Best Songs 2008: 8 – Pork and Beans

Weezer’s latest release was as yet another disappointment. The sorrow brought forth by The Red Album was not another unfathomable quality drop (praise god). Instead, it was the relation to the pre-release single. About two months before the proper album was unleashed, “Pork and Beans” hit the internet and the world found great hope as the song was record of modern Weezer in fine form. Of course, that sort of scenario is still not taken for granted (see: “The Greatest Man that Ever Lived”). But that we are able to glimpse a great pop song from the former pop-rock-gods show that there is goodness in this world.

The whole thing goes down like a blend between the charming humor of The Blue Album and the self-deprecating lyrics of Pinkerton. A relatively quick beat is accompanied by light guitar work as the song begins and Rivers Cuomo comments on his aged self. Lines about “Rogaine to put in my hair” have a slightly pathetic feel and a bit of laughter as we get to observe the man just beating himself up. Other comments about Timberland reaching the top of the chart seem to poke fun at the current status of the music industry, and further show the comedic Weezer that we’ve missed so much.

But this song is all about the hooks, and those hooks are the choruses. While the rest of the song seems to float along in a relatively relaxed fashion, the choruses literally explode out and grab your ears. The crunchy guitars, pounding drums and great singing reflect all of the best qualities Weezer displayed in their glorious 1990s music. Even the defiant main line, “I’ll eat my candy with the pork and beans” is classic Weezer; it’s a step toward individuality with a universally understood phrase.

Really, the whole song just shines with excellent production and it is clear that nothing extraneous has been left to dampen the mood. Plus, the video is simply hilarious and worth every moment of watching. It’s just too bad that the rest of The Red Album is so awful. Is it so much to ask for worthwhile lyrics in more than just one song per album?