The arrested development of Weezer

Surprise, surprise, “Raditude” isn’t Weezer’s coming-of-age album.

PHOTO COURTESY GEFFEN RECORDS

PHOTO COURTESY GEFFEN RECORDS

Mark Brenden

Weezer ALBUM: âÄúRaditudeâÄù LABEL: Geffen It is safe to say, presumably, that one could speak for the masses in asking, âÄúWhat in GodâÄô s name is with WeezerâÄôs outrageous arrested development?âÄù Unfortunately, their newest release âÄúRaditude,âÄù whose name, it has been revealed, is courtesy of Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office ), does not provide insight into the aforementioned question. After a good start with the percussion-heavy and groove-able âÄú(If YouâÄôre Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,âÄù the listener holds their breath throughout the next few songs, hoping in vain that a âÄúBeverly HillsâÄù- level tool rocker doesnâÄôt occur. But, alas, âÄúCanâÄôt Stop Partying âÄù is as pathetically douche-y as âÄúBeverly HillsâÄù âÄî if not more so. And then, as the song progresses âĦ is that LilâÄô Wayne ? Oh dear God above âÄî it is. How postmodern. The pop-punk overload the album hurls at the listener often leaves a way-too-many-Gobstoppers taste in their mouth. Lollipops like âÄúIn the Mall,âÄù âÄúIâÄôm Your DaddyâÄù and âÄúLet it All Hang OutâÄù are the foremost examples. But all you have to do is look at their titles to deduce that. The entire album sounds far too much like 1999 âÄî the year of midriff and boy bands in disguise as punk bands. Perhaps they are compensating for the hiatus they took that year, but the result is egregiously immature. Take, for example, âÄúGirl Got Hot ,âÄù which describes how an ugly girl in junior high miraculously improved in the looks department. First of all, Rivers Cuomo, there is no such thing as a good-looking middle schooler. Secondly, while youâÄôre in 1999, why donâÄôt you ask yourself âÄúWhatâÄôs My Age Again ?âÄù And just when you think the album canâÄôt possibly get any wackier, here comes an inappropriate sitar in the failed attempt to make George Harrison into a pop-punker that is âÄúLove is the Answer.âÄù The gorgeous female Hindi chiming in the song could be, save the choice opener, the brightest part of the album. But the hackneyed lyrics âÄî which incessantly beat a dead horse that John Lennon killed 40 years ago âÄî cloud what would otherwise be a halfway decent song. âÄúLove is the Answer / Makes no difference what you heard / Love is the Answer / You have to trust in the world,âÄù is a good model as to what CuomoâÄôs strapping lyrically in the song. As with everything, there are exceptions to the rule, in this case the general rule being the lifeless aura of this album. âÄúRun Over by a Truck âÄù is a dainty little ditty with Paul McCartney -inspired jangly keys and a Cake-esque melody, which is, to put it simply, extremely cool. And, despite a rather worthless middle section, the album does conclude with dignity, as its last three songs are perhaps its best. In a way, Rivers Cuomo is one of the most badass rock stars of our time âÄî the way he continues releasing music despite half of his fans having grown older and having abandoned him. âÄúI feel like IâÄôve been run over by a truck / I donâÄôt care much about anything / IâÄôm happy just to sing,âÄù he boasts in âÄúRun Over by a Truck.âÄù This attitude is promising. Perhaps, in time, he will recline into a respectable rock âÄònâÄô roll statesman position. But, until he loses his juvenile, having-fun-in-the-mall persona, that goal remains hazy. 2.5/5 stars