Sunday, April 24, 2005

have you seen my childhood?

As implied by this ILX thread, I'm pretty disappointed by the new Weezer album. While I knew the last two albums were inferior to their '90s work, the implication that Rivers was intentionally masking his emotions after the failure of Pinkerton, an audacious attempt to throw Modern Lovers-style honesty and Harvard-fueled musical ambition into their already awesome and influential blurring of indie-rock and pop-metal, allowed me to enjoy them as hooky little nothings; the Green Album a sprint bursting with the joy of commercial resurrection and Maladroit a respectable holding pattern. The initial Album 5 Demos - leaked on the net before Maladroit was released! - implied they'd ride this bashaway routine till death without thought of evolution (unless threats to start rapping count), and the unexpected hiatus and hook-up with Rick Rubin had me hoping against hope that the final product would be a solid, mature sequel to Pinkerton. When I first heard Rooney's "Shakin'" (listen to, but don't watch, the video here) on the radio months ago I wondered if it was a Weezer/Rubin track dropped asap due to its indelible, polished warmth (instead it was just another hype-"hit" by a bunch of bushy-haired Coppolas).

"Beverly Hills" gave me reason to fear that Rivers' return-to-honesty would only reveal that he's spent his days gaining nothing but addictions and biz-oriented neuroses since Pinkerton plopped, and nothing on Make Believe implies otherwise. "Perfect Situation"'s got one beaming hook, "This Is Such A Pity"'s absurd mix of fascist pigs and final countdowns is addictively amusing and "Freak Me Out" has an eerie, minimal arrangement, but the rest of the tracks are range from vapid to tepid, with Cuomo mooing about his emotions in clueless platitudes - Barney meets Boston. The distance from "Across The Sea" and "Why Bother?" to "Hold Me" and "The Other Way" will depress anybody who was affected by the earlier tracks. Covers of "The Joker" and "Kicks" would be infinitely superior to "Hills" and "We Are All On Drugs" as they would allow Rivers to maintain the illusion that he's not a self-involved, emotionally stunted peabrain - Sting at a 3rd grade reading level. I hope I like SMiLE once I finally hear it; I need precedent of a damaged innocent redeeming media attention.

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