up - "Well, is it better than Wowee Zowwee?" or maybe Pavement. I kind of felt uncomfortable discussing the two bands together (both kind of the same in some ways, but also so so very different).
Anyway, next thing you know Jim E and Jim V decide to put the two albums head to head. I always like a good music debate and I wanted to be involved at least to add some color if needed.
Quickly, a little background on both bands before we go any further.
Not that they need an introduction but Pavement is a legendary indie rock band from Stockton, CA and known by every skateboarding kid thats ever slid on a pair of vans. They formed in 1989 and continued through the late 90's. They are among one of the first rock bands of the current age to gain a moderately wide degree of success without the support of a major label. A very influential band throughout the late 90's and even today. Since the breakup, Stephen Malkmus solo efforts have been very well received. Personally, I love everything hes done since Pavement (sometimes even more than Pavement...there, i said it). Despite not having tons of commercial success, Pavement does have two albums in Rolling Stones, 500 greatest albums of all time.
Rolling Stones, 500 greatest albums of all time.
So, back to the question "What's better, Blue Album or Wowee Zowee?"
When it first came up my first thought was to go with the under dog...my overall favorite of the two, I already decided in my head that it would be Wowee Zowee.
After listening to them both that next week I changed my mind.
Here is why-
Wowee Zowee has SOME great songs on it, and band versus band I will choose Pavement all day long! But, Wowee Zowee has 18 songs on it and I'd say a handful of them are not necessary at all (maybe should've put them on a B side). It seems like they decided to throw everything recorded onto this album and not waste the tape. I've read from other members they were smoking a lot of pot at the time and just thought everything was that good. Pavement is an amazing story, a lot of what I love about them was their attitude, and the fun in discovering the genius behind the distortion and high pitch Malkmus' screams.
As for the Blue Album, when this album came out (in '94)...I was 15. It was different than anything I was listening to at the time. It was post grunge, and not so deep or serious. It was bedroom rock at its finest. You listen to the album now and its still great. Every track is a winner in my ears. Yes, its more polished but I dont think you blame a band for that.
As I look back now, I feel Weezer carried a little of the same attitude as Pavement but it was more packaged and definitely more marketable.
So, as an album - I vote Blue......as a band I vote Pavement.
What are your thoughts?
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