2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like it...
When critics discuss Weezer, they tend to refer to two classic albums and a host of disappointments. I am inclined to agree with this view, though my two classics are Pinkerton and the unspeakably magnificent Green Album (the Blue album isn't quite at that level for me, they were still learning their trade). Following the Green Album, though, the fayre we have been...
Published on 27 Sep 2010 by Paul Mc
3.0 out of 5 stars More entries for your personal Weezer compilation...
The last time Weezer were "essential" in my musical life was 2000's Green Album. Perhaps through no fault of their own, with that album finding itself as the peerless soundtrack to my summer that year, my interest in them, whilst never waning, could never quite reach those levels again. Whilst I dutifully trot out to the record store upon the arrival of the latest...
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by IWFIcon
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like it...,
When critics discuss Weezer, they tend to refer to two classic albums and a host of disappointments. I am inclined to agree with this view, though my two classics are Pinkerton and the unspeakably magnificent Green Album (the Blue album isn't quite at that level for me, they were still learning their trade). Following the Green Album, though, the fayre we have been treated to has been the disappointing `Maladroit,' the downright awful `Make Believe' and the overly poppy `Raditude.' Only the Red Album (in patches) has done anything to arrest this trend.
However, with a new record label and some big-name assistance with the songwriting, with `Hurley' I am pleased to say Rivers and Co are showing signs of getting back on the right track.
In style, this is probably most similar to `Green,' ten short-but sweet pop-rock blasts with no unnecessary frills or experimentation. In particular, `memories,' `Ruling Me' and the quirky closer `Time Flies' stand out.
Possibly due to the jump to an Indie label (Epitaph) there is a freedom an unfettered feel to the songwriting (no contrived hit singles a la `Beverly Hills' or rap collaborations here) and Rivers certainly sounds like he's having fun. There is still the grating `teen angst' air to the lyrics, difficult to reconcile with a man who, last I heard, was happily married...but that is what you get from Weezer and maybe we shouldn't expect anything else.
It is arguable that Weezer will never reach the level of their first three albums (unless Rivers goes through a messy divorce, which we wouldn't wish on him). But for the moment, this will more than do the trick.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An album to take seriously,
Although the British media has failed to pick up on it as prominently as its American counterpart (perhaps because weezer aren't as relevant in Europe as in the states), it's clear that over the past decade weezer have become something of a joke. The band themselves haven't helped tackle this, given their last (woeful) album was called "Raditude" and had a flying dog on the cover (in fact, the cover of this album doesn't help matters either). Gradually losing a lot of the goodwill - garnered in response to the indisputably classic Blue Album and Pinkerton - with 5 albums worth of tracks ranging from merely above average power pop to dreadful embarrassments (most recently Beverly Hills, Can't Stop Partying, I'm Your Daddy, Cold Dark World etc...) the band hit a low point when Pitchfork media - the Mecca of the US indie music press - gave 2005's Make Believe 0.4 stars out of ten while claiming it was not only "just plain awful" but also retroactively ruined any enjoyment of even the bands first 2 brilliant albums.
While these comments were unfair, Make Beleive confirmed what the Green Album and Maladroit - almost entirely consisting of 2 1/2 minute songs with cookie cutter lyrics and power pop hooks - had suggested: that weezer was creatively defunct. Nothing about that album, and very little of Green and Maladroit, stood out as the product of an experienced band who had once defined a genre and inspired countless copy-cat acts (indeed, they barely managed to outdo the output of these very same copy-cats).
While Hurley isn't a return to form (as the band had, perhaps unfairly, hinted while publicising the album) it is successful at wiping the slate clean for fans. The inane hip hop/mainstream pop influences of Raditude are almost (more on that later) absent here, while the album has a level on energy that was only hinted on the Red Album/Raditude and entirely absent on the Green Album, Maladroit and Make Believe. While the great production may be in part responsible for this (I always felt the production of Green, Mala and Make Believe sapped the songs of any raw energy they might have had) it is obvious that Rivers has here adopted a more exciting method of song writing. While many of the old complaints still stand (the lyrics don't hold a candle to the clever/witty/authentic musings of Blue or Pinkerton; the song structure rarely shies away from the same basic formula) they are downplayed by the fact that the vast majority of these songs have very strong melodies and instrumentation and have strong thematic bearings. For the most part, you don't have to leave your brain at home to enjoy these tracks. While sticking largely to a pop/rock formula (hey, blue and Pinkerton didn't really stray from this either) there is a lot of variety on this album, which really makes it an engaging experience - in contrast to the Green album which largely repeated the same trick on every track.
