With their third album in as many years, Weezer don't run out of breath.
Weezer may just be the alternative rock version of Lil' Wayne. They may have taken an extended hiatus after the release of their album 'Make Believe' in 2008 but over the last three years they have become one of the hardest working bands around with a relentless and rapid output. Since 2008 they have released three albums. First came the third 'Weezer' colored album known as 'The Red Album' which showed a varied mix of styles and spawned the hit single 'Pork & Beans'. Then last year they released 'Raditude', a perfect summer album (which even featured Lil' Wayne) that was almost a throwback to their classic 'Blue' and 'Green' albums. 'Raditude' however was not as critically and commercially successful as other Weezer albums. So hot on it's heels comes their latest 'Hurley', an album which cover features the 'Lost' character of the same name but was actually named after the clothing company 'Hurley International'.
Confusion aside there is no doubt that this album is another hit from Weezer despite it falling short a little bit from the previous two albums. With that being said however this is only after it's first listen and if this album is anything to go by in relation to the bands other work 'Hurley' should be a grower. The fact that it's released at the tail end of summer might do it some harm as Weezer are typically a band for that season but it may just in fact serve as the perfect escape from those post Winter blues.
Weezer are growing more and more with each album. This album is more Hollywood Hills than 'Beverly Hills'. Especially on the cut 'Hang On' which features backing vocals from another geek hero actor Michael Cera. On this standout track the 'Scott Pilgrim' star is also handy on the hurdy gurdy. Now tell me you don't want to hear this? Cera isn't the only star to appear on this album as the cast of 'Jackass' provide backing vocals for the lead single 'Memories'. Which again is a curious choice of guest feature, but a curiosity that kills everything including the cat. A type of reckless guilty pleasure you'll want to see in the new 'Jackass 3D' film when it hits the screens.
The album may not be as complete as other Weezer gems and the track 'Where's My Sex?' may have fit better on their sophomore set, 'Pinkerton' but as the album comes to a close it isn't nearly as astray as it's cover stars hit TV show. The band promised a more raw sound and they don't disappoint. Especially with the albums closer 'Time Flies' which has been described as Zeppelin-esque and is among the bands best and most introspective recordings ever. From Rivers Cuomo's lyrics the song hints at the idea that the band knows they aren't as young as they used to be as he laments "Had another birthday/Could have been the worst day/I ever had/Got a little drunk/And I feel into a funk/And I woke up sad/Looked into the mirror, there were lines around my eyes".
Again with the quality of music of 'Hurley' (Even with the deluxe edition which features a cool live take of Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida') Weezer prove that even though they are ageing their typical college rock sound can still move with the times. Even though it sounds a bit strange coming from the now 40 Year old Rivers Cuomo. Weezer and Cuomo however take a page more out of Jay-Z's than Lil' Wayne's rhyme book and prove that good music really does stand the test of time. With this niche they've carved Rivers and Weezer prove that at least in their fans eyes they can stay 'Forever Young'. TIM DAVID HARVEY