As we lurch closer to Valentine’s Day, the apex of cuffing season, passive-aggressive glances at handholding are on the rise. The frigid New England winter is finally slapping us in the mouth after teasing us for a month, and it can get lonely. You may be wondering why everyone in your apartment/hall/life has a partner and you’re left putting on your “in my bag” playlist and thousand-mile-staring into your biology notes. We’ve all been there. Here’s some songs you can add to that playlist, or what I like to call “incelcore.”
Weezer – Pinkerton (the entire album)
Rivers Cuomo (E.O. Smith alumnus!) was going through it when he penned this album. Although it’s my favorite of Weezer’s works and one of their most critically acclaimed, this entire album exists because Cuomo didn’t get laid a couple times. And if that’s what it took to make a great album, I’m here for it. The opening track, “Tired of Sex,” refutes my original theory off the bat, as Cuomo whines about how sex with groupies has gotten routine and meaningless. “Oh, why can’t I be makin’ love come true?” he complains. “Across The Sea” portrays Rivers pining over a fan from a single letter, acting as the Plymouth Landing for thousands of future American men to fantasize about their imaginary waifus.
“So I sniff, and I lick, your envelope/And fall to little pieces every time/I wonder what clothes you wear to school/I wonder how you decorate your room/I wonder how you touch yourself,” Cuomo sings, even though there was never any proof the initial (real) letter was anything but platonic curiosity from a fan, well, across the sea. Not good.
Near the end of the album, “Pink Triangle” has aged like cream in the 22 years since Pinkerton’s release, as Cuomo falls in love with a lesbian woman (hence the title) and sings “Everyone’s a little queer/Oh, can’t she be a little straight?” Nice.
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon
I love this song. It’s one of Cudi’s best, and features an outstanding sample of Nosaj Thing’s “Aquarium.” In the title track from his debut album, Cudi brings the “nice guy” complaint to the forefront in the first verse, explaining that, “Maybe if I was a jerk to girls/Instead of being nice and speaking kind words/Then maybe it would be okay to say then/I wasn’t a good guy to begin with.” But even though the “why doesn’t she like me, I’m such a nice guy” lyrics fit perfectly with the theme of inceldom, perhaps the unintentionally funniest and most emblematic part of the song comes in the intro. Cudi audibly sighs beneath the spoken-word intro four times, before launching into his spiel. Like much of Cudi’s early material, “Man on the Moon” is cheesy yet engrossing.
Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
The turn of the century hit from one-hit wonder Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” is the platonic ideal of incelcore for a few reasons. One, the song is about some high school lust fantasy about a girl (Noelle) who doesn’t know who the protagonist is. Two, said hero puts himself down through the entire song, calling himself the titular “teenage dirtbag” who “listens to Iron Maiden” and “is a whiny loser” (that last part is implied). Third, said loser complains about Noelle’s jock boyfriend who “brings a gun to school” and drives a Camaro like a badass. He might actually be charming and compassionate but if you think that’ll make it into this song, you don’t understand the one-sided mind-vortex Wheatus forms throughout this thing. Lastly, and for my money the cherry on top to this whole thing, is that Wheatus frontman Brendan B. Brown inexplicably falsettos Noelle’s voice at the end of the bridge, inviting said dirtbag to see Iron Maiden with her. It’s just an inexplicable artistic choice that elevates this to art.
Daniel Cohn is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.