DGC • 1996

From the ukiyo-e art to the original album title, Songs from the Black Hole, Pinkerton is a self-deprecating stalwart of a lost generation standing the test of time with its near perfect song compositions, baroque anthems, and memorable cadences. Weezer recorded the album between lead vocalist and primary songwriter Rivers Cuomo’s terms at Harvard University, where he wrote most of the album’s songs. This album brought together emotive hardcore, noise rock, and 70’s rock in a package that seemed to give authentic insight into the disillusionment of a life in the limelight. The album is named after the character BF Pinkerton from Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 opera Madama Butterfly, whom Cuomo described as an “asshole American sailor similar to a touring rock star”. While it was voted the third worst album of 1996 by Rolling Stone’s readers, I rated it an A. This album was in constant rotation for me and I understood it immediately. In retrospect it is regarded as one of the most influential rock albums of all time; certified platinum 20 years later in 2016.