Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weezer: Hurley (Review)

This must be the year of redemption. Eminem regained his credibility with Recovery earlier this year, Korn put together a decent album a few months back and, following a string of mediocre offerings and last year’s abomination, Raditude, Weezer has also managed to make a triumphant return to form with their latest, Hurley.

Leave it to Weezer to name a CD after a character from Lost, going so far as to splash his mug across the album cover as well. It’s pretty much the awesomely nerdy, offbeat sort of thing you’d expect from the band.

Name and cover art aside, what matters here is the fact Rivers Cuomo and company have provided fans with what they have been waiting and hoping for: A solid album.

Hurley kicks off with the fun and energetic “Memories” before dropping to a more serious, though equally upbeat, tone with “Ruling Me,” “Trainwrecks,” and the best song on the album (and one of my favorites from Weezer of all time) “Unspoken,” which starts as a thoughtful acoustic ditty and, over the course of several verses, evolves into an all-out rock romp.

This is unfortunately followed by the abysmal “Where’s My Sex?,” a tune every bit as bad as its title due to poor construction and laughable lyrics.

Thankfully, this is the low point of the album, with the last five songs providing plenty of good moments to get stuck in your head for days.

The final track, “Time Flies,” borders on Jack White territory, comprised of a folky backbeat and an intimate outlook on life, where it has been, and where it will end. After “Unspoken,” this is the song to listen to over and over again.

For those hoping Weezer might return to their earlier sound, you’re just going to have to deal with the fact those days are gone and, most likely, will never return.

Hurley has an injection of pop common in the band’s most recent collection of discs and it works better than ever this time around. Weezer's sound is meatier and as catchy as it’s ever been.

While Cuomo has proven he’s still capable of writing many-a cringe-worthy lyric, he’s also proven himself a wizard of song construction, making (nearly) each tune as captivating as the next and crafting an album that’s a joy to listen to alone, but especially well suited to turn on with friends in the car, everyone singing along and tapping their toes to the music.

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