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Weezer - The Red Album (Cover Artwork)

Weezer

Weezer: The Red AlbumThe Red Album (2008)
Weezer

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've been a staunch defender of Weezer for a long, long time. After the five-year gap that preceded the Green Album, Maladroit and Make Believe, a lot of people lost faith in the band as gimmicky albeit catchy tracks like "Beverly Hills" were bookended with relatively forgettable material. But as I .
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I've been a staunch defender of Weezer for a long, long time. After the five-year gap that preceded the Green Album, Maladroit and Make Believe, a lot of people lost faith in the band as gimmicky albeit catchy tracks like "Beverly Hills" were bookended with relatively forgettable material. But as I listen to the Red Album, I looked through my iPod and noticed that only the Blue Album and Pinkerton seem to merit placement, and that isn't far from an accurate assessment of their output this decade.

Those two albums are, in my estimation, flawless. Blue was a perfect union of Pixies-style guitar crunch and Beach Boys harmonies; Pinkerton was a sharp departure but was a wonderful experiment and an equally great album. Even the B-sides from that era were hard to top: "Jamie," "Devotion," "Waiting on You" and "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly" are as good as any album tracks from that time, and better than most of the output that followed. Of course, Weezer seemed somewhat aware of this criticism, with early promises from the band indicating a return to that era. Sadly, with rare exceptions like the terrific first single, "Pork & Beans," this is not really the case.

In spirit, the album is definitely closer to the unrefined chaos of Pinkerton than the surgical precision of the Blue Album, but other than a philosophical similarity, Red is a musically mixed up package of co-vocalists and plenty of self-indulgence. The opening three songs are fairly strong, with the extra-long and genre-hopping "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" headed in a variety of interesting and catchy directions before laying on the band's trademark guitars. "Pork & Beans" is the one unquestionably great track on the album, harkening back to the band's first album and hoisted by a wonderful set of "fuck you" lyrics. Sadly, the album fails to maintain the pace of the first three songs with the namedrop-filled "Heart Songs" coming across a little too restrained for the band; while the band has had plenty of slower material, the complete lack of climax makes the song uneventful, melodramatic and overly long.

This record is also one of the first where the band members all contributed vocals and songwriting, and the result is quite clear, with songs like "Everybody Get Dangerous" coming off like a bad geek take on a macho rock song. As novelty, it's amusing, but it's not terribly memorable. Thankfully, "Dreamin'" comes in with the Beach Boys harmony and barre chords hitting hard and provides a bright spot in an otherwise nondescript second half. Guitarist Brian Bell sings "Thought I Knew," which is about as close to the AM radio sounds of bands like Matchbox 20 as one could admit, and bassist Scott Shriner's "Cold Dark World" is pretty much just bad. As for the deluxe edition's extra four tracks, they're interesting primarily for completists; with nary a rocker among them, the tracks simply blend into each other and were understandably cut from the proper version of the album.

It is refreshing to see Weezer embracing their experimental side, but part of what made Pinkerton so perfect was the genuine frustration and angst behind it; if anything is clear from the Red Album, it's that forced experimention just doesn't work.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
GuyPaterson (August 28, 2009)

Here is the thing about this album. If you get it, you MUST get the bonus tracks. They make the album.

"Pig" and "Miss Sweeney" are two of the best Weezer songs you'll ever hear. Period. "King" and "It's Easy" are also two of the better songs on the album.

The rest of the album is pretty hit or miss. "Greatest Man That Ever Lived", "Troublemaker", "Pork and Beans", "Automatic", and "Get Dangerous" are all good but then songs like "Heart Songs" and "Cold Dark World" are really not so hot.

This album for me is probably a tie with Green for Weezer's 3rd best release. Green doesn't have any of the the GREAT factor that a few of the songs on this album have, but then Green is also much more consistent.

dontrockthejukebox (August 20, 2009)

I tried convincing myself that this album wasn't completely horrible, that maybe it was one of those albums that grow on you after a while, but I couldn't fool myself any longer. This album fucking sucks. I gave it away for free. Blue and pinkerton are still solid though.

kylewagoner (January 21, 2009)

I don't know if this album works well as an album. I haven't listened to it at whole in a while. However, each song on it has grown on me (except for Cold, Dark World) considerably. Dreamin' is easily one of my favorite songs EVER. The Angel and the One could last for 10 minutes and I wouldn't mind. Pork and Beans and The Greatest Man That Ever Lived are amazing. Troublemaker and Everybody Get Dangerous are also very good. Heart Songs is a little out there for me, but ehh...whatever. I will admit that Thought I Knew is one of my favorite songs on the album, too. That all being said, the score is for the average song on the album, not necessarily for the album as a whole.

