'The Red Album' is weezer's masterpiece so far. Don't let it fool you that the opener 'Troublemaker' is an archetype of the dynamic and melodic power rock known so well from earlier releases, 'cause what follows adds new and surprising dimensions to weezer's style. The second track 'The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations On A Shaker Hymn)' plays with the surprised but spoiled listener in its style variations based on the same rough yet harmonious theme and is, in my opinion, not only weezer's best composition ever, but no less than one of the most surprising, catchiest and simply... best rock songs released in years!
Yes, you read right: weezer goes from straight-forward melodic rock craftmanship to boasting out their musical talents in touching semi-epic progressive rock. From the 3-minute outbursts, they even dabble with songs twice as long. The other - brillliant - example is 'The Angel And The One'.
Before these highlights on an overall treat, it is almost relieving to give your concentration a break with the average 'Thought I Knew' and 'Cold Dark World', which surprisingly have found their way to the standard version, contrary to the sweet, almost symphonic 'Pig', the country rock style 'The Weight' or a more than decent cover of Talk Talk's 'Life's What You Make It', featured on the UK Edition. If you can get your hands on this release, or even better the Deluxe Edition, it is worth the search and the investment, as all of its tracks are wonderful and each has its own unique soul.
But even if not, weezer's Red Album is a gift to the rock public, proving courage and an unexpected maturity from a band that has so far not disappointed.