“If You’re Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To)” by Weezer

Weezer’s first two albums are almost universally considered masterpieces, but their later work gets a pretty bad rap. I gather that their later albums are far more uneven, but their singles, apart from the tunelessly belligerent “We Are All On Drugs”, continued to hold up pretty well almost throughout their career. This seems to be a particularly disliked example of their later singles, which frankly baffles me…I think it’s wonderful. I’ve heard Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo accused of writing about things no-one can relate to, but this song displays an eye for naturalism and period detail that perfectly captures what it must have been like to be young and in love in the late Nineties. My experiences in that era were very different from Cuomo’s, but he makes me feel like I was right there. The chorus is as insanely catchy as Weezer is generally known for, and the surprisingly ambitious ending is reminiscent of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, with the narrator and his girl stuck in a loveless marriage. But unlike in “Paradise”, where the narrator can only “pray for the end of time”, the final repetition of the chorus indicates that this narrator is still determined to try to save the relationship, which is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I honestly don’t understand how anyone who likes Weezer’s style to begin with could dislike this song, and I would go so far as to consider it one of their all-time masterpieces.

Verdict: Good.

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