Are you ready for a full year of Weezer? The band plans to release four new albums, calling it their ‘Seasons’ saga, and here’s what you need to know.
With Weezer’s long-awaited Hella Mega Tour – their colossal mammoth music tour with Green Day and Fall Out Boy – in the rearview (save for the 2022 European dates), the band is not letting the grass grow under its feet. Weezer – Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner – are revving to pull off one of the biggest moves in their storied career. “I guess I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so I wrote four albums that we’ll put out next year,” Rivers said during a July 2021 episode of Good Morning America. Apparently, after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Hella Mega Tour, he got busy writing, and now, fans can expect a quartet of new releases before 2022 is said and done.
The funny thing is – fans haven’t been hurting for new music. Weezer has been, if anything, prolific. In the 27 years since their self-titled debut album (commonly called the Blue Album), the group has put out fifteen studio albums in total, a handful of EPs, and a compilation called Death to False Metal. 1994’s Blue Album remains Weezer’s best-selling record, having been certified Platinum three times by the RIAA. It’s the album with “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Say It Ain’t So,” and one of the band’s biggest early singles, “Buddy Holly.” The follow-up, 1996’s Pinkerton, famously didn’t replicate the debut’s success. At first, the critics weren’t fond of it, but the album has since gained a legacy among Weezer fans.
Pinkerton’s failure affected Rivers heavily. “This has been a tough year,” he wrote in Aug. 1997, per IMDB. “It’s not just that the world has said Pinkerton isn’t worth a shit, but that the Blue album wasn’t either. It was a fluke. It was the [“Buddy Holly”] video. I’m a shitty songwriter.” The band went on hiatus, Matt Sharp left the band, and it seemed like Weezer might be over. Instead, they returned in 2001 with their second self-titled album, aka the Green Album. It was well-received by most critics, but some (and some fans) had used this album as the defining mark of “when Weezer was good.” This debate – dubbed “The Weezer Conversation” by Pat Finnerty, whose What Makes This Song Stink? about “Beverly Hills” sums up the complicated relationship older Weezer fans have with the band – would be the subject of a famous Saturday Night Live sketch, as well as countless message board posts.
The Green Album boasted singles “Hash Pipe” and “Island In The Sun,” and 2002’s Maladroit featured singles “Keep Fishin'” and “Dope Nose.” The follow-up, 2005’s Make Believe, included the previously mentioned “Beverly Hills.” Though considered the worst Weezer song by Stereogum (and the second-worst by the AVClub), “Beverly Hills” was a relative commercial success. It reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped the U.S. Alternative charts and has since gone Gold. It would also be, arguably, the last bit of mainstream success the band would have.
Weezer released another self-titled, the Red Album, in 2008, and Raditude (ranked the worst album by Consequence in 2019) in 2009. The band released Hurley in 2010 and took a while to work on their next album, 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End. It arrived to generally favorable reviews, but not a lot of commercial success. The group then released another self-titled album, the White Album, in 2016, Pacific Daydream in 2017, and two self-titled albums in 2019: the all-covers record (the Teal Album), featuring their faithful rendition of Toto’s “Africa”; and the Black Album.
“What I’ve been working on the last two weeks is back to big guitars,” Rivers said in a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Blue Album-ish, but a little more riffy. The working title is Van Weezer. The inspiration came from our live shows, where, in the middle of “Beverly Hills,” unlike on the album, everything stops, and I just break out with this crazy guitar solo. We noticed that, recently, the crowd just goes crazy when I do that. So it feels like maybe the audience is ready for some shredding again.”
In 2021, the band released OK Human, an album recorded with strictly analog instruments and a full orchestra, and their hair-metal-inspired album, Van Weezer. The band’s fifteenth album included “Blue Dream,” which interpolated Randy Rhoads’ riff from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” The Suzy Shinn-produced album was dedicated to Eddie Van Halen following the guitar god’s passing in 2020. “We’re saddened to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s untimely passing today,” the band’s official account tweeted. “Given the news today, we want to dedicate our album Van Weezer to Eddie as a thank you for all the incredible music that soundtracked our youth and inspired the record. RIP EVH.
While none of these latter era albums have been able to match the zest or impact of the group’s first trio of releases, the albums continue to delight fans and give them new music to put on repeat in between listenings of “Pork and Beans,” and “Back To The Shack.”
So, with four new albums on the way, what can fans expect?
When Will Weezer’s New Albums Be Released?
Weezer fans need to mark the following dates on their calendars: March 20, 2022; June 21, 2021; September 22, 2022; and December 21, 2022. Rivers, when first announcing these four albums, said that the project is called Seasons, and “each album comes out on the first day of the season.” So, with each passing of the season comes new music from Weezer.
What Are Weezer’s New Albums Called?
As one would expect, the Seasons albums are going to be named after…the seasons. “We’re working on a four-album set right now,” Rivers told The Forty-Five (h/t Brooklyn Vegan.) “I think they’re going to be eight songs apiece. They’re called Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, and together they’re called Weezer Seasons.”
As if putting out four albums weren’t enough, Rivers revealed that he’s working on a movie musical called Buddha Superstar. Rivers teamed with the Broadway producer who helped transformed Green Day’s American Idiot into a stage production. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. I think I just needed somebody else to come along and really encourage me,” said Rivers.
What Will Weezer’s New Records Sound Like?
Rivers hinted that the albums would reflect the vibe of each season they represent. “Spring is kind of like happy chill,” he told The Forty-Five. “And then we move through to dance rock, like a Strokes-style album for the fall, and then sad acoustic, Elliott Smith-style for winter.” No clue what the Summer album will sound like, but expect a lot of open-air party jams.
Who Will Feature On Weezer’s New Albums?
Weezer isn’t known as a band that works with other artists. They did team up with Hayley Williams to cover “Rainbow Connection” for Muppets: The Green Album, and they worked with AJR on a version of “All My Favorite Songs” (off of Van Weezer). While it’s possible that anyone could be on these upcoming albums, chances are these records will feature the band by itself.
What Songs Are Going To Be On Weezers’ New Albums?
As of October 2021, the band hasn’t released the tracklisting for the Seasons project yet.
Ask any Weezer fan in 2021 when one should listen to Weezer, and they will tell you, “anytime.” Now, in 2022, they will be able to say that every season is Weezer season.