Review Summary: "Red" exceeded my expectations, but is still quite different from what we usually expect out of this cool band.
Weezer is back with "Red," the follow up to their semi-charmed "Make Believe" album. The record plays like a biography for the band, both in lyrics and sound. The ten original tracks each have their own unique structure and hidden purpose to provide a unique experience for any alternative rock listener. Although it can feel like a bit much at first, most of the new sound and lyrical elements incorporated into the record are quite enjoyable. The result is an eclectic ode to Rock N Roll music that nobody should miss.
Troublemaker starts the album with good momentum. It's a fun song about being young and wishing to be a rock-star. Rivers keeps things simple with whimsical bubblegum lyrics that get straight to the point of matters. Complete with hard choppy guitars and drums, the song sounds frighteningly similar to their "Pinkerton" and "Maladroit" days.
Bass player Scott Shriner sings Cold Dark World, while rhythm guitarist Brian Bell takes the lead in the album's crisp and thoroughly exciting ninth track, Automatic. Both songs, along with the catchy seventh track,Thought I Knew, set a darker tone to the album which may or may not appeal to fans of the band's previous work.
The Greatest Man that Ever Lived, Everybody Get Dangerous and the highly addictive Pork and Beans single add some broken pace and variety to the band's repetitive power chord directed sound. They succeed in making the album sound interesting...However, it is in Heart Songs and Dreamin' that the band begins to truly impress their audience. Both songs are heartbreakingly melodic and well written. I know any fan of "Blue" would appreciate Heart Songs. Everybody Get Dangerous is a bearable middle track, but a song like Pardon Me would have fit so much better in its place. The Angel and the One closes the record decently enough. Although it's a rather slow and reptitive song, it does fit in well with the rest of the album. It's an average ending to an above average album.
All in all, the album is kind of like Weezer's "Sgt Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band." If you're STILL a fan of the band, or at least their last record, then you should feel right at home with this album. It doesn't carry the punch of "Blue" or "Green" but it is certainly an original record. Simple pages of their lives.