(From L to R:) Brian Bell, Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, and Scott Shriner in a promotional photo for Van Weezer.
A lot of the singles get out of the way in the first half of the album, Hero, The End of The Game, and I Need Some of That. And I don't mean that in a negative way, the singles are all great. Hero shows Rivers singing about these larger-than-life fantasies he had as a kid, saying he wanted to swing from webs and chase down bad guys, but as he grew older he realized that these things were impossible and he started realizing that the world was mean and life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Then there's I Need Some of That which the band dedicated to the late Ric Ocasek who produced a handful of their records and was generally just an important figure in Weezer's career. The guitars in the intro are grand, blazing, and they really kick off the song well. Rivers sings on the song about how playing guitar and listening to Rock music changed his life and opened his eyes to a whole new world. He sings about how "plugging into a Marshall stack" made him feel like he could be anything he wanted to be. I also love that line in the chorus where he sings "Even if we blow up / We're never gonna grow up!" It's not like that sentiment is new to Weezer at all but it always just puts a smile on my face. And my favorite of the three and probably my favorite song on this album is The End of The Game which kind of sucks because it's the oldest song of all of these.