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"Weezer" or the so-called "Red Album" is Weezer's sixth sudio album and was produced by Rick Rubin. It features twelve tracks and was released on June 3, 2008.
After the initial brilliance of their self-titled debut album and the growing impact of the follow-up Pinkerton, Weezer came back from a hiatus to record three awful albums: The Green Album, Maladroit and Make Believe. When I heard about this new album I figured just another below-par short lived album which Weezer have specialised in with there last three releases. I would just have to go back to my much worn Weezer and Pinkerton albums. But seeing this CD in my local shop I just couldnt help myself; I bought with a shred of belief that it would be a return to the nineties for Weezer........
The album starts off with "Troublemaker", a very catchy pop song. Its problem is that it lacks the depth of the old singles like "Buddy Holly" and the like, after a few listens I was sick of it. The second track is the best song on the album: The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn). Its an interesting track which has elements of all sorts of different music genres, starting off and finishing with a rock anthem with a slow acoustic part and an acapella verse in between. The next song was the most famous single of the album: Pork and Beans partly because of its entertaining video but also that it is a good song that echoes old Weezer, except with some clearer lyrics:
"everyone likes to dance to a happy song
with a catchy chorus and beat so they can sing along
timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts
maybe if i work with him i can perfect the art"
These lyrics seem relevant to Weezer, after the raw and brilliant Pinkerton they have just trying to write songs to conform to the rest of the mainstream rock that you hear on the radio these days. But I doubt the next two songs on the album, "Heart Songs" and "Everybody Get Dangerous" will get on to the radio anytime soon. "Heart Songs" is a dull tribute to all the artists that have inspired Rivers and only starts to build up towards the end. "Everybody Get Dangerous" is similar to "Troublemaker" in that it loses its appeal after about three listens. It features the group rapping over their guitars and contains some of the worst lyrics I have ever heard:
"When I was younger
I used to go and tip cows for fun, yeah
Actually I didn't do that
'Cos I didn't want the cow to be sad"
(This sounds bad but I literally could have used the whole song as an example of stupid lyrics).
You can see I've wrote a lot about the first five songs and I'm afraid I can't write as much for the last seven songs. That is because they do what all Weezer songs have the potential to do: become boring."Dreamin", "Thought I knew","Cold Dark World" and "Cold Dark World" are all standard rock by numbers songs. Interestingly these songs are sung by different members of the band which at least freshens up the vocals a bit, despite the actual songs being very predictable. The album withers out with three awful tracks.
Weezer continue their trend of leaving albums untitled. Instead that duty falls to their devoted fans, imaginatively entitling them by the front cover's colour. The "Red Album" follows the "Blue" and "Green" albums in this respect.
Red, however, may be more than just another colour in the spectrum, but also symbolic of what they wish to accomplish with this album. Most of Weezer are now in their early 40s, an admirable age for a still rather active rock group to reach. The subject matter of their songs has changed drastically as a result. Whereas before it was all about isolation from society (albeit in a poppy way) the "Red Album" appears to project the anger of Weezer by singing about how great they are and all the cool things they get up to. This is not Weezer, and you may despise it on first listen. But go back! With a few more replays, one can detect the melancholy behind Rivers' voice in The Greatest Man That Ever Lived, the sense of lying to impress in Troublemaker. Weezer are still Weezer, they're just seem to be entering a new realm.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
3 Pork And Beans
4 Heart Songs
5 Everybody Get Dangerous
7 Thought I Knew
8 Cold Dark World
10 The Angel And The One/Non Musical Silence
11 The Weight
12 Life Is What You Make It