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Music Review: Weezer – Weezer (Red Album)

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Like many others who attended high school in the 90's, Weezer is one my favorite bands. In fact, I would consider Weezer a part of the soundtrack to my high school years.

When Weezer re-introduced themselves in 2001 with the Green Album, I was ecstatic. I went to their comeback tour with practically all of my friends. However, most Weezer fans do not consider the work of their second coming as strong as their first. In my opinion, each album since the Green Album has gotten worse as well.

This latest album is untitled like their debut and their reintroduction LP. So should we see this as another reintroduction, a return to form, or a declaration of a new direction?

I do not consider it any of these. The Weezer sound has changed a little, but it is still largely the same. They still play power-pop melodies with punk energy and add heavy-metal riffs on top. On this album they have a more arrogant attitude, add in some rap-rock elements, and some truly awful 90's alternative rock sound.

The album starts with the best block of Weezer songs since the Green Album. "Troublemaker" and "Pork and Beans" is Weezer back in classic form with a snottier attitude. "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" is Weezer's mini-rock opera. It goes through different movements and sounds as equally inspired by old Weezer, Queen, the Beach Boys, and white boy rap-rock.  

"Heart Songs" is Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo as a fan. It starts with River's going through the songs he sang along to, to forming his band, and then creating songs that others sing along too. It would sound arrogant if it did not seem heartfelt. It starts as a ballad, but builds up with the song's story.

Sadly, after the first four songs the album goes downhill. "Everybody Get Dangerous," "Dreamin'," and "The Angel and The One" are too repetitive of more recent Weezer work. Their trite lyrics do not help make them any better either.

For some reason, front man Rivers Cuomo let the other band members write or co-write three songs on the album. They are terrible. They sound like mediocre 90's alternative rock. Rivers may have wanted to include his band members more, but their talents do not lie in songwriting. The songs are the worst ever recorded under Weezer's name.

It is hard to know what to make of this album. It could be a step in a good direction for Weezer or the nail in the coffin that kills the band. This is not essential Weezer. Fans will want to download the first four songs. But only hardcore fans would have any reason to buy the whole album. Casual fans may want to skip it entirely, or just download the "Pork and Beans" single.

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About Mark Kalriess

  • I was too old for Weezer when they first came out, but now that kids think of them as an “old” band, I seem to be able to dig ’em better. Pinkerton really is a great album – the Red album sounds just OK, but I’ll have to track down a couple more albums to see if it’s weak or just typical.

  • It’s pretty typical of recent Weezer sadly. I’m one of those who consider the first two Weezer albums the best…