Surprise album drops or song drops are not out of the ordinary these days. But when a band does a song or style that no one has ever associated them with, it can definitely be a bit more jarring. That's kind of what happened when Weezer's “No Scrubs" cover was released on their surprise Teal Album. The whole album consists of a bunch of covers of every genre — from Toto's "Africa" to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" — but it's their rendition of the classic TLC song that has ruffled some feathers and caused a massive stir on dear ole Twitter.
On Jan. 24, the band dropped Weezer (Teal Album), complete with 10 covers on the album, with "No Scrubs" on the tracklist at number eight. In the iTunes notes for the Teal Album, Weezer gave a bit of background as to why they chose to cover the TLC hit. “I just thought it's one of those songs that's freakishly popular,” [said Rivers] Cuomo, (the lead vocalist for the band). “I was trying to decide which gender perspective to sing it from then I saw this tweet that said, 'If you're a guy covering a song by a girl, you gotta keep the pronouns. For those three minutes you're gay.' So I was like, 'Cool, let's try this.'”
While singing with certain pronouns doesn't make you gay, obviously, the blurb kind of describes the thought process. However it doesn't really explain why they chose to cover TLC at all, or why they attempted to tackle such an iconic song. And the surprising choice left a lot of listeners confused, and ultimately pretty unenthusiastic about the whole thing.
Basically, the Internet is not feeling it. There are, of course, die-hard fans or — oddly enough — people who didn't really care for the TLC original in the first place who do like the album in general, but the rallying cry in support of their "No Scrubs" cover has yet to be heard.
The band's specific reasoning for covering "No Scrubs" aside, their reason for creating this new cover album is pretty straightforward. If you're familiar with Weezer, you know that they were on the Shrek album with a rendition of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer," as also pointed out in the iTunes description. And who can forget the "Africa" cover? It was their biggest song in a decade, being their first Billboard Hot 100 song since 2009. This directly inspired the Teal Album, but, according to Apple Music, they had "ground rules" going into it. "They would stick to largely faithful readings of pre-'90s songs and avoid alt-rock peers as well as obvious classic-rock staples like 'Hotel California.'" Cuomo told Apple Music, “We don't wanna be a bar band... The Teal Album is what was left.”
The entire tracklist is as follows:
- "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
- "Take on Me"
- "Happy Together"
- "Mr. Blue Sky"
- "No Scrubs"
- "Billie Jean"
- "Stand by Me"
At the end of the day, it seems that Weezer made the Teal Album for their fans, and if that's who loves it the most, then it's a success in their book.