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CD Reviews:  Weezer: Maladroit

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Technically, this is the second Weezer release in less than 12 months. Eccentric Weezer guitarist, songwriter and vocalist River Cuomo is making up for lost time. After the 1996 release of Pinkerton, which was critically and commercially panned (until recently achieving a cult following), Cuomo retreated to a warehouse in California somewhere and didn't reconvene Weezer until 2001 when they released the fairly well received Green Album. Maladroit, the band's latest release) is a 33:19 second glimpse into power pop alternative at its best. The album contains 13 tracks of two- and three-minute rocking songs that make you want to sing along and turn the radio up as loud as it can go.

The lyrical landscape is familiar Weezer territory filled with themes of longing, un-requited love and alienation. The lyrics are a fascinating contrast to the arrangements, which are fast tempo, full of sweet harmonies and big guitar licks. Occasionally, Cuomo dives into lyrics that are aloof and used simply for a rhyming scheme, but his point is pretty clear: he is a lonely, moody guy who happens to be a rock star. Track two, "Dope Nose," features the gem, "cheese smells so good on a burnt piece of lamb, fag of the year who could beat up your man." I don't know about you, but I have no idea what the heck he is talking about -- but in combination with the music, it works and works really well. You really can't keep your toes from tapping regardless of what he 's singing.

The best cuts on the album are the two that sound a bit different than the other ll. Track seven, "Burndt Jam," is a cool, lounged-out piece that features some nifty summer riffing before the bridge rocks loudly with a guitar solo. "Death and Destruction" features a bit of a bluesy feel in the arrangement. 

This is one of the better releases of the summer and one may argue that paying full price for a little over 30 minutes of music is not cost effective. However, I'll take 30 minutes of well-executed rock any day. Weezer cuts it to the bone and puts out these little records that get to the point, rock out and tell their lonely little stories. Cuomo has been quoted lately as stating that he would like to get another record out soon -- I, for one, am all for it. 

~R. David Smola 

Other Weezer reviews:
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