Weezer - Weezer (Red Album)

Rivers Cuomo recently more than ever, has demonstrated that he is very much a man of contrast in approach. Not so long ago, he furtively released a collection of low-key, contemplative home recordings indicating that he is happy to cut a mysterious and thoughtful figure. Yet, all the time, he was adding the cherries to the sumptuous cake that represents another quirky, delving and vocally colourful Weezer album.

This is now their 3rd self titled one, this time it’s concealed behind the garish colour of red. Funky and stammering opener, ‘Trouble Maker’ propels the plight of the troublesome geek and is spunky enough to join the likes of ‘Buddy Holly’ and ‘Island In The Sun’ on the growing list of live favourites , at their now much praised shows. The mood immediately flits as the slow cradling lullaby intro’ to the light hip-hop/glam rock trip of the egotistical ‘Greatest Man That Ever Lived (variations on a shaker hymn)’, illuminates the Weezer frivolity that people either love or have become used to.

Signs of the old style reflective, music geek extolling tendencies shine out of the tenderized ‘Heart Songs’, as homage is paid to the artists/bands that gave them the inspiration to create the Weezer way. Flipping between solid soft rock, mischievous hip-hop and straight out geek rock sees this evergreen troupe proudly exclaiming that they haven’t changed. A tugging example of the latter category is the slow building ‘Thought I Knew’. It sees Cuomo’s vocals take on a straining echo to nudge feeling to the fore.

‘Cold Dark World’ is the deepest urban touching tune on offer and spews out magnanimous, defiant spirit. Cuomo’s vocals cut a deeper shape to outdo the clanging guitars and instil a blues touch that bears out life and soul. There is a grandiose touch that stomps through the album, especially in the at times retro guitars and sturdy percussion, hinting that Weezer believe they have a stadium rock edge. They will probably only be content to play 4,000 plus venues when they tour. At the risk of sounding like Graham Norton;

                                           “That’s for the public to decide now!”

Dave Adair

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