June 3, 2008

The Red Album

I’m spending the day listening to the new Weezer album. Early returns are strong. Highlights include: Troublemaker (a song about high school that includes the line “You wanted arts and crafts, how’s this for arts and crafts,” followed by Rivers blasting a gaudy guitar solo), Thought I Knew (a cool track sung by guitarist Brian), and The Angel and The One (a classic Weezer finishing track, sort of, because the album comes with six “bonus” tracks that follow it).

I think I will enjoy this album a lot. I don’t think it’s a Pinkerton, they are too self conscious now. Or is it self involved? Anyway, they are too self-something to pull off music that is as naked/raw as Pinkerton. An interesting question the album raises is one of length. The complete deluxe version comes in at an hour (that’s 15 minutes longer than Make Believe and almost twice as long as any preceding album), and there are four songs that measure over five minutes.

Is this some kind of statement? Is it an “I told you so” by Rivers in which he proves he can write songs that are over three minutes? I like those three minute songs. A band has to grow though, and that means straying from your wheelhouse. My guess would be that after a week it will feel like some of the songs should have been left out.

Two last thoughts: Was this album influenced by Queen, Tenacious D, and Wings, and is that a bad thing?


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