Weezer just announced that they will be releasing their new album on October 27. The still-untitled record will be preceded by the release of a single called “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” which is supposed to hit radio on August 25. I haven’t heard the song yet, but I can already tell it’s going to be great. Why? Because it has parentheses. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the easiest way to elevate your songs from good to great is to toss a parenthetical phrase into the title. In the world of music, parentheses will always equal immortality.
Take Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” What you have there is an epic seven-minute song with a lyric sheet that makes no sense at all. But it ended up being a massive single for Mr. Loaf, and do you know why? Parentheses!
It doesn’t end there. R.E.M.’s single about Armageddon would be something of a downer if it was simply called “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” but luckily it’s called “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” The simple addition of the parenthetical phrase flips it from a downer to a slightly more optimistic tune.
The parenthetical statements don’t always complete the thought. Take the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody.” It’s not terribly descriptive, is it? Are they pro or con everybody? Why isn’t there a verb in there? But upon closer inspection, it turns out the real title is “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Now it’s clear — BSB want everybody to know they have returned! A similar “A-ha!” moment occurs with “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” because without the add-on, how would we know what games to quit playing?
Want more parenthetical videos? Check out the playlist below, which features clips from BSB, Jay-Z, New Kids on the Block, Green Day and a particularly phenomenal parentheses-assisted clip from 30 Seconds to Mars.