After an ironic, yet surprisingly successful, fan petition encouraging Weezer to cover Toto's beloved/hated Africa, the band decided to take the joke to the extreme and release an entire album of covers.
Throughout The Teal Album, the band are winking enough to let you know they're in on the joke, but never sloppy enough to hide their obvious affection for these songs.
And for good reason; these tracks are all stone-cold classics. In a very real sense the songs carry the album. Weezer are just along for the ride.
It's hard to argue that there's any merit of creative worth to The Teal Album. Weezer don't radically change or alter the songs in any meaningful way. For something that started as a joke the band play it remarkably, disappointingly, straight.
But you can't deny they play them well. Flipping from 'eavy metal (Black Sabbath's Paranoid), to slick funk (Michael Jackson's Billie Jean) to 70s pop (ELO's Mr Blue Sky) with confident ease.
You also can't deny that the song selection isn't on point; A-Ha's Take On Me, Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule the World and the Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) all survive being stripped of their synths and rocked up.
Weezer keep it mostly, but not all, 80s. They supercharge The Turtles brilliant 1967 hit Happy Together, add a layer of grunge fuzz to the dusty Stand by Me and court controversy with a competent cover of TLC's 90s classic No Scrubs.
But it all sounds exactly how you imagine Weezer covering these songs would sound. There's no surprises. The Teal Album's artistically moribund but still ... but still.
Thanks to Weezer's canny song selection and joyous enthusiasm, you can't help but go along with it. The record's enjoyable in the same way a pub's covers band is enjoyable after you've downed a few drinks.
So yes, Weezer have just become the world's greatest pub band. I wonder if they do weddings.
The Teal Album
Defines 'inessential' but fun in the right circumstances