Look at what the internet hath wrought.
Weezer experienced an unexpected career boost in 2018 after a viral Twitter campaign started by a dedicated fan led them to cover Toto’s “Africa.” The band obliged, and the song became the band’s highest-ranking Billboard hit in more than a decade.
So the logical conclusion? An entire album of covers! Weezer dropped “The Teal Album” on Wednesday night, and the surprise release includes several covers of your karaoke go-tos, from the 1961 Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me” to the 1999 TLC anthem “No Scrubs.”
Weezer, who got an even more unexpected round of attention in December after a viral “Saturday Night Live” sketch about their best era, has flirted with covers before (they cut a version of “I’m a Believer” for a “Shrek” movie). But, no, they haven’t turned into a cover band. They’ll release “The Black Album,” a record of original songs, on March 1, which follows their 2017 release, “Pacific Daydream.”
In the meantime, “Teal” has sparked some spirited takes. The most divisive of the covers may very well be “No Scrubs”; the original banger about a broke guy (also known as a buster) was released well after the other songs Weezer covered. “No Scrubs” remained a top trending topic on Twitter well into Thursday, which probably confused people when they discovered it was because of Weezer and not the original R&B trio.
The inclusion of the beloved hit was not done carelessly, according to lead singer Rivers Cuomo. “I just thought it’s one of those songs that’s freakishly popular,” the Weezer frontman told Apple Music. “I was trying to decide which gender perspective to sing it from then I saw this tweet that said, ‘If you’re a guy covering a song by a girl, you gotta keep the pronouns. For those three minutes you’re gay.’ So I was like, ‘Cool, let’s try this.'”
Anyway, now we’re all left arguing about Weezer, just like Matt Damon and Leslie Jones in that “SNL” sketch.