Weezer: Raditude
Review By: Joe

What the hell is going on with this album?

Believe me, I don't pretend like I'm going to go into a Weezer album and find something even remotely akin to what the band sounded like pre-Green Album. At the best, I expect to find one catchy track or maybe one catchy track and one track with a catchy chorus and nothing else catchy. Well, actually, that isn't true. At best, I really go in expecting a total fucktastrophe. If you know me well (and you don't), you may have noticed (you haven't) that I relish things I hate far more than the opposite. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm more excited to sample things I expect to loathe far more than things I admire. Case in point, I can't remember the last time I was so psyched about anything than the time I went to see Juno and I'm about as equally psyched to see Diablo Cody's follow-up, Jennifer's Body, a bootleg DVD of which is sitting tantalyzingly mere feet from me. But I digress! The fact of the matter is that I expect to hate new Weezer albums and I enjoy hating them so much that I actually go out and buy the damn things, thus encouraging them to make more of them.

Actually, I didn't do this with the Red Album. With that one, I figured it was time to draw the line so I just downloaded it. However, this past year I happened to be living in China of all bloody places and items of comfort and familiarity were few and far between and my Internet connection was spotty to put it kindly. Therefore, when on a trip to Hong Kong (which is like China with England shoehorned into it), I spotted an HMV music store. Inside it I found Weezer's new album and, for me, precious few things feel more familiar than sitting down with a new Weezer album and shitting all over it (not literally). And, so, here we are.

It's getting more and more difficult to gauge how sucky Weezer's albums are in comparison to one another. There are so many different kinds and varying levels of suck (some overt like a 40-year old whore and some quite subtle like a 12-year old whore) that I can't even comfortably fit them onto a single suck scale. I think there's even a level of unidentifiable suck at work that sort of just tickles the back of the brain and makes one think "Hey, I don't like that, but I'm not sure why!" It's all very confusing stuff that frontman Rivers Cuomo should be commended for his mastery of.

Concept totally stolen from this website, by the way.

The problem with this particular album is that it reeks of douche. I mean, this is by far the douchiest album Weezer has ever put out and I think it's easy enough to agree with me purely by reading the title of it. And look at the cover. It's some dog flying through a goddamned living room. The douchesque mood of the title and cover can be found on each track of the album as well. Basically, it's this feeling of the band doing something deliberately stupid, but I, the listener, personally find it quite difficult to understand how much of it I'm supposed to be laughing at -- I don't know whether it's actually a joke or not, whether I'm in on the joke or if it's just a joke between Rivers 'n' pals. It's sort of something Weezer's always done, in a way, (I mean Buddy Holly's first lyric is "What's with these homies dissing my girls?"), but I've gradually become more unclear on how much Rivers thinks he's being funny and how much he thinks he's still making legitimate music or whether he cares either way. I started noticing it all the more on the Red Album, but, with this album, the douche factor has been upped to "Squirting All Devil May Care-Like" because of the added sense that they really just didn't give a shit here. I mean, for fuck's sake, it's called Raditude and it only took them a year to dump the thing out.

The track listing seems like a joke(?) too. It's all like party song names. And check out this fucking Snuggie ad.

I mean, what the hell? Is it real? It seems to be real. I get that Snuggie is (or was) one of the more silly products to garner some kind of limited pop culture success due to how stupid it is and how people wearing them appear to be in cults, but the issue here is that, apparently, there really is a Weezer Snuggie. I mean, doesn't it stop being parody when you're actually endorsing the thing? Or is it not supposed to be a parody? Do they actually love Snuggies? So you see what I'm saying here? The Snuggie situation is just another example of my problem with Weezer these days on the whole -- I just don't know whether they're trying to be funny anymore or not. If they are, however, they're failing and, while they're at it, they're making shitty music.

(If You're Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You To - The first track was also the first single. Humph. Waste of time. I've heard them do worse. The video features Odette Yustman, who is most known for her ass in the UK poster ads for The Unborn. There's a message in it (the video, not The Unborn, but maybe both!) about bros before hos or something. Also, the whole band sustains violent injuries. I guess it's supposed to be funny, but, in keeping with their code, it isn't.

By the way, what kind of tit writes a song about how a girl needs to make a move on him already because he ain't got all night? More than that, what kind of tit with the impish features of Rivers Cuomo writes such a song? Oh, Rivers Cuomo, I guess. What a weirdo.

I'm Your Daddy - Right, nice title. I think they just liberally pilfered the letters section of Date Rapist Monthly. Anyway, I'm shockingly okay with this song. Yes, it's douchey beyond salvation and even a bit creepy and the lyrics are tripe of the most rotten caliber ("I hope I ain't freakin' you out / You probably hear it all the time / I swear I ain't like those other boys / I'm a special kind"), but, you know what, the chorus is catchy. And the breakdown is quite cool. Also, this is the second single (lazy, lazy) and I actually kind of like the video. It's basically just random footage of the band plus some fan stuff, but it also features bizarre and unexpected special effects, like guitarist Brian Bell suddenly growing facial hair and a guitar exploding and turning into the dog from the album cover.

