ALBUM REVIEW: Weezer Raditude

BY JAMIE DAVIS Weezer are a great band. Everyone knows it, and has ever since they heard “The Sweater Song” for the first time. Back then Weezer was good and nerdy, with awkward haircuts, blocky glasses, and just a general sense of being on the same side as your average teenage outcast. However, on their second-to-latest album The Red Album they abandoned their old geekdom completely, with songs like “The Greatest Man on Earth” and “Troublemaker” which may have been amazingly subtle skewering of hip-hop’s self-congratulatory lyric style, but I’m pretty sure they were just about how great frontman Rivers Cuomo is. This trend continues on their new album Raditude, which might as well be called Red Album Part II, climaxing in shittyness with the completely guitar-free “Can’t Stop Partying” (ending G mercifully intact). I will give you a sample of this Lil’ Wayne featuring piece of flaming stank:

(Ahem) Just follow the smoke; they’re bringing bottles of the goose/ And all the girls in the corner getting loose/ Screw rehab I love my addiction/ No sleep no sleep I am always on a mission

Honestly if it wasn’t for Rivers’ distinctive nice-guy voice I would never believe that my beloved Weezer could create this. Now, as a reviewer I must step back, would this still be a bad song if I hadn’t already fallen in love with The Blue Album? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. It’s about a minute too long, barely catchy, and the lyrics don’t sound good from any perspective. However, if it is possible for them to make up for this incredibly miserable experience they have done it with “Put Me Back Together.” It’s a brilliant piece of pop-punk with lyrics self-deprecating enough to make you wonder if “Cant Stop Partying” was all a bad dream, and definitely the best song on the album. In fact most of the CD is in this vein of heavily catchy rock music, with a few WTF moments like the sitar based “Love is the Answer” and the written-by-the-drummer boredom fest “In the Mall.”

The lyrics go from one spectrum of dumb to the other, but it has more than enough hooks to keep it afloat. In the end it all feels a bit cliche, like Weezer was trying to escape from their stereotypical sound but it just kept following them like a horror movie killer, until they finally just gave up after a few scenes of fighting. If this CD was being hunted by said serial killer, it would probably be the third to go, to put in perspective exactly how far they dare trail from their ’90s past.

Weezer have always made good music, and the this CD is no different in term of craftsmanship. The tracks are lovingly polished and no-one could accuse it of sounding rushed, despite how quickly it followed The Red Album. It’s a fun listen for Weezer fans and everyone and their mother should hear “Put Me Back Together.” I don’t know if I’m willing to forgive “Can’t Stop Partying” just yet, but I’m sure even that will sound good to the Lady Gaga crowd. It is disappointing they haven’t reached back to the geeky heights of their glory days, but maybe it’s enough that they’re still out there, putting their good-natured pop back into our collective consciousness.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Davis is a senior at Kimberton Waldorf High School.  He enjoys Blink-182 more than any Thom Yorke fan should.

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