Something up their sleeve

Weezer surprised everyone last week by releasing a covers album stacked full of proper tunes. I had a listen through and it’s good, although I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of covers for the sake of it. Many of their versions sound just like the originals, so then you’re left wondering exactly what the point of it is. Having said that, their version of No Scrubs is fabulous, a stand out song.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a review of the album. The interesting thing that came with this unexpected release was that, in Apple Music anyway, the album also came with extended notes. The band gave their thoughts on each song, track by track, running through the full album.

Mr C has long been calling for the return of so-called sleeve notes, arguing that the additional information gives you a greater connection to the album you’re listening to. I was dubious at first, because I grew up with CDs where the little booklets you got were mostly filled with lyrics, glossy photos, and thank-you-god speeches.

But properly done sleeve notes give you greater access to the thoughts and meanings behind songs, and that’s something I can always do with. Alright, in Weezer’s case, it’s mostly just why a song was chosen because the band themselves didn’t actually write it, but even that gives you more insight into what they were thinking and makes me feel more forgiving towards them for the slightly less interesting covers.

I know that when I watch a documentary on a band, or catch one of the Apple Music exclusive short films where an artist discusses their upcoming album, then I do feel more of an attachment, more of an understanding about where they’re coming from. And that can only be a good thing.

These extended notes feature above the album tracks in Apple Music. It’s not the ideal place to read such things, and it looks like there’s only space for text without huge amounts of formatting. But it’s a good start. All additional information we get helps – how else would I have known to go back and listen to how he does actually pronounce ‘this’?