Whereas every post-2001 album has had a number of good/great songs amongst a collection of average/bad songs, the opposite holds true for this album. The only stinker here is Where's My Sex? It's almost impossible to imagine anyone liking this forehead-slappingly silly song, and it's inclusion on the album is the equivalent of a comedian laughing at his own (bad) joke.
The good more than makes up for this, however. Memories is an enjoyable, nostalgic power pop anthem performed with enough gusto (thanks to a brilliant vocal performance by Rivers) to elevate it about its humble structure. Ruling Me is a much better example of the albums strength: the chorus really explodes out at the listener and would have the most hardened music fan singing along. There is something very human about its content and delivery - again something very much lacking in recent efforts.
While Trainwrecks would be better suited to a much younger band (in fact, the song seems far too self conscious of weezer's 'geek icon' status), its anthemic quality can't be ignored, although it may not be as appreciated by older fans. Unspoken, however, provides both a powerful punch with its great ending and a demonstration of the melodic quality of Rivers' song writing. This wouldn't have been out of place as a b-side to an early weezer single.
Ignoring Where's My Sex?, Run Away again demonstrates the strength of weezer's melodic capabilities and provides a welcome diversion from the modern day weezer formula (it has a very strong intro which returns during its bridge/conclusion, rather than relying on repeating the verse/chorus formula throughout the song). Hang On, meanwhile provides what should be the minimum standard for future weezer releases, with its powerful chorus being complimented with a beautiful verse and strong instrumentation. Smart Girl also sets a bench mark for future `fun' weezer songs, as it manages to walk a very fine line between novelty territory and funny, ironic song writing. It manages to succeed where Where's My Sex?(and pretty much all of Raditude) failed in providing an endearing, rather than annoying, example of simple rock hooks and "ooooh aaaah" crooning.
Finally, Brave New World and Time Flies are not only very strong tracks, but also show a more reflective side to Rivers song writing. Both linger on the theme of adapting to change and looking to the future with enthusiasm. They are a perfect finish to the album in this sense, especially considering this is the first album where weezer is independent of record company influence. What's more, neither relies on infectiously simple tunes/hooks. Both rely more on a strong theme and more complex melody than the rest of this album, and hopefully are a sign of things to come. In the past, one has to feel that these tracks would have been left of the album in place of more basic power pop tracks (for example, the brilliant and interesting tracks Miss Sweeney, Pig, Run Over by a Truck and Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World were all left off previous albums, while more generic songs made the cut). Perhaps this is a sign of weezer's newfound creative freedom. Indeed, the fact that so many quality songs were produced so soon after an album which seemed to confirm the creative death of weezer suggests this might be the case. More than anything, these final tracks, and the album as a whole, mean that weezer can once again be taken seriously as a band. This isn't a re-creation of the Blue Album or Pinkerton. Instead it is a new path for the band which, while I can't foresee producing anything more than strong poppy rock music, I will once more follow with interest and hope.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just more great Weezer!,
Weezer is a band that just makes you happy, drive your car a little faster, get the housework done faster when you listen to it, gets the dog walked a bit longer when it's on your headphones! Just makes me smile to listen to them!
4.0 out of 5 stars New to Weezer - a strong album, get the bonus tracks,
I am new to Weezer, picking this album after a paper review. And was very pleased, a mainly strong album of indie pop with intelligently written songs and some great rocking guitar-led tracks with good melodies. Particular stand out ones for me were the bonus tracks 'All My Friends Are Insects' (crying shame less than 2 minutes long!) and 'Represent', and the main album 'Ruling me' and 'Trainwrecks'. Some others are a bit predictable but can skip those. Will look forward to exploring the Weezer back catalogue...
