1. Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994)
Humor in rock music is really hard. If you hit your jokes (or the whammy pedal) too hard, you end up sounding like Weird Al. The levels never feel right. As a fan, you spend too much time asking, "Is this guy for real?" But, for one album, Weezer nailed it: this record is the perfect combination of irony, sincerity, and self-loathing. Songs like "My Name Is Jonas," "Say It Ain't So," and "In the Garage" revealed a scrawny, needy jumble of neurosis, and the Spike Jonze directed videos for the album gave the band a retro-slacker style that thousands of lesser groups have tried to steal for decades. Even if Cuomo had retreated to the garage forever after this record, playing D&D and meditating while watching his beard grow, this would still be the Citizen Kane of nerd-rock. It's the album that will still be making new Weezer fans 30 years from now, as long as the world keeps creating sad teens.
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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment, and he's surprised he likes Raditude this much, too. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.