Review Summary: They're still kicking ass. They're train wrecks.
t, just when it seemed like the final nail in Weezer's career was about to be hammered into the the glossy, fat dude from Lost laden cover of their new album Hurley
, it appears that the band, who spent the last decade releasing exceedingly worse and worse records under the guise of self-parody and irony, have remembered that having a quality album is more than suckering in people with massive singles like “Pork and Beans” and “ (If You're Wondering If I Want To) I Want To”. Make Believe
, The Red Album
, and Raditude
made it seem like the mid-nineties glory days of Weezer were a thing of the past. Rivers Cuomo had eschewed everything that made millions of kids fall in love him in the first place for one dimensional, piss poor party anthems and awkward hymns of teenage baggage – really the last thing that was expected from the socially awkward, middle aged Harvard alumnus.
proves that Rivers still has some gas left in the tank. At the same time it was announced that Weezer were jumping ship from the major label home that they had been residing at since their explosion on to the alternative rock landscape with the Blue Album
in favor of the punk mega-indie label Epitaph records, Rivers also let it be known that his creative impetus for Hurley
was 1960's pop music. Trading in hitting the clubs with Jermaine Dupri for holing himself up with Beach Boys and Love vinyls has rendered the best in Weezer's output since Rivers decided to open up to his love of Asian girls. The influence isn't always apparent, as Weezer still hold fast to their trademark crunchy guitars and songs like “Ruling Me” and “Brave New World” come off as the classic Weezer sound of the 90's being reworked into the semi-electronic modern pop side that has dominated the latter half of their career, but with the lo-fi analog hum of the folky “Time Flies” and the gentle flute flourishes that elevate the emotionally bare “Unspoken” from acoustic rocker, to one of the band's all time best songs it is impossible to overlook. Unfortunately some of the eccentric, tongue and cheek bullshi
t that bogged down every Weezer CD starting with Make Believe
still rears its ugly head now and again with the cringe inducing cacophony of “Where's My Sex” and the bland repetition of “Smart Girls”, making Hurley
not quite a total return to form, but a solid step back in the right direction.
With Weezer's career in the oughts having been one of the longest running jokes in the music industry, it's Weezer that end up getting the last laugh with Hurley
. While Hurley
can in no way compare to The Blue Album
, it sits proudly atop the list of everything Weezer have done since. Sure that may not be saying much, but damn, it's a pleasant surprise.