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok,
I've been a big fan of Weezer since Buddy Holly came out and have all their albums. This is not up there with the best of them. Has its moments but for the best part is all filler. I'm more likely to go back and listen to the Blue Album or Pinkerton.
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories... make me want to go back there, back there...,
This is an excellent album, full of brilliantly catchy pop-rock tunes. It feels like an energetic mix of the blue album and Raditude. With the catchy pop elements of Rad and and the raw, full-of-energy side of the blue album. All in all, a great album :) with standout tracks such as: Smart Girls, Time Flies, Memories, Brave New World. Buy it :)
5.0 out of 5 stars return to form!,
I love ALL weezer albums!! (including ratitude- apart from the song with lil wayne 'cant stop partying', as its just cringey LOL - but i laugh at it when i hear it!!!). Hurley however is a step back in the RIGHT direction for rivers and co.!. There are some fantastic memorable tracks on here - being 'memories', 'trainwrecks', 'unspoken' (my fav). Hurley is NO 'blue' album or 'Pinkerton' for that fact! but it does sit proudly amongst the best of weezer.
I have 1 flaw..and that is - i didnt want a silly cover of coldplays 'viva la vida', I REALLY wanted the lady gaga (pokerface) and the MGMT - mixed cover they did put on this cd - as that is pure MAGIC -
i hope weezer continue to make music as they are an awesome band!
3.0 out of 5 stars More entries for your personal Weezer compilation...,
The last time Weezer were "essential" in my musical life was 2000's Green Album. Perhaps through no fault of their own, with that album finding itself as the peerless soundtrack to my summer that year, my interest in them, whilst never waning, could never quite reach those levels again. Whilst I dutifully trot out to the record store upon the arrival of the latest Weezer album the buzz never really hits the heights it once did. They've certainly had their moments since then but the fact that my MP3 player has their first three albums in full but only selected highlights from anything since says it all. If anything they'd make perfect fodder for a Christmas "Greatest Hits" collection but instead we get Hurley, a quick-ish follow up to the disappointing Raditude.
It pretty much follows the pattern of the last few albums; some good, some indifferent and the occasional out and out stinker. Those fans, like me, who have stuck with them this far will find more than enough to enjoy; the likes of Memories, Brave New World and Time Flies all showcase the band's knack for catchy pop melodies and they'll make quality additions to that homemade playlist you'll make of their best songs. Others, not least the fairly pointless cover version of Coldplay's Viva La Vida, will be largely forgotten in time to come and aren't the songs you will remember when you're next discussing how good Weezer are with your friends. If it's enough that a band that have been releasing albums for nearly two decades have delivered an album which adds a handful of new tracks to your on-going list of Weezer favourites then this is a fine effort. Those wishing they could somehow recapture the all-encompassing brilliance of the Blue Album, Pinkerton or the Green Album might ultimately be disappointed by this, even if you will lose that in the delight of those new tracks which do deliver the goods.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nope, not this one.,
Come on Weezer, you can do better than this! At least, that's what I keep on telling myself every time a new Weezer album comes out of late. Surely Pinkerton and the Blue album can't have been flukes?
Alas, despite being touted as a (partial at least) return to form by many people, Hurley is in reality a very mediocre and forgettable album. Which is a real shame, because I desperately want Weezer to be good again.
I didn't bother with the last album as I heard pretty much nothing good about it, so on hearing some good things about Hurley I was quietly optimistic. Unfortunately, unlike previous mediocre albums by Weezer, this one doesn't even have the odd stand out song or two. Usually, even if on the whole certain Weezer ablums were pretty average, there would always be at least one REALLY good track that you could enjoy again and again. Here- nothing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely no 'Blue Album',
Bit disappointed with this one - there's nothing particularly bad about it, I just don't think there is a single memorable song on the whole album. Where are the witty lyrics and catchy riffs of their previous efforts?
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