Weezer, one of our strangest and most unpredictable modern bands, know an opportunity when they see it. After scoring their biggest hit in a decade with a by-the-numbers cover of Toto’s “Africa”—one inspired by a fan campaign, by the way—the band that’s somehow responsible for both “Butterfly” and “Can’t Knock The Hustle” has dropped a surprise self-titled album of cover songs.
The release, otherwise known as the Teal Album, finds Rivers Cuomo and his merry gang replicating what served them so well with “Africa”: synth-and-guitar-laden covers that don’t reinterpret a jukebox favorite so much as give them a fine polish. Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” sounds like the original without all that pesky menace, while Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” gets some robust riffage to leaven its deep strain of melancholy. Elsewhere, the band offers faithful, pleasant takes on ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and A-ha classic “Take On Me.” And then there’s Rivers Cuomo’s straight-faced spin on TLC’s “No Scrubs,” which, like Ben Folds’ “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” is really only amusing because of who’s singing it.
Hear it below.
Still, it’s impressive the band was able to crank this out in the midst of its Black Album rollout. That album, their 13th studio LP (including the above Teal Album), arrives on March 1. Maybe their “All The Small Things” cover will end up on that?