by Sara Mrozinski
“Bodies be all up on my behind. And I can’t help myself because I was born to shine. And if you don’t like it you can shove it. But u don’t like it, you love it.”
Nope, not the newest Kanye release. That’s a Rivers Cuomo original. After a college graduation, a shitty album, and a solitary venture, where are we now Rivers? We are at The Red Album, the first full length Weezer album since 2005’s Make Believe (you know, the shitty one).
Weezer represents a staple of teenage life. Whether the band debuted during your pubescence or not, each poppy chord brings you back. Just when you thought only Kurt could translate your angst, Weezer came along and made frustration Geeky-Cool. Sure, Make Believe was a let-down, but all was forgiven with the prospect of another menagerie of surf-rock that is due this June. A self-titled work up now being nick-named The Red Album (guess why). Certainly this will redeem the bands falter, right?
Um… guys? What is this?
It has been reported that Rivers has calmed down, become more normal so-to-speak in his everyday life. So then, how does one explain the overtly party-boy lyric composition intrinsic throughout The Red Album? Imagine a 15 year old mediocre garage band whose influences are Queen and P-Diddy. Except, they don’t pull it off. That is The Red Album ladies and gentlemen.
“The Greatest Man that Ever Lived” sounds like Elton John and the Crazy Town collaborated to make an escapade of epic arrogance and sexual conquest. Is this what you learned at Harvard, Rivers? Sweet. But seriously, the band’s abandonment of surf-rock for… what is this anyway? They just don’t pull it off. “Heart Songs” could easily be passed off as a tortured mainstream pop-punk creation, or a digression into 90’s boy band ballads complete with whispery melodic interjections at the end of verses. While “Dreamin’” comes closest to sounding like “old Weezer”, this is only true for the first minute and a half of the track. Beyond that, the tune rolls into a mash-up Queenesque breakdowns and garbage I’d expect to hear on a Panic at the Disco download. Thankfully, the band is planning on including the single “Pork & Beans” they released April 4th, on the Red Death… sorry, I mean Red Album. The video for that single is out now and it is great.
Weezer: “Pork and Beans,” The Red Album
One thing this album has successfully done is make us revisit Make Believe in a new light. “It could be so much worse”. Hopefully, over the years Rivers and company’s sense of humor became deliberately maniacal and this album is one big joke. A big “‘EF YOU” to us critics. Hopefully the remaining tracks will include a fiery explanation imbedded in a laugh track. Hopefully. Or, maybe I misunderstood every leaked song completely. Jokes on me I guess.
You can expect to see this assortment of confusion in stores June 3rd. And in true Weezer fashion, there is an extended disc available complete with 4 additionally confuddling tracks.
What The Blogosphere’s Saying . . .
Stereogum: “Heart Songs’ . . . reminds us of LFO’s “Summer Girls,” just with references to Springsteen and a cat named Stevens instead of girls of the summer and Abercrombie & Fitch. This isn’t a good thing.”
Idolator: ”Pork And Beans’ has a Blue Album-worthy chorus hook and distortion pedal push, but the lyrics are a pretty embarrassing attempt to seek sympathy for his ‘uncool’ songs.”
Kickin’ The Peanuts: “‘Heart Songs”‘ is a mellow ode to some really great musicians who have presumably meant a lot to Rivers & co. (there are a hell of a lot of references jammed into this little four minute song!). It’s, dare we say, a pretty song. Okay yeah, we probably shouldn’t have said that”
Perez Hilton: “The song is called ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived.’ And there’s only one word we can use to describe it: epic. It’s so amazingly awesome!!!!!”
BuzzSugar: “Now there are a bunch of songs from the the album available for a listen and again, it seems like fans are nervous. Perhaps it’s because aside from one of the tracks (“Pork and Beans”) there doesn’t seem to be a tune that is of the same quality of ‘Say It Ain’t So’ or ‘Island in the Sun’.”
Tiny Mix Tapes: “The Red Album is a sad portrait of a band that has been totally destroyed by fame and the pressures that come along with it . . . “