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Every Ozma Album Ranked Worst to Best

Ozma is one of those bands that should be way bigger than they are. While people complained about Weezer’s arguably lackluster output for the last 25 years, Ozma put out the 5 albums that should’ve made everyone’s attention turn their way. Despite a solid discography and dedicated fanbase, at the moment Ozma isn’t making appearances on Kelly Clarkson’s show, or hanging out with The Muppets like their more successful older brothers, The Weezers. But from day one Ozma has mixed a high level of musicianship with catchy rock songs, so it’s about time they received the highest honor of all: The Hard Times putting a numerical value to their hard work and creativity!

5. The Doubble Donkey Disc (2001)

It sucks ranking one of a band’s most beloved albums last on a list. For one, it implies it’s bad, even if that’s not the case. And secondly, we here at The Hard Times understand the giant burden we have of being the voice of not only a generation but actually every generation, everywhere all the time. So it gives us no joy to rank Ozma’s “The Double Donkey Disc” as their worst. And truthfully we’re only doing it because out of all their albums, it is the worst. It’s not a bad album at all. But if one were ranking their albums, from worst to best, this one would be the worst. And while you may not know it, that’s actually what we’re doing. We’re ranking Ozma albums from worst to best. So compared to the other albums by the musical rock group Ozma, “The Double Donkey Disc” is the least good, otherwise known as the worst. Forgive us.

Play it again: “The Business of Getting Down”, “Korobeiniki (Tetris Theme)
Skip it: “You Know the Story”

4. Boomtown (2014)

The thing about “Boomtown” is that as a rock album, it’s great. Stays interesting, good songs, nice vocals, etc. As an Ozma album, it’s just ok. Artists should always be allowed to evolve, so the fact that this album feels like the least-Ozma, Ozma album isn’t that big of a deal. But it’s not a big swing. It’s just a relatively down-the-middle rock album. And when one of those is written and performed by Ozma, that’s still a great album. But something is missing. Not everywhere though. The first and only song that’s sung solo by keyboardist Star Wick, “Nervous” hits all the marks. The final track “Never Know” also harkens back to some of the epicness they attempted in STOTBL. The added piece of this possibly being the last Ozma album makes its mid-ness a little bit harder to take. The band might totally make new music, but this is their most recent release and it’s a decade old. So we’re not holding our breath. That said, this album does get better on subsequent listens and over time could move up the list if it stays motivated, puts in the hours, and commits to the grind. Go team.

Play it again: “Nervous” “Suicide Song” “Never Know”
Skip it: “Girlfriend You’re the One”

3. Spending Time on the Borderline (2003)

In our memories, this album was the high point in Ozma’s output. And while it showed they weren’t just Weezer clones, a fact that anyone who actually already listened to them knew, it has one major flaw: it has some of their most memorable tunes, but also some of their most forgettable ones as well. While the album opens with an absolute banger, doing all the things we want, the next 3 tracks are all snoozers. Literally all three. Everything is relative, so an Ozma snoozer is still better than anything Anthony Keidis has ever been involved in. But the second half of the album is so good, it makes the first half seem out of place and immensely skippable. “Curve in the Old 1-9” is the heaviest song Ozma has ever released and kinda makes us wish they’d put out a more metal-influenced album. Like, what happened? Tracks 5-12 are untouchable. Not to mention Ozma’s best song, “Eponine” is right in the middle of those tracks. And yes, it is their best song, and that’s why it’s on two different albums. And while it might seem harsh to rank an album at number three because of only 3 tracks being a problem, the next two albums have no skips. Also, we’re a punk satire news site. If our album rankings make you angry, maybe take a step back and reprioritize your life a bit. Also, we’re always right.

Play it again: Tracks 1, 5-12
Skip it: Tracks 2-4

2. Rock and Roll Part Three (2000)

The band’s debut is an absolute classic that ultimately holds up. While for many Ozma’s appeal is that they’re “more Weezer than Weezer”, this album is really Weezer and The Rentals mixed. While Matt Sharp was off in Europe getting into Britpop, and Rivers was having a crisis about nobody liking “Pinkerton,” Ozma did the thing that everyone actually wanted: a Weezentals album. And for the record, this isn’t a boring copy of those bands. This is the result of being influenced by artists, and also understanding that the originals don’t always put out the best versions of themselves. Lucas isn’t make the best “Star Wars” content, Stan Lee wasn’t making the best Marvel stuff, and Weezer and the Rentals were passed by Ozma as to who was making the best Weezer and Rentals albums. The musicality of the band is on full display in the first seconds of the album with an opening melody in “Domino Effect” that is both full Rivers worship and also something he would never dare write. A few tracks drag, and more than a few get a little whiny. But when you’re young, and still feel things, it’s perfect. We sort of remember feeling things. It was great.

Play it again: “Domino Effect” “Baseball” “In Search of 1988”
Skip it: No Skips

1. Pasadena (2007)

To be honest, we ourselves were surprised this album was number 1. But first off, there are no skips. It is perhaps a tad unfair to put this album ranked first, as two of the eleven tracks appear on other albums. And one of those songs is “Eponine” the previously mentioned best song in the Ozma catalogue. But that doesn’t change the fact that dollars to Dunkin Donuts, this is THE album we wanna put on when we wanna listen to Ozma. The production feels like it finally embraces not only the heaviness and the electronic pop of their sound but also the grandiose Queen-like stadium rock that’s been hiding in their sound. The instrumentation, as always, goes beyond any of their peers. The lyrics are clever and smart, and do the thing that His Holiness, Rivers Cuomo, seems to genuinely struggle with as he gets older: they rhyme, but not to the detriment of the song. While not adverse to the occasional easy and quick rhyme, Ozma clearly prefers to avoid the usual “I felt glad, and now I’m sad” type of stuff that so many in the genre and adjacent genres fall prey to. One of the album’s best tracks, “Incarnation Blues” is a perfect example:
“Knew we’d never stand a chance
We were slave to circumstance
Maybe we’d have seen it through
If you were me and I was you
Out of mind and body too
Got the incarnation blues”
It’s still a love song. It’s still a rhyme. It’s still taking us from A to B. But like everything Ozma does, it does it in the most fun and interesting way, while never making us feel stupid, or forgetting to bring the rock. Because Ozma always brings the rock. And the pain. And the boom. And the meats. Fuck, never mind, that’s Arby’s.

Play it again: “Incarnation Blues” “Underneath My Tree” “Eponine”
Skip it: No Skips