Rivers Cuomo
Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo


4.5
superb

Review

by Burning_October USER (9 Reviews)
March 7th, 2009 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rivers throws together some demos and ends up making his best album in 12 years.

If there is one band that is awful at putting together albums, it’s Weezer. Year after year the band record dozens upon dozens of great songs, yet they consistently choose their worst material for inclusion on their albums. For example, the band recorded 5 songs for 2008’s “Red Album” that were just as good as anything that they had done in the 90’s. How many of those actually made the disc? 2.

This is, of course, just one example of many over the years, and it’s frustrating that the band has so much great unreleased material just sitting in the vaults, never to be heard by any but the most dedicated Weezer fan. That is, however, why it is not at all surprising that Alone II, a disc of Rivers Cuomo’s home demo’s, is the best collection of Weezer-related material released since Pinkerton.

This is, of course partly due to the fact that a lot of the albums best songs are from that era. Walt Disney and The Purification of Water give an interesting glimpse into the genius of mid-90’s Cuomo, providing unique twists on his pop-rock songwriting. The latter is a relaxing, dream-like song, with soft acoustic guitars and keyboards swirling around Rivers pained vocals. The former is a strange track, opening with blaring organs, before introducing marching band drums and guitar feedback that suddenly rocket into an almost operatic chorus.

The most interesting of the 90’s material is the mid-album trio of Oh Jonas, Please Remember, and Come to My Pod, all taken from the ill-fated “Songs from the Black Hole” concept album. The three tracks together only take up about 3 minutes, but manage to do a lot in their brief run time. Seamlessly transitioning from one song to the next, the three pieces take you through a mix of soaring balladry, theatrical rock opera melodrama, and acoustic synth-pop. They certainly show how interesting the unreleased 1995 concept album could have been, and stand up surprisingly well on their own.

The album becomes really interesting, however, when you look at the post-Pinkerton material. After all, we already have dozens of great songs from the 90’s. We don’t need any more proof that that was a great era for the band. Past that decade, however, is a different story. After releasing 4 mediocre-to-bad albums in a row, many people thought that Weezer had lost their touch. Looking at these demos, however, it’s obvious that they didn’t.

Second track “I Want to Take You Home Tonight” is an intense collage of building vocal harmonies and guitars that trounces almost everything from the album that it was written for, 2005’s “Make Believe”. And the dreamy synth-based “I Don’t Want To Let You Go” as well as the acoustic ballad “Can’t Stop Partying” (which sounds strangely like Smashing Pumpkins “Disarm”) prove that The Red Album could have been up there with the finest of 2008.

The best part of Alone II, however, is that, while providing an unique glimpse into the mind of one of the most interesting (and frustrating) pop song-writers of our time, the disc also manages to stand up on it’s own merits. While Alone II will be most appreciated by Weezer fans, the songs themselves are good enough to warrant an inclusion in anyone’s album collection. And that, in the end, is why this is the best album Rivers Cuomo has put together in 12 years.



Recent reviews by this author
The Beach Boys Smiley SmileWeezer The Green Album
Broken Social Scene You Forgot It In PeoplePanic! At the Disco Pretty. Odd.
Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the HeadThe Killers Sawdust
user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Phantom
July 19th 2009


8930 Comments


lol artwork

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2009


7026 Comments


fantastic review, pos'd

Kashmir09
November 3rd 2009


772 Comments


Damn, I might get this...don't like Weezer much though

MyRamona
December 29th 2009


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Such a nice driving album.

endlessartix
December 29th 2009


275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a wonder these songs never showed up on any Weezer albums, besides "I Don't Want to Let You Go" and "Can't Stop Partying" on Raditude, and those are different versions anyway.

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


Weezer Pinkerton
Weezer The Blue Album
Weezer Green Album
Weezer Maladroit
Weezer The Red Album Deluxe
Arcade Fire Funeral
Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Weezer Blue Album Deluxe Edition

So, members, I herd u liek weezer

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


eww

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


lulz you bought the all the shitty weezer records

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


but u bought raditude

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


mediafire bro

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


yeah no they sucked too

we all know you bought make believe though

and i bet you actualy liked it before you read about how it sucks on sputnik

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


dbl post

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


lol wut?

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


keep saying that to yourself once you run out of money. alot of music isnt even available in physical format anymore anyways.



Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


then u dont own it

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


its called gay bro

the aesthetic of physical releases in music died when ppl stopped selling vinyl as the main form of release

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


start smoking pot or something

Counterfeit
September 19th 2010


17819 Comments


start drinking

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


stop being 14

bailar12
September 19th 2010


1766 Comments


an hero



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy