One of the great advantages of vinyl records is that they lent themselves to experimentation on the part of the listener. A 45 RPM record could, for instance, be played at a lower speed, making the song sound not only lethargic but also supernaturally deep in pitch, as if the singer was a sleepy giant who had just eaten a large dinner before clomping into the studio. That basically describes the sound of this slowed-down YouTube remix of Weezer’s self-titled 1994 debut LP, the collection of songs colloquially known as The Blue Album. Posted by YouTuber 45sat33, who specializes in this kind of thing, the 55-minute video features all 10 songs from the classic album slowed down by 25.9 percent. Such favorites as “Buddy Holly,” “Undone,” and “Say It Ain’t So” are present and accounted for, each one sounding like it had been left in a hot car on a relentlessly sun-baked summer day. That serves as a reminder of a distinct disadvantage of vinyl records: They were not exceptionally durable under certain atmospheric conditions.
It’s important to remember that 45sat33’s remixes, including this one, change both the tempo and the pitch of the original recordings, so as to better replicate the effect of opting for the “wrong” speed on a turntable. So this isn’t one of those dreamy, super-slow remixes in which the pitch remains normal even when the BPM decreases considerably. No, this one definitely has that “drowsy giant stomping around the countryside” sound. It is not relaxing.
Can this slowed-down version of The Blue Album actually be enjoyed as music? Yes, but only if the listener has a heart full of nostalgia for the 1990s and a gut full of heavily narcotic cough syrup. The YouTuber who posted it offers little guidance as to how this video is to be consumed. The channel’s motto is merely: “Playing your favorite albums far slower than they should be played at.” Yes, that’s clear enough. But why? “It’s more fun that way, right?” Possibly so, if one likes to imagine Rivers Cuomo and his bandmates trying to slog their way through “My Name Is Jonas” while up to their necks in lumpy oatmeal.