Regardless of the fact that, after 'Pork and Beans', the new Weezer album goes a little bit downhill, the undisputable truth that The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)' is completely insane in a almost-completely-good way remains:
mp3: Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
(from the new album, which most people are calling The Red Album)
And the "Shaker Hymn" in question? This one, I think. According to the Wikipedia page for the song:
"Modern nerd-rock band Weezer performs an "epic" version of this song titled "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" on their third self-titled album in 2008."
"Modern nerd-rock band" - as opposed to the olde nerde-rocke bandes of thee sixteenthe centurye, presumably (witness the magical transformation of new words into olden-days words, by the addition of the letter "e" at the end...).
Fair enough, I guess, Weezer are kinda geeks. I mean watch this, and then this, and tell me that Rivers isn't Bill Haverchuck. In fact, fuck it, that second video NEEDS to be seen, so not only am I linking to it, I'm embedding it. Damn right...
But anyway it still sounds kinda funny, preceding their name with the phrase "Modern nerd-rock band". And they don't, as far as I know, use keytars.
Anyways, as far as I can tell, the song breaks up (or down, you choose the adverb) as follows:
0:00 - Crowds screaming
0:10 - Piano lick intro comes in.
1. 0:35 - Slow hip-hop-ish bit, with sirens in the background. The piano lick comes back in the second time around. Cue arms waving up and down, hip-hop stylee.
2. 1:01 - "I'm the baddest..." bit. Still a bit funky, WTF-inducing. Rivers Cuomo + Arrogance = Huh??!? Heavy guitars.
3. 1:26 - Acoustic bit, that sounds like 'Where Is My Mind?' If you think Rivers's voice is high, just wait... Although I guess it's just normal Rivers really, it just sounds high coz of the manly metal/hip-hop bit preceding it.
4. 1:51 - Martial drums-y bit. Sounds rather hymnal, appropriately enough. Dammit, I've used the word "bit" in all four of the last sections... "No more words / Will critics have to speak." Hmmm...
5. 2:17 - FALSETTO!! No, seriously, come back, it's amazing. It rhymes "baby" with "crazy", and you can't get much more awesome than that, right?
6. 2:43 - Speed suddenly doubles, big Grohl-ish "Heeey"s - the part that sounds most like 'normal' Weezer.
7. 3:08 - Syncopated, 'Keep Fishin''-y bit.
8. 3:33 - "I am the greatest man that ever lived" is the chorus of this song. Yes, it is.
9. 4:06 - "Somebody said 'All the world's a stage and each of us is a player'. That's what I've been trying to tell you." Ooh, Shakespeare reference... Oh, and it's spoken word.
10. 4:38 - Beach Boys-y a capella section, leading up to...
5:10 - ...reprise of the chorus. But like three times as fast.
5:27 - And again, half speed.
And about three false-endings. And a real ending, obviously. And then it's into 'Pork and Beans'. Which is great and all, but seriously, how d'you follow a six-minute epic, in ten different and distinct parts, no less? Any ideas are welcome.