“Across the Sea” — Weezer
Critics and fans were expecting big things from Weezer’s second album, “Pinkerton”, when it was released in 1996. It followed the band’s multi-platinum selling debut album from two years before. But whatever they were expecting, the raw, dark and unproduced sound of “Pinkerton” apparently was not it. The album was released to disappointing sales.
Like most of the songs on “Pinkerton”, the lyrics to the fifth track, “Across the Sea” deal with themes of loneliness and human connections. In this case, about the connection felt through a letter from a long distance away. The song is bittersweet, both celebrating the power of such a communication and lamenting the distance that will likely keep the letter writers from ever meeting in person.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Rivers Cuomo said “Across the Sea” was inspired by a real letter sent from a fan in Japan. The band had become an off-and-on project while Cuomo attended classes at Harvard University. It was during winter in one of those academic stints, a time which Cuomo described as lonely, that he wrote the song.
Though the album “Pinkerton” wasn’t well-received when it was new, it has gained a cult following in the years since. “Pinkerton” has earned itself revised reviews that see the album in a much more positive light than the initial critical reaction, both in publications that originally panned the album and in the mind of Cuomo, the album’s writer.