Weezer has been churning out albums since 1994, developing a passionate fan base that dearly clings to the past. The band has released 12 studio albums, a compilation album and a cover album, garnering three Grammy nominations and one win in 2008 for Best Music Video. While the Weezer’s riding a wave of cultural relevance, the band is cranking out music faster than ever, having released four albums in the past three years alone. Here is every Weezer studio album, ranked:
“(If You're Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You To” is a fun single that retreads the classic Weezer trope of an awkward romance and an inability to make the first move. That awkwardness is at the core of what defines Weezer, but without the self awareness in past albums, it borders cringey instead. The cringe is very real on the often-maligned “Can’t Stop Partying,” a bizarre pseudo-rap song on which Rivers Cuomo endlessly repeats he “can’t stop partying”. Likely — or at least hopefully — intended in an ironic way, “Can’t Stop Partying” completely misses the mark and almost single-handedly cements this as the worst album.
11. Make Believe
Everyone loves “Beverly Hills,” Make Believe’s opener and an anthem for social outcasts everywhere. It’s followed by “Perfect Situation,” easily one of Weezer’s best songs ever that could serve as a thesis to it’s entire discography. After two fantastic tracks, the album unfortunately falls off. None of the other tracks are worth noting, falling prey to the same problems found on Raditude, leaving Make Believe to be relegated to being mocked on the Weezer subreddit.
Hurley isn’t a horrible album, but there aren’t any songs worth coming back for. It’s also marred by surprisingly bad production, and its cover art seems more like a meme. Two of Weezer’s worst tracks, “Where’s My Sex?” and “Smart Girls,” can be found here, but beyond that the tracks range from average to forgettable. It’s a not a particularly memorable album, but an improvement from Make Believe and Raditude.
9. The Black Album
The Black Album is less than a week old and still needs time to be thought about and thoroughly listened to. Fan opinions on the group’s latest effort vary, which is to be expected considering it’s the band’s largest departure from its original sound. The album does not feel cohesive, with too many competing musical ideas. Electronic pop songs like “Living In L.A.” don’t mesh well with piano-driven tracks like “Piece Of Cake.” Whenever Weezer tries something new, it’s common for it to be poorly received initially before growing on fans over time, so it will be interesting to see how The Black Album registers in a few years.
8. Pacific Daydream
The original plan after The White Album was to follow it with a darker counterpart to be known as The Black Album. Instead, the band felt it had enough material to warrant a different project, another beach-themed batch of songs that became Pacific Daydream. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the album, there are simply much better albums in the band’s discography. The band experiments with electronic and pop music, most noticeable on the synth-heavy song “Feels Like Summer.” The closing track, “Any Friend of Diane’s,” serves as a thank-you to those who helped him and a lament for time gone by.
7. The Green Album
After the negative critical reception of Pinkerton, Weezer played it safe with its third album. The Green Album takes its sound back to basics by not straying far from the comfortability of digestible two to three minute alt-rock. Carried by fan-favorite “Island In The Sun,” Green acts as a palate cleanser after Pinkerton with more surface level lyricism and accessible tracks. The Green Album is the band trying to prove Blue wasn’t a fluke and represents a time when the legacy of Weezer was far from set in stone.
6. The Red Album
The Red Album is among Weezer’s most experimental albums. Those experiments include guitarist Brian Bell and drummer Patrick Wilson providing lead vocals at times and songs without any traditional structure. The experiments pay off, and reflect Weezer’s desire to constantly attempt new things as well as their refusal to fall back on their past success as a crutch.
5. Everything Will Be Alright In The End
2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End was a major turning point for Weezer. After a string of disappointing albums, Weezer teamed up with Ric Ocasek, producer of the Blue and Green albums, to create an album that celebrates a new beginning. Cuomo belts out lyrics that directly reference his relationship with fans and critics on “I’ve Had It Up To Here”: “Don't want to compromise my art for universal appeal / Don't want to be mass consumed, I'm not a happy meal.” Everything Will Be Alright In The End paved the way for the rise in popularity and success Weezer has seen in the second half of this decade.
The first album to feature the band’s current lineup, adding Scott Shriner on bass after the departure of Mikey Welsh, Maladroit is Weezer’s foray into heavy metal. Featuring crunchy guitar riffs and prominent drum sequences, this album is a standout in its discography in terms of composition. Lyrically, this is classic Weezer with romantic and sexual disappointment, awkward phrasing that is somehow pulled off and a general dissatisfaction with life. But when paired with creative arrangements, Maladroit is as an extremely satisfying and creative album.
3. The White Album
As Weezer’s first concept album since Pinkerton, 2016’s The White Album largely throws back to the band’s original sound. Set in a beachy, sun-soaked world, it delivers a familiar story of falling head over heels for a girl and the brutal heartbreak that follows when it doesn’t work out. This is Cuomo’s best song writing of the century, full of references to religion, mythology and pop culture. Effectively swinging from bliss on “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing” to despair on “Endless Bummer,” White is a marriage of the upbeat alt-rock found on The Blue Album and the confessional heartbreak from Pinkerton. This album will only get better with time and is more than deserving to be considered one of the band’s best works.
2. The Blue Album
It would be hard to set the bar any higher on a debut album than The Blue Album. An immediate commercial success with hits such as “Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So,” Weezer delivers one of the most iconic albums of the ’90s, and it played a huge part in influencing the alternative and punk rock genre over the next decade. The album effortlessly meanders from themes of fearing growing up to longing for lost love to comparing Cuomo’s mental state to an unraveling sweater. The Blue Album was an explosive debut that introduced Weezer as the kings of cool but not cool enough, sucking but still managing to rock, and hiding the genuine just beneath the absurd.
This is Weezer’s masterpiece. After the massive success of The Blue Album, the band’s follow up was highly anticipated. Instead of delivering a perfected and cleanly produced album full of alt-rock anthems and crowd-pleasing hits, Weezer delivered a raw and angry collection of tracks more reminiscent of Pixies than Oasis. Written while recovering from a painful leg surgery, attending Harvard University and struggling to understand his new found fame, Cuomo’s mental state was at an all time low and it reflects in the album’s dark, confessional nature. The tonal shift was nothing short of shocking to fans and critics alike. That immediate critical backlash changed drastically over time, and the album has now achieved cult classic status. There will never be another Pinkerton, despite fans constantly clamoring for it. If you’ve ever been scared to talk to that person you’re crushing on, don’t know how to get out of a toxic relationship or angry life isn’t getting better, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than Pinkerton.
Death to False Metal, a compilation album, and The Teal Album, a cover album, were excluded from this list.