Artist: "Weezer"
Album: "Weezer (Red Album)"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Geffen

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 6/16/2008

Review: Weezer's Red album is their most inconsistent release to date, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you--it just means that it's all over the place more than anything else they've done. Upon finishing my first listen, I wasn't blown away and I was sort of put off by some of the weirder songs, but after listening to it several times through it really started to grow on me.

This is their most experimental album, and it shows--not just in the sound, but in the very way they set out to make it. For the first time ever, each member of the band contributes a song of his own, where they each sing lead vocals, duties which fell entirely on the shoulders of Rivers Cuomo on all their previous releases. And on a couple of these tracks, the band members swap instruments as well, which results in a pretty different sound musically as well as vocally. Does it work? Not so much. But I have to give them credit for trying, and it does keep things interesting.

As a result, the first half of the album is much stronger than the second half, where everything kind of starts to fall apart. But there is good news: there's a deluxe version of the album with four additional tracks, each of which is stronger than a third of what made it on the album proper. So if you're going to pick it up, this is the version to get, for the extra tracks tip the scales and push the album from average to good (and this is the version I'm giving my rating to).

Standout tracks for my money are the first single "Pork & Beans", which sounds most like classic 90s Weezer, the ultra-experimental prog-rock of "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" (which I did not care for at first but has become one of my favorites), and the too-damned-catchy-not-to-love "Dreamin'". Overall this album is not going to win over anyone who's not already a fan, and it's unlikely that you'll enjoy it all on your first listen, but this album is so varied in its range that there's definitely something on here that will strongly appeal to all Weezer fans.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jun 17th, 2008, 11:55 AM
The Onion reviewer hated this one:

"The breathtakingly stupid Weezer begs the question: Is this for real? Or are the over-processed hooks and lobotomized lyrics intentional self-parody? When Rivers Cuomo sings, "So turn off the TV, 'cause that's what others see, and movies are as bad as eating chocolate ice cream," is he a comic genius feigning creative bankruptcy? (C'mon, look at the crrrazy album cover!) Either way, it doesn't matter. If the so-called "Red Album" really is an elaborate goof on an all-too-forgiving fan base, that doesn't make Weezer's newest worst album any less insipid.

Peaking early on Weezer's untouchable first two records, Cuomo now seems unable (or unwilling) to write a single heartfelt song. Instead, he substitutes smarm for sentiment on embarrassing dreck like "Heart Songs," paying tribute to everyone from Nirvana to Debbie Gibson (while mistakenly referencing a Tiffany song) with an air of insufferable, ain't-I-a-stinker smirkiness better suited for the likes of Bowling For Soup. Even after the apparent bottoming-out of 2005's Make Believe, Weezer is a dispiritingly awful record. The contrast between pap like "Pork And Beans" and "Everybody Get Dangerous" and the hilariously twisted, emotionally pent-up songs the band was once known for has never been starker. The blame for Weezer can't all be laid on Cuomo—his bandmates' songwriting contributions (particularly Brian Bell's Uncle Kracker stab "Thought I Knew") are just as unforgivably soulless. Together they punch holes in Weezer where the heart and brain should be."
Jun 17th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Did you also post this review on the Onion?
Jun 17th, 2008, 10:49 PM
I've been a Weezer fan for quite some time. So when a new album comes out, whether or not it's better or worse than the last album, or whatever, I still end up loving it. This one is no different. Some songs are a bit 'meh' and others are overly complicated for a Weezer song to be, but all in all, It's not as bad as some of the reviews I've read have said it is. Your review is pretty spot on.

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" was instantly my favorite track, (that is, after I got past the first vocal part, to which I feared the whole song would be like, yet, only being a small bit, adds quite a bit to the song). That song is like a variety show. It's filled with a little bit of everything, and it meshes together for quite an entertaining song.
Mexican Rambo Doll
Jun 23rd, 2008, 11:43 AM
I have always hated Weezer. Awful and boring music.
Turrican't. :(
Jun 23rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
Weezer is a failtastical bag of shit, and that's me being nice.
The Goddamned Batman
Jun 23rd, 2008, 11:23 PM
I'll bet if they sang anime soundtracks you wouldn't be saying that.