Jayson Berray | Portland, OR | 04/13/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Oh Weezer, where did we go wrong? Don't you remember when I used to have a sticker of your band name on my car in high school? I still want to like you, but you're making it really difficult for that to happen.
Weezer's musical career started out at a high point and has steadily declined ever since. With 2009's "Raditude" I really can't see how they can hit any lower a valley but I guess we can wait and see what happens with their next release. At this point I can't honestly say I even want there to be a next release. At least not based on this most recent album.
For whatever reason, throughout their career Weezer has chosen to release not one, not even two, but three self-titled albums--each simply called "Weezer" but differentiated by the dominating colors of their album covers--thus rendering "The Blue Album" (1994), "The Green Album" (2001), and "The Red Album (2008). I can understand and appreciate the intended humor behind such a thing. It seems like a fresh and innovative thing to do in today's music scene, especially given Weezer's "go against the grain" mentality that they exhibit. Well, that they used to exhibit.
Perhaps a better way to describe Weezer in their classic days would be "awkward geek music". That's what made them so great. Nowadays it can better be described as "awkward embarrassing music".
With their debut album as well as 1996's "Pinkerton" Weezer demonstrated a new fresh approach to music that to this day is continually inspiring nerds all over the world. The problem is that where Weezer has ended up is in a place of losing that alternative edge they once had. Now they seem more concerned with exploiting that geekdom as though it's some silly "Aw shucks" act. I've never seen more of a contradiction in terms of where a band started versus where they've ended up.
"The Blue Album" is widely considered to be one of the best albums of all time. Nerds everywhere (myself included) finally felt like they had a voice in popular music with that album and that vibe continues today on some levels. That vibe held true with the release of Weezer's follow-up "Pinkerton". Things got even more alternative and against-the-grain with that album and most hardcore Weezer fans cite that release as their favorite.
After "Pinkerton" Weezer fell out of the limelight for several years until they made their return with 2001's "Weezer (The Green Album)". Clocking in at a measly 28:20, I don't think I've ever seen a full-length album go by so quickly. But it definitely holds your interest as it is more of a venture into a mainstream pop/rock sound--which was pretty cool, I suppose. After this we got 2002's "Maladroit" which was more of a return to that alternative, rebellious feel. It was a little less accessible but still good in many aspects. Next, we got 2005's "Make Believe". Again, while still good in some aspects, this seems to be where Weezer began their rapid decline into the state they are currently in. Despite pairing themselves with Über-producer Rick Rubin, it seems as though the would-be geeks weren't exactly able to pull off the gold material they displayed on their first two releases. From here on out it pretty much goes from bad to worse. After "Make Believe" came 2008's "Weezer (The Red Album)" and while this release did have its redeeming qualities (the second track "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived") it still didn't represent the classic longevity of their early material.
This brings us up to date with their most recent effort--2009's "Raditude". The best way to describe this album is that it is just a complete embarrassment. From the songs, the title, all the way down to the album cover, it's just a big awkward mess. Things like nerdy white boys wearing track suits stopped being funny a while ago. Composing songs like "I'm Your Daddy", "I Can't Stop Partying", and "Trippin' Down the Freeway" just aren't funny or entertaining anymore--not that they really ever were. And having Lil Wayne guest rap on your album doesn't make things any better. I would try to go into the album's highlights but there really aren't any. I guess if I were forced to pick one it would be the song "Love Is the Answer". The eastern tinge is interesting at best.
Weezer are shooting themselves in the foot more and more with each new release they put out. They really seem to be having the exact opposite effect of everything they stood for in the 90s. I already tend to be pretty nostalgic when it comes to 90s music and albums like "Raditude" only fuel that fire. The only thing that listening to "Raditude" makes me want to do is go back and re-live classic Weezer so that I can pretend like their most recent stuff just doesn't exist. When I listen to "Raditude" I find myself longing for songs like "My Name Is Jonas", "Say It Ain't So", "In the Garage", or "El Scorcho". I guess the only good thing that may come from releasing "Raditue" is possibly boosting sales of their older albums.
Weezer, unless by some miracle of God you experience a complete and total overhaul of everything that you've become, then please just retire with what little dignity you have left. In the meantime, can I have my $9.99 back?
Thank You Weezer
Sadie Kinsella | Puerto Rico | 03/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank you Weezer for another awesome album! I feel that many Weezer fans got stuck with the blue album and pinkerton but they need to be open to changes in styles because they go through many influences throughout the years and they change, not necessary for better or worse but I definitely love their new album as much as the previous ones. Songs are very catchy and fun."