Drewy69 (October 8, 2008)

Weezer is awesome and most of there songs on this new album are pretty good. but what the hell is up with the songs with the other singer. Does anybody even know his freakin name?

azpunk73 (August 13, 2008)

First off how the green album doesn't make it as one of there best albums ....is beyond me. For a throwback to the fifties it rules. The Re d album is much better than Make Believe, in my opinion Weezer just gets more creative, with each album.

Valentin_Selezynov (July 8, 2008)

I guess i'm one of those rare people that think Make Believe was an awesome album... certainly the best Weezer have produced. So i wasn't looking for them to return to the blue era, but i am dissapointed in the red album anyway.

The only tracks i like are Everybody Get Dangerous, Miss Sweeney, Pig, The Spider and King.

These are good songs, mind. Not just the least terrible.

thewise (June 21, 2008)

Pretty good album, leaps and bounds ahead of make believe, but still alot of room for improvement.

slappy (June 17, 2008)

You guys are the same jack asses that panned Pinkerton when it first came out, only to find out that a few key cool people liked it...You'll change your tune with this album too...

mammoth (June 12, 2008)

The album cover is the color of my bloody stool after listening to this. Very dissapointed.

radiokuci (June 12, 2008)

This review seems to sum up my feelings about this album very well. "Troublemaker","Greatest Man That Ever Lived","Pork and Beans", and "Dreamin'" garner repeat listens but I'm doubtful that a year from now I will remember them. The rest of the album is completely forgettable, some good potential here that just didn't get where it needed to go.

KurtTGS (June 11, 2008)

That "Blast Off" song from River's solo album is great.

RondoMondo (June 10, 2008)

I thought this cd was underwhelming.

1. Blue Album
2. Maladroit
3. Pinkerton
4. Green Album
5. Red Album
6. Make Believe

That's how it ranks for me. Other than Pork & Beans and the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, this cd does nothing for me, and I have to say it was a bad idea to have the supporting players sing on some of the songs.

dotphil (June 10, 2008)

The only good thing about this album is the image of Rivers Cuomo in mustache and cowboy hat giving you a blowjob

fallingupwards84 (June 9, 2008)

it was also very short

Mammoth (June 9, 2008)

The green album wasn't THAT bad. Yet, it was very short of great...

BluthCo (June 8, 2008)

I like the music for the most part. It has the experimentation of Make Believe, but with more elements of the older albums. But I know Rivers can write better lyrics than this.

muktar (June 8, 2008)

were people really expecting anything any better? i mean theyve been crappy for a long time. nothing good since pinkerton. this is just continuing the trend.

steveman (June 8, 2008)

Good review. I completely agree. So disappointed.

sweetsuperior (June 8, 2008)

a total disappointment. i want my money back.

aaronsuspect (June 8, 2008)

Woe Woe Woe. B Sides were weak? I think they're better than anything on the album. Or at least competing. I've listened once through and the B Sides actually stood out to me. Especially Pig and Spider.

No score until I have an educated opinion.

telegraphrocks (June 8, 2008)

What? I just checked out Rivers' album a few days ago, and that is total crap!

Fucking "Beverly Hills" is actually better than anything on Rivers' album... and you all know what "Beverly Hills" sounds like.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (June 8, 2008)

Cuomo solo stuff is much better than Weezer after Pinkerton. check it out .

ollywood (June 7, 2008)

I really enjoyed Meladroit. It didn't really have any highpoints but it is a very consistant album. I think it got hated on because it was quite less rocking compared to the other weezer albums.

Is Cuomo's solo stuff worth checking out?

RyanGP (June 7, 2008)

After hearing how shitty "Make Believe" was i was really surprised how good this album is.

Definitely their best release since Pinkerton.

BarleyPat (June 7, 2008)

I wanted to like this, but I listened to The Greatest Man in the World and it is fucking terrible. Pork and Beans is OK, but probably would never have grabbed my attention if it wasn't Weezer.

phillipick (June 7, 2008)

Red album is to Weezer what Mardi Gras was to CCR

telegraphrocks (June 7, 2008)

My girlfriend wanted to hear this yesterday, so I put it on for her, and ended up liking it a bit more.

