Pop & Hiss

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Album review: Weezer's 'Raditude'

November 2, 2009 | 10:38 pm


To those taken aback by Rivers Cuomo's newfound embrace of songs about slaying honeys in the club while downing Patron shots on "Raditude," he has this to say to you -- "If you was me honey, you would do it too."

Grammar aside, there's a real kernel of truth to this lyric. Name any neurotic, lovelorn bedroom rocker who, upon achieving unlikely arena-filling status, wouldn't take full advantage of having Lil Wayne on speed dial, as evidenced by the rapper's cameo (Weezer and Weezy, get it?) on "Can't Stop Partying."

The weird aftertaste of "Raditude" isn't that Cuomo has so surrendered the oddball charm of his band's first two albums, though. It's that his late-career pursuit of mindless, opulent fun is so transparent that it almost taps a deeper vein of interior sadness than anything on "Pinkerton." Imagine a kind of "Sunset Blvd." set amid the stuccoed wreckage of post-'90s KROQ stardom.

Cuomo still turns out more functional hooks before his breakfast tequila than most bands get in a career. "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" and "Put Me Back Together" reclaim gum-snapping pop-punk from Weezer's myriad hijackers. But how does one appropriately respond to tracks like the buffet-soundtrack sitar jam "Love Is the Answer" and the Warrant-worthy ode to post-puberty "The Girl Got Hot?" 

Maybe just relax and order a double.

-- August Brown 

Two stars (Our of four)