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Weezer (The Green Album)

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Weezer (The Green Album)

Artist: Weezer
Genre: Rock
Release Date: May 2001

Review by LarryG
3½ stars out of 4

Weezer's green album is bound to be among the best records of 2001. It's the best of their career. Weezer present a likable persona, like they did on their first record, but their sound is bigger and more solid than it was then. I like Weezer's second record but the green album is more accessible. Pinkerton was dark with manically fast, loud rockers. I loved Pinkerton's singles, The Good Life and El Scorcho, but they were too complicated(both had different sections with shifting meters) to be hits. The songs on the green album are simple and easy to like. The only downside of the green album is that it's quite short(28 minutes) but the ten songs are so uniformly good that it doesn't feel skimpy.

The green album is consistently fun without being silly. The exemplar for the music seems to be the first album's Buddy Holly. Most of the music has steady rock guitars and a positive feel. The songs are big and rocking with light touches that keep them from being overbearing. Ric Ocasek, who also produced the first Weezer record, knows from his Cars days about mixing rock guitar with fun touches. The green album starts with Don't Let Go. Keyboards like The Cars and Jeff Lynne used help create a giddy, breathless mood. As Weezer's concerts show, they're a really skilled band. No ill effect is apparent as Mikey Welsh replaces bass player Matt Sharp, who left Weezer to work full time on his band, The Rentals(bad decision, considering the green album's sales). Welsh, drummer Patrick Wilson and guitar players Brian Bell and Rivers Cuomo propel Cuomo's tale of shameless need for the girl of his dreams on Don't Let Go with tight, fast playing. Opening with handclaps and "ooh-oohs", Photograph, which encourages us to keep reaching out for love, has a spirited, retro Beach Boys feel with steady guitars and solid drums. The confidence and strength of Rivers Cuomo's singing on the green album is impressive. Since the green album avoids cutesy songs for straight forward rockers, Cuomo gets to do tough, straight forward singing. On Hash Pipe, about a transsexual prostitute smoking to relieve paranoia and anxiety, Cuomo moves assuredly in and out of a falsetto, always adding to the song's sense of urgency. Hash Pipe was a good choice of a first single. The tough, rocking sound helps kill the band's image as video dependent jokesters. Bell and Cuomo make a guitar sound as big and menacing as any hard rock band. The green album's hardest song is smartly followed with its mellowest. Island In The Sun is a sweet love song, with an easy, strummed guitar, celebrating (complete with "hip hip"s) how nice it'll be to go away.

The rest of the green album is short, likable, fairly modest rockers. Crab is dense glam rock with a cool, restrained pace. Knock-down Drag-out's music is appropriately frenzied for a song about trying to rekindle a turbulent relationship. Bell's guitar is fast and confident. Smile is a Cuomo triumph. It has one of his best lyrics, encouraging a woman to "open the door and let your love come down" and "make it happen." I like the way Cuomo's voice empathetically softens and rises in pitch on the chorus. Simple Pages has appealing guitars and harmonies for one of the green album's many optimistic requests for a woman to come back. Glorious Day bursts with energy from the start with power chords as Cuomo boldly looks at the future, singing "gonna make my move." Bell does one of his good, short, unshowy guitar solos. O Girlfriend is the sad side of all the songs about wanting to get back together. Cuomo sings he's "lost without your love." He uses the sincere, poignant vocal of Only In Dreams, Across The Sea and Pink Triangle. Even with the sad topic, the guitars and rhythm section keep the song from dragging.

The green album is a very appealing, mostly upbeat record. The only possible gripes besides the record's length are that Cuomo's lyrics are sometimes so simple that they border on stupid and that the record lacks the variety and personality of the band's first two. But more importantly, the green album unfailingly delivers well played, fun songs that are filled with rock thrills.



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