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"Pinkerton" Album Lyrics

Weezer

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Pinkerton is the second studio album by American rock band Weezer, released on September 24, 1996 on DGC Records. After abandoning plans for a rock opera titled Songs from the Black Hole, Weezer recorded Pinkerton between songwriter Rivers Cuomo's terms at Harvard University, where he wrote much of the album. It was the last Weezer album to feature bassist Matt Sharp.

To better capture their live sound, Weezer produced Pinkerton themselves, creating a darker, more abrasive album than their 1994 self-titled debut. Cuomo's lyrics express disillusionment with the rock lifestyle; 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". Like the opera, the album contains references to Japanese culture.

Pinkerton produced three singles: "El Scorcho", "The Good Life" and "Pink Triangle". It debuted at number 19 on the US Billboard 200 and fell short of sales expectations after the success of Weezer's debut. It initially received mixed reviews, but went on to achieve cult status and wide acclaim years later; the 2010 "Deluxe Edition" reissue holds a perfect score on aggregate review website Metacritic.

Pinkerton features a darker, more abrasive sound than Weezer's debut. Writing from a more direct and personal perspective, Cuomo wrote of his dysfunctional relationships, sexual frustration, and struggles with identity. The album charts his "cycle between 'lame-o and partier'." At just under thirty-five minutes, Pinkerton is, according to Cuomo, "short by design."

The album's first song, "Tired of Sex", written before the release of the Blue Album, has Cuomo describing meaningless sex encounters with groupies, reciting his list of encounters and wondering why true love eludes him. "Across the Sea" was inspired by a letter Cuomo received from a Japanese fan: "When I got the letter, I fell in love with her. It was such a great letter. I was very lonely at the time, but at the same time I was very depressed that I would never meet her." Second single "The Good Life" chronicles the rebirth of Cuomo after an identity crisis as an Ivy League loner. Cuomo, who felt isolated at Harvard, wrote the song after "becoming frustrated with that hermit's life I was leading, the ascetic life. And I think I was starting to become frustrated with my whole dream about purifying myself and trying to live like a monk or an intellectual and going to school and holding out for this perfect, ideal woman. And so I wrote the song. And I started to turn around and come back the other way." Lead single "El Scorcho" addresses Cuomo's shyness and inability to approach a girl while at Harvard; he explained that the song "is more about me, because at that point I hadn't even talked to the girl, I didn't really know much about her." The album's final single, "Pink Triangle", describes a man who falls in love and wants to get married, but discovers the object of his devotion is a lesbian.

Pinkerton is named after the character BF Pinkerton from Madama Butterfly, who marries a Japanese woman named Butterfly. Calling him an "asshole American sailor similar to a touring rock star", Cuomo felt the character was "the perfect symbol for the part of myself that I am trying to come to terms with on this album." Other titles considered included Playboy and Diving into the Wreck (after a poem by Adrienne Rich).

Like Madama Butterfly, Pinkerton views Japanese culture from the perspective of an outsider who considers Japan fragile and sensual; the album infuses the Japanese allusions with its narrator's romantic disappointments and sexual frustration. Cuomo wrote that Pinkerton "is really the clash of East vs West. My hindu, zen, kyokushin, self-denial, self-abnegation, no-emotion, cool-faced side versus my Italian-American heavy metal side." He stated that "the ten songs are sequenced in the order in which I wrote them (with two minor exceptions). So as a whole, the album kind of tells the story of my struggle with my inner Pinkerton."

Pinkerton debuted and peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard charts, selling 47,000 copies its first week, falling far short of sales of its multi-platinum predecessor, The Blue Album. Initial reviews were mixed. Jeff Gordinier of Entertainment Weekly criticized Weezer's choice to self-produce the album and dismissed it as "a collection of get-down party anthems for agoraphobics". Writing for Rolling Stone, Rob O'Connor called the songwriting "juvenile" and described the song "Tired of Sex" as "aimless". Rolling Stone readers voted the album the third worst of 1996. Some listeners were perturbed by the sexual nature of the lyrics; Melody Maker praised Pinkerton's music, but advised the listener "to ignore the lyrics entirely."

Mark Beaumont of NME praised the album, writing that "by the time the affecting acoustic lament 'Butterfly' wafts in like Big Star at a wildlife protection meeting, Pinkerton starts feeling like a truly moving album." Ryan Schreiber of Pitchfork awarded the album 7.5 out of 10, writing that "Pinkerton might actually be a bit much for fans who were wooed with the clean production and immediately accessible sound of these guys' debut, but if given a chance, it might surprise even some anti-Weezer folk."

On November 20, 2010, DGC released a "deluxe" Pinkerton reissue with an additional disc containing live performances, B-sides, and previously unreleased songs. The reissue debuted at number six on the Billboard Catalog Albums chart and achieved a perfect score on the aggregate review website Metacritic. In 2010 and 2011, Weezer performed the Blue Album and Pinkerton in their entirety on the "Memories" tour.

On December 12, 2011, Cuomo released the third album of his demos, Alone III: The Pinkerton Years. It comprises demos recorded between 1993 and 1996, when Cuomo was studying at Harvard and writing material for Pinkerton and the abandoned Songs from the Black Hole project. The album was included with a book, The Pinkerton Diaries, which collects Cuomo's writings from the era.

In May 2016, Pinkerton was reissued on vinyl by the record subscription service Vinyl Me, Please. The album is pressed on "dark blue translucent vinyl with black marbling" and is packaged in a custom sleeve with pop-out art, a custom lyric sheet, artwork by Japanese painter Fuco Ueda, and a sake cocktail recipe.
Tracklist
01Tired Of Sex lyrics
Weezer
02Getchoo lyrics
Weezer
03No Other One lyrics
Weezer
04Why Bother? lyrics
Weezer
05Across The Sea lyrics
Weezer
06The Good Life lyrics
Weezer
07El Scorcho lyrics
Weezer
08Pink Triangle lyrics
Weezer
09Falling For You lyrics
Weezer
10Butterfly lyrics
Weezer
This album was last modified on June 9th, 2017.

Album details

Released:1996-09-24
Discs:1
Genre:Alternative, Rock, Indie
Record label:DGC Records
Rank:711 (−45)
Charts:view all »
Referring URLs:view all »

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