(3 out of 5)
Anyone expecting a great record out of Weezer in 2010 deserves to be disappointed. That said, the all-too-predictable groans of “It’s no PINKERTON” are, by this point, just as lame as the chorus to “Beverly Hills.” Everyone – you, me, Rivers Cuomo – knows that Weezer is going through the motions. You could read opening number “Memories” as a tacit admission of this, with its nostalgia-deep chorus and general sense of “how did things get so weird now that we’re old?” but that’s probably giving Cuomo too much credit. After all, he does wrap those lyrics in a riff/chorus package that’s probably for sale as a GarageBand plug-in called “The Weez” or something. Yet, even though Weezer breaks zero new ground on HURLEY, the album does bristle with an energy and light that seemed to be completely drained from the band’s last three records. Sure, there are a couple of cringe-inducing numbers here – most notably the Linda Perry co-write “Brave New World” and the bafflingly awful Desmond Child co-write “Trainwrecks.” But despite the hilarious irony that the band has turned to schlocky guns-for-hire on their first “indie” album, there’s nonetheless a vitality to power-pop gems like “Ruling Me” and the almost-awful-but-actually-awesome “Where’s My Sex?”
First appeared Sept. 14, 2010 at Shockhound.com.