Weezer – The Red Album

After more than a decade of existence, one would assume that the general public should have noticed that Weezer misses far more than they hit. It’s fairly clear that there is a blatant difference in content between the absolute brilliance of both The Blue Album, and it’s baby sister Pinkerton, and the major label, radio driven content that has followed.

Now, while the common argument from the masses of talking heads would resemble something along the lines of, “They have sold nine bazillion records, so they must be doing something right,” the musician and critic in me believes in quality not quantity. But, since this is the same general public who is responsible for the rise of songs like “Who Let the Dogs Out” and programs like “American Idol,” I’m not completely sure that logic is involved in the process of popularity.

This album starts with “Troublemaker,” a song that sports the finer aspects of 3rd grade poetry, put to music. Rivers screams, “Put me in a special school / ‘Cause I am such a fool / And I don’t need a single book to teach me how to read.” The spoken word verses and unneeded accents on certain words somewhat distract the listener from the fact that Rivers has not moved on from his typical lyrical complaints; his quest to be famous, his need to be an individual, and his life as an outcast. Honestly, the only redeeming quality of this song rests in its catchy ending, which in reality in just the piano intro to the albums fairly quality second cut, “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.”

“Pork and Beans,” The Red Album‘s first single is pretty witty, to be quite honest. Musically, this cut resembles the Weezer of old. Coupled with a quality video, jam packed with cuteness, I would be willing to consider “Pork and Beans” a success story. The album’s next cut, however, “Heart Songs,” while a touch overproduced, might be the album gem. Calmer and more lyrically based than your typical Weezer cut, “Heart Songs” is laced with string hooks that will grab you with a white knuckled grip. Upon listen, expect this sing-along track to be the song that gets stuck in your head.

Following two pretty ignorable tracks in “Everybody Get Dangerous” and “Dreamin’,” guitarist Brian Bell grabs the vocals, resulting in the albums most unique song, “Thought I Knew.” While completely different and foreign from the Rivers based cuts, this song is certainly worth checking out. In fact, it’s worth listening to more than once, a rarity on this album.

Skipping ahead three tracks, Weezer ends The Red Album on a note that reminds me a bit of The Beatles. Rivers vocals on “The Angel and the One” are very passive and out of character. The music wraps itself around the lyrics, which are genuine and emotionally driven in a story that reads like a hand written apology letter, taped onto someone’s bathroom mirror in the middle of the night, as the author sneaks out of the recipient’s back door and life forever. I would be willing to go out on a ledge and admit that this might be Weezer’s finest song since “Say it Ain’t So;” a victory in itself.

The fact remains that while a handful of songs on the album may have exceeded my expectation, the album as a whole is only sitting at about 40% quality. Is it worth the money? My advice: buy the stellar cuts on iTunes and leave the rest alone.

Weezer: Website | Myspace | “Pork and Beans” Video

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One Response

  1. […] website | myspace | Red Album review | dance contest | Nissan Live […]

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