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CD Reviews:  Weezer: Weezer (2001)

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If you have forgotten how much you loved the sticky sweet pop radio anthems of The Cars back in the 1980s, then Weezer will remind you today. It's no surprise to learn The Cars' creator and singer Ric Ocasek produced the latest self-titled Weezer release, known by the fans as "the green album" (since the first Weezer album in 1994, a blue one, also was self-titled). Ocasek digs right in and nourishes the creative guitar-pop flower that made the first Weezer record so much fun, and laid the path for the modern day followers like Blink 182, Sugar Ray and Sum 41.

"Don't Let Go," "Photograph" and "Smile" all play like three-minute capsules of the Beach Boys' career with loud, fuzzy guitars thrown in. In fact, Weezer manages to clock in with 10 new songs in less than thirty minutes of total running time. The straight-forward, no-filler approach never works better than on the hit "Hash Pipe." With a thumping, bass heavy intro that surely plays loud and proud in high school hot rods and summer parties everywhere, "Hash Pipe" is an alternative radio dream! The only time Rivers Cuomo and the boys feel the need to shake up the basic four-chord guitar melodies that make this record so listenable is on "Island in the Sun." Here the Jamaican riffs and island beat will make you think of Pina Coladas and grass skirts, if not simply every Sugar Ray song you've heard!

Weezer got lost and wondered off their tried and true path a few years ago when they released the dark, conflicting Pinkerton record in 1996. Since then, a rocky ride to near oblivion, Rivers and his pals have regrouped to determine when it ain't broke, don't bother fixing it. And if all else seems to fail you, pull from your past, stick with the formula, and get Ric Ocasek to lend a hand!

~Red Rocker

Other Weezer reviews:
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