By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
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Still, Weezer at its worst is comparable to Blink-182 at its best. The lame call-and-response chorus to "Feeling This" is no less gimmick-stricken than Weezer's "Beverly Hills," and "Perfect Situation" is a better heart-on-sleeve power ballad than Blink's "I Miss You." Rivers Cuomo writes some frustratingly bad lyrics these days, but are they any worse than "The state looks down on sodomy/And that's about the time that bitch hung up on me"? And if we're talking heyday versus heyday, comparing The Blue Album to Enema of the State is like comparing Forrest Gump to Tommy Boy — both are fun, but one is just plain better.
AZ: You know, though, to many kids Enema of the State is their Blue Album. At a certain age, gross-out humor and silliness is the only way they know how to deal with uncomfortable situations like puberty, school and relationships. Embarrassment is a part of life for any adolescent, and Blink's willingness to make fun of itself — before anyone else can — can be rather empowering for an awkward kid.
And at their core, Weezer's lyrical topics — loneliness, alienation and mortification — aren't that different from Blink's concerns. However, Rivers Cuomo et al come at it from the social-outcast (i.e., introverted) perspective — and Blink acts out its emotional turmoil in an over-the-top (i.e., extroverted) manner. It's the difference between the kid who masks his unhappiness by being the class clown — and the one who joins the literary magazine instead.
But really, each band's fanbase isn't just full of teenage misfits. Kids who are — gasp — not nerds like both bands. Why? For starters, it's mainstream-radio saturation, but mostly it's this: For all of its sensitive-sweater-kid preening, Weezer tempers its goopy love songs with jokes and isn't afraid of self-deprecation — which might as well describe the entire career m.o. of Blink-182. Like the classic 1985 flick The Breakfast Club proved, perhaps the jocks and the nerds can find common ground after all.