Weezer
Maladroit


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
October 20th, 2014 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A diamond in the rough

Maladroit is somewhat of the black sheep in Weezer’s discography. It came out a year after The Green Album – the band’s venture back into the music scene after the unwarranted backlash singer-songwriter Rivers Cuomo received from Pinkerton. As a comeback album Green did have a couple of gems, the lead singles namely. It was a safe album, intentionally so, to ease back into the swing of things with no chance of stirring any controversy among either fans or critics. Maladroit also came out before Make Believe; or as it’s commonly regarded, Weezer’s definitive “sell-out” album, with hit singles such as ‘Beverly Hills’ and ‘Perfect Situation’ comfortably placing the band at the center of mainstream attention while critics rightfully panned the album for being uninspired and sporadically awful (‘We Are All on Drugs’, ‘My Best Friend’). At the time Green had come out, fans were simply excited that Cuomo was making music again. But the whole “Weezer’s back” mentality was short-lived as Green was shrouded in paper-thin pop songs, which is likely why its successor Maladroit didn’t receive as much recognition as it should have – the world didn’t need another generic alternative band pumping out sugary radio rock hits. It’s unfortunate because, quality-wise, Maladroit is head and shoulders above its surrounding albums and was the band’s best post-Pink release by quite a large margin (at least until Everything Will Be Alright…). It contained both the tongue-in-cheek and raw elements from The Blue Album and Pinkerton while retaining the harmlessly fun vibe that encompassed Green, and it still manages to sound as fresh and energetic all these years later.

Now, Weezer has had distorted guitar-driven tracks in the past (‘Getchoo’, ‘Hash Pipe’), but Cuomo’s infectious jingles and catchy hooks were always the focus of the songs – the fuzzy riffs simply provided a little extra oomph to the atmosphere. Here, that formula is scrapped from the very first track, which opens the album with possibly the heaviest riff of the band’s career, and it’s kept in the spotlight while Cuomo faux-raps over the pounding drums and guitars. ‘American Gigolo’ challenges Weezer fans from the get-go without straying too far from what makes the band so likeable with its incredibly catchy, feel-good chorus; and it accomplishes this in just under three minutes. The album itself is only 34 minutes long with the longest track barely stretching the 3-minute mark, making for an easily digestible listen as Green was, but substantially more interesting and experimental at the same time. Highlights ‘Burndt Jam’ and ‘Slave’ utilize jazz chords emphasizing the major-7th for a nice beach vibe, while ‘Death and Destruction’ juxtaposes power chords with a soothing lounge atmosphere – techniques that Weezer hasn’t used since the beloved Blue Album.

The songwriting process was different on Maladroit as well. The band had actually accepted input from fans on what songs or demos should or should not be on the record. As you can imagine, there were some discrepancies – specifically, Cuomo thought the fans were picking the “wackest songs” and disregarded many of their suggestions. One thing both the band and fans agreed upon, however, was the inclusion of ‘Slob’, the longest song on the album clocking in at 3-minutes and 9-seconds. It immediately takes a different approach from what we’ve come to expect from Weezer. It opens with a distorted guitar arpeggiating chords (think ‘Thoughts of a Dying Atheist’ by Muse) and Rivers wailing over the progression with complete sincerity despite how trivial the lyrics are; (Get yourself a wife/get yourself a job/you’re living a dream/don’t you be a slob). ‘Dope Nose’ was one track written during the Green sessions, on the same night as ‘Hash Pipe’ to be exact, and in the same vein. Rivers Cuomo, tequila, and too much Ritalin: a devious combination that ensures a devilishly catchy product.

Maladroit isn’t held in the same regard as The Blue Album or Pinkerton for a reason, though. A few songs follow the same blueprints laid down by previous tracks. ‘Possibilities’ for instance, while being a fun song on its own, draws immediate comparisons to other power pop tracks on the album and plausibly comes across as something Green Day might have written earlier in their career. There also isn’t really one song that sticks out from the rest. Sure, ‘Burndt Jam’ has one of Weezer’s grooviest and feel-good vibes, but being only two-and-a-half minutes long, it holds little water when compared to standouts such as ‘Only in Dreams’ and ‘Across the Sea’. Maladroit is a consistently good listen from beginning to end but seldom dips into the territory of genuine greatness that its predecessors Blue and Pink did.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2014


21817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been listening to weezer so much these past couple weeks so why not

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BMDrummer
October 20th 2014


9981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

shweet rev, might jam this one again since it's sorta time for more weezer again. my science teacher is leaving for a skate shop and he gave me his pinkerton poster m/

Artuma
October 20th 2014


16031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like crandy's rev for this more

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ExplosiveOranges
October 20th 2014


3904 Comments


Holy shit, a non-metal Insurrection review?

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Ryus
October 20th 2014


5038 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cool stuff

Digging: Arnold Schoenberg - Verklrte Nacht, Op. 4

StKiyo
October 20th 2014


249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ohhhhhhhhh man, I'm writing a review for this too. Maybe I'll wait a little and post next month.

Tunaboy45
October 20th 2014


3181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. Haven't listened to this in years.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Dopethrone

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
October 20th 2014


13454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

right on

deathschool
October 20th 2014


10482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mental pos hard

Digging: Dixie Dregs - What If

scottpilgrim10
October 20th 2014


4444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic review man

For me EWBAITE is a little bit better than this and this is a little bit better than Red (Deluxe).

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


28822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

really like the first paragraph

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


28822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i feel like if you deleted the last paragraph and trimmed some bs off of the second paragraph, this would be a pretty great review

pos

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2014


21817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx guys. dont think i ever got a compliment from you acad

any specific bs youre referring to?

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


28822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

mostly the first two sentences.

the first paragraph does such a nice job of contextualizing the album and then you go ahead and ruin it with unfounded garbage about how weezer has always been this and cuomo has never been that... the kinds of declarations that might serve as a crutch for someone who wasn't able to write a first paragraph like the one you did...

and the last paragraph is just redundant... you conclude way more naturally here: Maladroit is a consistently good listen from beginning to end but seldom dips into the territory of genuine greatness that its predecessors Blue and Pink did.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2014


21817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i admit the last paragraph was thrown together for more blatant closure, ill scrap it

thanks for your honesty

fix'd

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


28822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

np

still ur wrong about the new one being better tho!!!

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2014


21817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they both rule hard but everything has EVEN DA VIIIIIINCI COULDNT PAINT YOU so it wins by default

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2014


28822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea that song destroys

BigPleb
October 21st 2014


37959 Comments


American Gigolo m/m/m/

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greenpiece
October 21st 2014


35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

American Gigolo and Burndt Jam are top 10 Weezer songs



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