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.