Six.

nocigar (June 7, 2008)

jesus christ, , it's not that bad. there have been a lot shittier albums released this year.

blanktapesemptybottles (June 7, 2008)

I haven't listened to the whole thing but the songs I've heard sound really good still can't decipher the sarcasm or not but the b-side on the single is god afwul... that's all I'm saying

whatisyourforte (June 7, 2008)

apparently i forgot how to use the close parentheses. that's what happens when you have a close-to-non-existent short-term memory. =) i forget what the hell i'm typing by the end of my sentence!

lolz.

whatisyourforte (June 7, 2008)

definitely the best album since pinkerton.
it's goes like this bitches.
1. pinkerton (a classic but not in the same light as the blue album. pinkerton is a classic because of it's big sound recording quality (remniscent of steve albini's work on nirvana's in utero). this album sounds intentionally raw, emotional, dark, and beautiful simultaneously.
2. blue album (obviously a classic)
3. red album (the most creative and experimental since pinkerton. the only song i can't really get into is "thought i knew," because brian bell's voice just isn't my cup of tea. The rest of it almost makes up for songs like "beverly hills." ugh...)
4. maladroit (good songs and cool idea having fans submit ideas)
5. make believe (some shit songs, but more interesting than the green album
6. green album (i think this one of their worst because they experimented the least with it. every song is verse/chorus/verse/chorus/play the vocal melody of the verse as a solo on the guitar/chorus. talk about uninspired and flat out friggin's boring.

the red album downright makes me feel like gettin' my jig on.

historypeats (June 7, 2008)

I understand why no one likes the Green Album or Make Believe, but I don't get the hate for Maladroit. Is it just that it's a Weezer album that isn't as good as other Weezer albums, or do people actually dislike the CD? Outside of "Dope Nose," I thought it was decent - definitely the best thing the band's released since Pinkerton.

Sir_Tam (June 6, 2008)

I like this album. I mean some parts are cheesy and some parts are just terrible but overall it's pretty good.

fallingupwards84 (June 6, 2008)

this album is proof that "illegally" downloading music is ok - imagine how pissed you would be if you bought it before listening to it?

SydBarrett420 (June 6, 2008)

"Rivers is so obsessed with rhyming, that every song sounds like it was written by Dr. Suess. It's embarrassing to listen to"

Dude, dont you know he's being "honest"?

Nap (June 6, 2008)

Few good songs.

HooverStreet (June 6, 2008)

Awww c'mon. It's not that bad.

AnarchyPants (June 6, 2008)

Some terrible songs, some great songs. Better than Make Believe and Maladroit.

i-type-poorly (June 6, 2008)

While the second half of this album shows a bit of innovation with each member having his own song to sing, this album is still poo. Rivers is so obsessed with rhyming, that every song sounds like it was written by Dr. Suess. It's embarrassing to listen to. The only song I liked was Brain's, which shouldn't come as a surprise, because Rivers didn't write it. But the song is just a leftover from Brian's side-project, so it's not even technically a Weezer song. Crap album. I downloaded it and felt ripped off.

SydBarrett420 (June 6, 2008)

LOL this band is extrememly overrated, do you guys realize they haven't put out a quality album in 10 years?

Also, while Pinkerton is good, it is also extremely overrated. Who cares if the lyrics are "honest"? They are hackneyed and ham fisted.

jacknife737 (June 6, 2008)

I really dig the first 4 songs on the album (yes, I like Heart Songs), still undecided about the second half.

branden (June 6, 2008)

i honestly have no idea how to rate this.

i really like the first four songs; troublemaker is fun, the greatest man is hilarious, pork and beans grew on me, and heart songs has a pretty nice melody even though the lyrics are in the turlet.

then everybody gets dangerous is just plain retarded, dreamin sounds like a rip off of every song ever made and the buildup/bridge is fucking HORRIBLE and to top it off the climax is just the chorus played slower and then the "i dont wanna get with the program" part comes on and you just wanna smack rivers for being such a complete dolt.

and now the other dudes.

brians song is harmless and laaaaaaAAMe, but is fun to sing along to, even if people are gonna think you're listening to uncle kracker.

scott's song ahahahaha, here is the gem of the album. this dude's sense of coolness is completely wrecked. but that can probably be said for every member of weezer. my main point of hilarious contention with these song are these lyrics:

"I'm not like the others, I'll be like a brother
I will protect you, never disrespect you
But if you need love then I'll be here to sex you"

am i the only one whose head was forced back on my neck and my mouth made to utter, "WHAA?"

then pat's song is so completely TUNELESS. seriously, is there a melody here? i think not! sounds like the drummer wrote it. it warrants repeated listens trying to remember how it goes.

and then the angel and the one is kind of boring. and kinda of nice too though. it fades out and the album ends.

all of the bonus tracks are bad, except for "king" which as you probably know, is also sung by scott, and is completely solid gold. i must reiterate that this guys sense of "badassness" is totally FUCKED THE FUCK UP.

MORE LYRICS!

"i saw a sweet baby,
such a fine lady,
i went up to ask her,
then some dude just grabbed her,
i told him to back off,
cut me some slack dawg"

*shakes head*
thats not how you do that dude.

so, this album is so completely deplorable, but i can't help but like it. it entertains me to no end. fuck, ill probably say it's an 8!

Cyanotic (June 6, 2008)

Pitchfork is not stoked.

