Weezer ain't what it used to be, yes, but they have gotten a lot of unnecessary hatred thrown at them after their last album, Make Believe. The snobs and music press hated it, and although it is uncomfortably sugary at times, more hideous sounds have filled my ears. I'm all about second chances, so after a three year wait to see if Weezer could redeem themselves, I am left with mixed emotions.
If releasing another self-titled album known only by the color of the background is any indication of a good Weezer album, than this record should be pretty damn good. This album is all over the place. It's like the band had a bunch of ideas and just spread them out all over the table, put them face down, did the hillybilly shuffle, and then picked them up one by one and put them on record. Some of the ideas work, some dont'. The classic Weezer powerpop sound shines on songs like "Troublemaker," "Everybody Get Dangerous" and "Pork and Beans" (a song that dismisses all the haters out there). But everything else just lies there flat.
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" is a rock opera of sorts, combinging rap, Greorgian chant, falsetto vocals, acoustic guitars and piano, spoken word, and straight up rock in a mess of a song. Like trying to chug a whole gallon of milk: it may seem like a good idea at the time, but once you try it you just end up throwing up.
"Heart Songs," while a little cheesy, is a homage to the music that influenced frontman Rivers Cuomo. It's a terrible song, but relateable. "Dreamin'" is another failed attempt at a feel-good flowery pop song.
A couple songs include lead vocals by the other members of the band, but leave nothing but a bad taste in your mouth.
The band tries to be adventerous, but if things were a little more cohesive, this might be a decent album. This just seems bloated.