Though the album appears plain, decked in green and simply titled “”The Green Album,”” Weezer’s new and long-overdue record is anything but ordinary. Rising out of bed from an extensive hiatus, frontman Rivers Cuomo drives the reins of his geeky-metal band with a heavy snap.
About five years have passed since Weezer’s last outing, the commercial flop but critically acclaimed “”Pinkerton.”” Its sporadic sound and haunting lyrics were a far cry from their original, platinum debut aptly titled “”The Blue Album,”” which spawned such hits as “”Buddy Holly”” and “”Undone (The Sweater Song).””
“”The Green Album”” effectively melds both records together, creating melodies appropriate enough for commercial pop and with words to please analytical critics.
Cuomo continues to croon over girl troubles in “”O Girlfriend,”” as open chords serve only as backup to his weeping voice. Lyrically simplistic and slightly cliched, songs like “”O Girlfriend”” and “”Smile”” show that “”The Green Album”” lacks the emotional punch of “”Pinkerton.”” But still, the album is adorned with catchy power chords and easily digestible riffs that hook you onto a slew of dorky punk tunes.
The songs are more complex than your average brand of punk, sliding between hammering notes and gentle rhythms. Tracks such as “”Crab”” lie in the gray area between simplicity and psychedelia with wah-distorted guitar nuggets and repeated vocals.
Cuomo’s compatriots, guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Mikey Welsh and drummer Patrick Wilson, complete the barbershop quartet, singing background vocals. The four belt out the “”whoaaa-woooas”” and “”hey heys.”” The songs wouldn’t be the same without their choral roles, which are reminiscent of early Beach Boys songs.
Reminiscent, yes, but still original and true, Weezer continue to rock in an alternative era most critics deem dead and most companies claim unmarketable to the new century’s audience.
Weezer is a breath of fresh musical air to everything else around and should be welcomed back with open arms and ears.
— Randy Lie