Weezer - Hurley

2010-11-09 10:28
Hurley kicks off with a catchy trio of feel-good power-pop hits that suggests, maybe, this isn’t going to be just another Weezer album. But the hits soon dry up and Hurley begins to wobble on tiny Pamela Anderson feet: top heavy (and maybe a little drunk).

The first three songs sound so focused. So primed for worldwide domination. Then “Unspoken” shows off Weezer at their clumsy, overly sentimental best. But after that, things come undone fast.  

The fumbling Rivers Cuomo sentiments are still there, they’re just forgettable. Starting with “Where’s My Sex?” which showcases some of the worst lyrics ever written – socks, sex… it doesn’t matter. What makes thing worse is, Cuomo needed help from songwriter Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Pink, OneRepublic) to make the song sound so awful. 
“Hang On” drifts into middle-of-the-road Keane territory, with lyrics like “Over and over, we swore it was over. But just like wild clover, love grows at light speed.”

“Smart Girls” is a nerdy, less sexual in-your-end-oh Bloodhound Gang dance number. Maybe penned during Rivers’ time at Harvard. Not bad. Not great. Shaky. That’s the word.

“Memories,” one of the catchiest songs ever written, includes attempted nostalgia with lines like “Playing hacky sack back when Audioslave was still Rage.” Someone tell Rivers, Audioslave’s Rage again, it’s back on.

Hurley is Weezer’s first independent label release, ever. Even their 1994 debut was out on DGC/Geffen. “Unspoken” briefly hints at Weezer’s low-fi past (Blue Album) but overall, Hurley is full of the sugarcoated nerdy power-pop sound we’ve become accustomed to.

It’s not that the intention’s not there. If anything, Hurley is a lot more straightforward than you might expect, with far less ventures into “Rivers, WTF?” territory. The songs just get more and more forgettable and tedious as the album wears on. Less Pinkerton, more “Beverly Hills.”

Perhaps Cuomo’s extensive list of writing partners says it all: Greg Wells, Ryan Adams, Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Rick Nowels, Tony Kanal (No Doubt), Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes), Jimmy Harry, Mac Davis and Desmond Child. Even Michael Cera turns up on “Hang On,” on guest vocals and mandolin… WTF?    

The deluxe version includes a cover of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” and a song (nursery rhyme?) about insects, again requiring a co-writer.
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VJ 2010/10/28 3:32 PM
I agree, weezer has done nothing for me since pinkerton, te green album, maladoit and make believe has some moments on there but red, ratitude and hutley is a mess.
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