Review Summary: Better than Green? Sure. Underrated? Absolutely.
What was next? That was the question posed by Weezer fans shortly after the release of Pinkerton. After a hiatus of five years, Weezer (The Green Album) was released to lukewarm reviews. Critics were split in two; one side said to turn your brain off and enjoy the album for what it was, while the other side argued that after two certified masterpieces (The Blue Album, Pinkerton), there was no excuse for mediocrity. This kind of reception left us all to wonder: which side would their next album shift to? The mediocre, so-so sound of Green? Maybe the perfection of their first two albums? What was next?
The answer is, quite frankly, ALMOST both. Sure, the simplistic power-pop present on Green is also present here, but at times you can ALMOST hear the essence of their first two albums sprinkled on a few of these songs. Almost...
The album opens with "American Gigolo" with no Richard Gere backing vocals to speak of, but that was just an initial dissapointment. As the drums start pounding and as the guitar comes crunching in, one would expect a killer of a song...until Rivers starts speak-singing his way through the verses. The song picks up a bit in the chorus and leads into a relatively awesome guitar solo (if compared, of course, to the solos in Green, which were non-existent). "Dope Nose", with it's nonsensical lyrics and catchy guitar riff, is one of the best songs on the album. "Death and Destruction" is absolutely one of Weezer's most underrated songs; a beauty. "Burndt Jamb" brings us back to that tropical-ish sound we first visited in "Island in the Sun", and "Fall Together" is a stylistic reprise of "American Gigolo" as well as an overall solid song.
When the album gets bad, though, its BAD. It's lowest point is "Space Rock"; off key vocals and an overload of distortion does not a good song make. "Possibilities" just alright, and the other songs are hit or miss.
To sum up this album is to say that its an overall better product than Weezer (Green Album), but just barely. Half a step above it's predecessor...a .5 if you will.