July 3, 2008

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Weezer, The Red Album (Interscope Records)
It’s got to be weird getting old and being Weezer. They can throw out all the skateboard-kids-unleashed booger-nose-ness they want and leap at every opportunity to hot-foot the specter of adulthood (“marryin’ a bee-otch, havin’ seven kee-ods”), but geez, now they even look their age.

And it’s not as good as the Blue Album (their debut, so how could it be, right?) blah blah blah. There are some good, even interesting tunes on Red, well-constructed on the whole even if their Xanax-brat ’tude anthems are starting to sound more and more like something blapped forth by a crew resigned to a fate, fast bearing down on them, that’ll eventually find them getting all BFF with the Today Show cast while introducing “our first full-bore album strictly for toddlers.”

“Troublemaker” opens this can of worms with one hand in the Strokes cookie jar and the other stealing from their own older stuff, a phoned-in but listenable way to segue into “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived,” in turn a big-chorus-fitted slushball of Bohemian Rhapsody For Dummies that depends on “Buddy Holly” for, well, everything that isn’t Queen-like. “Pork and Beans” is the friendly little emo-glitterball ditty you’ve probably heard already, and “Heart Songs” is a mindless roll call of every pop tune singer Rivers Cuomo has ever had glued to his brain. If anything, it shows Weezer to be a Forever Band, one for whom age won’t matter as long as kids and (more importantly) adults need to indulge their inner idiot now and then. BEric W. Saeger