This sophomore album is quite different from Weezer. While the first album had a sort of light-hearted, garage band sound, Pinkerton is a bit more heavy and melancholy. There are ten songs on the album which, according to lead singer and songwriter Rivers Cuomo, are on the CD in the order in which they were written. "So as a whole, the album kind of tells the story of my struggle with my inner-Pinkerton. If you want to, you can listen with an ear for this story or you can just turn the shit up and rock out with your cock out," he comments in his introduction to the album, "I like records that can go both ways like that."
Cuomo's "inner Pinkerton" was evidently quite starved for love according to the song lyrics; among other sorrows, he laments about falling in love with a lesbian in "Pink Triangle" and an inaccessible Japanese girl in "Across the Sea." As if this weren't enough, he also talks about staying with a lying girlfriend rather than being alone in "No Other One," and not being "out on the floor" in a few years in "The Good Life."
While this probably sounds like Pinkerton is a very depressing CD, that is not the case. As evidenced in their first album, Weezer has the uncanny ability to make anything sound upbeat and catchy. Choruses like, "Why bother?/ It's gonna hurt me/ It's gonna kill when you desert me" (in "Why Bother") look extremely cynical on paper, but emanate a happy sort of vigor when you put it to music by the band. Some lines, like "Everyone's a little queer/ Why can't she be a little straight?" in "Pink Triangle" are simply witty.
Overall, Pinkerton is a very good follow-up to Weezer's debut album. While it has not ranked as high on the music charts, it is a must for every Weezer fan to have. For more information on Pinkerton and Weezer in general, one very good web page is located at http://www.cris.com/~means/weezer.htm. For those of you who want to experience Weezer live, they will be at the Avalon in Boston on November 26 and at the Lupos Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island the following night.