This is also the first track on the album to demonstrate Rivers' apparent new affinity for weaving electronica into his cock-rock. Whatever. It's fine. Weezer is such a ridiculous crap at this point already that I'm hardly gonna lose my shit over the addition of some synth. Anyway, this song is kind of fine...in a douchey way. But don't think I sit around listening to it all the time. Because I don't. Okay?

The Girl Got Hot - Another track, another retarded party name. It's not good and parts of it remind me of one of the most abysmal pieces of pop music ever created, "American Pie." I like the bridge though. That's all I like.

Can't Stop Partying - "Can't Stop Partying" is the best song on the album. And I more or less knew this before I bought it because the song was originally released on one of Rivers Cuomo's collections of never-exactly-finished songs, the ridiculously pretentiously titled Alone and Alone II. Most of the stuff from those albums is fairly disposable, but "Can't Stop Partying" was a clear standout. I think the story goes something like Jermaine Dupri wrote the lyrics to a song and, because they both happened to be represented by the same label, Rivers found himself teamed up with the guy. I guess Dupri gave Rivers the lyrics and Rivers sung them over sad minor chords, so we get a fairly awesome mashup of rap lyrics about doing drugs and laying women sung whiny sad white boy style.

Both men are plagued by the same trouble: an inability to cease [the] partying.

Well, the album version gets rid of some of the cleverness of that rougher recording by adding all kinds of electronic noise like it's a real party song and including a rapped bridge by Lil' Wayne who, if I'm not mistaken, drops the first F-bomb ever on a Weezer album because that's sort of his thing. Also, prison. Well, I guess something was lost in this rendition of the song, but it's still basically the same song with the same music and almost the same lyrics (aside from some of the drug references retardedly removed) so it's pretty good. I don't really think I prefer one version to the other exactly. I'm not sure why this one hasn't been made into a single yet.

Put Me Back Together - Okay, I guess this one doesn't have a party album title because for a couple tracks they opted for country western titles instead. Anyway, it's total ass!

Trppin' Down the Freeway - There should be some kind of association that sees to it that albums with song titles like this are not released. Also, songs. Awful.

Love is the Answer - There appears to be an attempt here to have a song that sounds like part of a Bollywood soundtrack. I've never known anything related to Bollywood to come out even remotely worthwhile and this song is no exception.

Let It All Hang Out - I'd prefer not to.

In The Mall - If there's one thing Weezer should've learned from their previous release it's that they shouldn't let the drummer write any more songs. I mean, they shouldn't be putting out albums at all, but since they can't be swayed from that, at least stop letting Pat Wilson's mind represent itself in any capacity. What a waste of...I guess everything.

I Don't Want to Let You Go - I can't be doing with this pussy nonsense.

Turn Me Round - Depending on where you are in the world, what color shirt you're wearing, and whether you bought it during an equinox, there are about five-trillion different bonus tracks you can get for this album. Well, my Hong Kong one only had this one and, yeah, continuing another Weezer trend, it's one of the better things on here. It rocks a bit, it's not overproduced...eh, it's fine.

Rivers did not expect to be held at gunpoint in the middle of a show.

Well, to refer to that profound trash I said before about suck scales, in trying to rate this album against the previous atrocity, I find myself troubled. I mean I'm really not sure which one I should hate more. I guess this one has 1 and 1/3 (or 2 and 1/3 if you count the bonus track) songs more that I like over the one ("Pork 'n' Beans") from The Red Album, but that's being quite generous. I mean, ultimately, the only song I go out of my way to listen to is "Can't Stop Partying" and, technically speaking, I already had that one before this album came out.

I guess this one also gets some points for having a real title and not just being another stupid color, but, no, I'm not going to count that because Raditude must have taken all of 14 seconds to come up with. It also loses points for the extreme douchiness. The title, the song titles, the album cover, the lyrics, the snuggie - honestly now, fuck the fuck off.

In the end, these comparisons are probably futile. I guess the bottom line is that I did technically enjoy a touch more of Raditude, but I still come back to the point that these new Weezer albums are insultingly lazy efforts. Lazy songwriting - lyrically and musically - and a thick coating of douche sauce that is only getting more rancid with each release make for predominantly forgettable stuff. I read a quote from Brian Bell where he mentioned he said to Rivers that he was a bit worried about the poppy direction the new album was going (yeah, wouldn't want to do anything to stray from their history of being totally hardcore) and Rivers said something to the effect of "don't worry because this is just one retarded-ass album and we're gonna make a ton more after this." Well...great. I guess that gives me something to do. But it's sort of getting less fun, Weezer. Can't you at least do another thoroughly resounding failure like Make Believe? Thanks, pals.

Oh, I was gonna try to finish the review up with something punchy about how I figured the joke out and it's clearly on me, but I assume you've all gotten there yourselves by now.

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