Come on, we need two more reviews!

skaboom (June 6, 2008)

It's ok.

Also, Brian Bell sings like Uncle Kracker.

pinkerton (June 6, 2008)

fuck fuck fuck!!

at least we'll have the first two albums.

paulrulzdood (June 6, 2008)

Colin makes a good point about the Rivers going personal/experimental again thing.

Also, I think people have reacted well to "pork and beans" because its not nearly as gimmicky as "beverly hills", so its the best lead-off single we've heard from them in 6 years by default, and some could argue its their best lead-off single since "el scorcho" (I probably would, i didn't like "dope nose" or "hash pipe").

Also, the chord progression/vocal style/overall feel of the chorus to "pork n beans" is pretty much vintage Weezer.

paulrulzdood (June 6, 2008)

wow, Aubin, you really know how to review and word things just as I would, its like I'm reading my own review if I wasn't so lazy and scatterbrained. it's really just as I would have said it.

i agree with every word of your review really.

The first 3 songs kick ass. It got me excited for the album when I first got it. Then "heart songs" kicked in and I knew I was in for "make believe" part 2 for the rest of the ride.

Why in hell would Rivers let those other guys sing? They all sound like tards. Really indulgent and kind of insulting to the fans, if you're only going to give us 10 new songs after 3 years, at least have Rivers sing them all, even if they suck.

"dreamin" is the only other song worth a damn after 1-3.

I'd give it a 4/10 at best. Probably their worst album other than "make believe", which I think defaults as their worst due to "beverly hills" and "we are all on drugs" alone. There's fortunatly nothing quite that cringe-worthy and embarassing considering their first 2 albums, but track 5 and 7-9 sure come close to matching their shittyness.

Paul

telegraphrocks (June 6, 2008)

EDIT:

The good songs are 1-4, 6, 10, 11. I don't like 5.

telegraphrocks (June 6, 2008)

Their worst album, but still has come good songs (1-6, 10, 11).

The five-score is dead-on.

GlamBalam (June 6, 2008)

ridiculous, scandalous, oblivious

mattramone (June 6, 2008)

How does anyone like Pork and Beans? Not only are the lyrics the worst Rivers has ever done, the music is about as thrilling as elevator music, and just as memorable. Why is everyone so stoked on that song?

dante3OOO (June 6, 2008)

Haha what a stupid name for a band. Not to mention they look like emos. I bet this band sucks.
-Dante

aubin (June 6, 2008)

what is a "Bar Chord"?

You got me, it's "barre chord."

Piata (June 6, 2008)

I really want to like this album, and it started off sooo well (Troublemaker, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Pork & Beans) and then it starts to slip and never really recovers.

At least it's better than their last 2 albums, but nothing will ever match the Blue album.

colin (June 6, 2008)

i'd have given this about the same score.

thematically, this is the sequel to pinkerton that everyone's been asking for. it's rivers just being honest about his life as it is; except now it's much harder to relate to since, well, nobody else is a geek-grown-rock star. rivers has no reason to write about finding love anymore because, well, he's married now.

so this is the new 'pinkerton'; a complete break in style and filled with random shit that we weren't expecting (and, ironically, pretty much universally panned). i think this album is brilliant from that standpoint, although i don't really like it much (objective vs subjective standpoints there). we all asked for this, we all asked rivers to come out of his shell and write some personal shit again, and this is the result. it's got some great parts though (marryin a biotch / havin seven kiods) that is just a good reminder weezer is just a nerd band.

falls off heavily after "everybody get dangerous" but, i mean, it still has some strong moments.

bryne (June 6, 2008)

A band can only ride the wave of their early work for so long. I'm out.

Matthew330 (June 6, 2008)

The mighty have fallen referring to Weezer. This band is un-listenable (probably not a word) now.

Matthew330 (June 6, 2008)

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Still no "Self Medication" by The Slackers review on this site, either. Shit like this gets top priority now.

pricey123 (June 6, 2008)

did anyone else like maladroit apart from me? i think its underrated. i understand the hatred on make believe though.

im gonna pick this up anyway, even if its just for the sake of it

chrisafi (June 6, 2008)

Some pretty average scores today all round....

Weezer will never do another Pinkerton. I'm sorry. But its true. Time to realise they are very average these days and will continue to be so

thus_spoke_sean (June 6, 2008)

Pork & Beans sucks too, don't kid yourself

second.

fallingupwards84 (June 6, 2008)

Pork & Beans sucks too, don't kid yourself

TwoLeftFeet (June 6, 2008)

what is a "Bar Chord"?

"surgical precision of the Blue Album"?

i believe that surgical precision would be the green album.

Blue Album was incredible...but not overproduced or overdone like green.

and the deluxe tracks are awesome... BLAH

lolz

TheMarc (June 6, 2008)

Here we go!

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