Goddam those popstars from LA! They'll do it to ya' every time. These guys have such chutzpah. I swear to God, if I didn't love them so much, I would have not bought this album. But I'm weak like the other 500,000 hardcore Weezer fans. We've been waiting for the self-titled third album (also known as the Green Album) for six years. It's been a long time since my life was changed by the brilliant emotionally-wrought concept album called Pinkerton. So I had to get this one the day it came out. And the good news is, I must have listened to it at least 14 times so far. But still – I have a bone or six to pick with these LA popsters. The album is 28 minutes and 34 seconds! And only 10 songs! Now, how could they? Especially when Rivers Cuomo, Weezer's songwriter and mastermind, had written almost 300 songs the past few years. Where did the other 290 go?
Rabid Weezer fans: go out and find those songs. Bring them back to me. Immediately. 28 minutes makes an EP (a "single" for the rock-challenged) not an LP (an album).
And what about the album title – "Weezer"? Couldn't they come up with another album name? They already used the self-titled shtick with their first album (the "Blue Album"). It's in the rock star rule book and I quote: a band can only use the self-titled shtick once in their career. They may use symbols (see Led Zeppelin) if they cannot be bothered with a new title.
But never shall they useth the self titled twice. That will be likened to having doing a duet with Rob Thomas (see Santana). Ok, let's talk about the tunes: When I first heard the opening single, Hash Pipe, I said "doesn't this sound a little like "Yiddin" (listen to it – I swear you'll hear it)? It was bit too crunchy for me. Like Apple Jacks, it hurt the roof of my mouth. My roommate even blasphemously compared the song to the Offspring (he's dead now. I had to kill him for that). But believe it or not, it is the worst song on the album…but still catchy as hell. Every song is a pop masterpiece worthy of the Blue Album. While the lyrics are much less personal and more generic ("…an island in the sun, we'll be playin' and havin' fun ") than previous albums, the tunes are just as strong. Maybe even stronger. Ric Ocasek, formerly of the Cars, produces another shimmering pop album. And that what will undoubtedly bring comparisons to the first album – Ocasek produced that album, as well. And his reunion with the band allowed Rivers to concentrate on the songs, harmonies and all, and not on the technical side. You will even find genuine hand-claps and whoa-oooh's galore.
Just about every song allows your hips to swing to and fro. My favorites so far are "Island In the Sun", "Photograph" and "Simple Pages". If you loved "Buddy Holly" and "Undone" of yore, you will love this album. It could be the surfwax America summer masterpiece we've been waiting for.
Go see these guys. You will not regret it. I saw them last year in the Stone Pony – it could've been the best show I have ever seen.] To recap, is the album short? Does it meet the expectations that the previous albums set? Was it worth it for them to come back? Should you buy this album? And does Rivers Cuomo still have it? Yes. Of course. Like, totally. Certainly. Like never before, fool. So, if you want to find me, I'll be in the garage where I belong and no one will hear me sing these songs because they're so damn catchy!!!