Undone - The Sweater Song Allmusic track review

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"Undone - The Sweater Song"
Undone - The Sweater Song cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Blue Album)
Released June 24, 1994
Reviewer Allmusic
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Weezer (The Blue Album)

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Undone - The Sweater Song
Reviewer: Tom Maginnis (Allmusic)
Publishing date: Unlisted
Rating: 5/5
5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars (5/5)

AMG Track Pick

It was most certainly the buzz-worthy Spike Jonze-directed video for "Buddy Holly" that brought Weezer to the attention of the general public, but it was "Undone -- The Sweater Song" that first laid the groundwork at college and alternative radio, a precarious way to launch a career, perhaps, as this hook-laden introductory single has the traditional aura of a novelty hit upon first listen. The opening skewers the brainless California party scene, with two Spicoli-esque characters engaging in inane surfer dude chatter while the band gently winds the tune up in the background with circular picked guitars set to a tentative midtempo pace. The chorus may also be too clever for its own good, featuring the smart-alecky lines "If you want to destroy my sweater/Hold this thread as I walk away/Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked/Lying on the floor, I've come undone," but such sentiments would become the band's manifesto as the ultimate geeky outsiders, the introverted yet wry deep thinkers most out of place at the party. It's the arrangement's brilliant use of dynamics and the sonic punch of the thick distorted guitars in the chorus, courtesy of producer Ric Ocasek, that power the recording and drive the melody home. The free association of the verses not only provides a perfect backdrop for the befuddled party outcast ("Oh no, it go/It gone, bye-bye/Who I, I think/I sink, and I die"), it sets up the expert vocal harmonies that float above the raging guitars of the chorus, giving the entire track a serene power. The song is not only meticulously crafted, it's smart, quirky, poignant, and insanely catchy -- all characteristics that would go on to define Weezer as a band and their debut as one of the most successful alternative rock records of the '90s.

— Tom Maginnis

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