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Monday, May 11, 2009

Music Review of The Red Album by Weezer

"Weezer" are a four-piece American indie/alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California and they were formed way back in 1992. As to date, Weezer comprise Rivers Cuomo (Vocals and Guitar), Patrick Wilson (Drums and Vocals), Brian Bell (Guitar and Vocals) and Scott Shriner (Bass and Vocals).

Weezer (The Red Album) has a crunchy opening with "Troublemaker". The opening guitar strumming sounds like "The Good Life" from Pinkerton. Rivers just sings in a fast pace to catch up with the guitar and drum beat. While singing the verse, the bass will come in at certain beats and produces sounds as if the thunder is going to strike. It’s very catchy how Rivers’ vocals and the guitar work together. When it gets to the chorus, Weezer will just go, "I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker, doing things my own way, and never giving up, i’m a troublemaker, not a doubletaker, i don’t have the patience to keep it on the up…" It has this vibe that makes you want to sing along. Simple but amazing opener, just sets the right mood on!

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" is a track that has a variety of musical composition. Suddenly it’s this, and suddenly it’s that. It’s like listening to a few tracks which have been re-composed and re-produced to a single track. It has the Weezer rapping, singing, choiring and yelling at different parts of the song. Although with the varieties going on, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) just sounds good. It’s a wild yet smooth ride throughout a track that’s over 5 minutes long. Weezer are really beyond where they normally are.

"Pork And Beans" opens with really cute and catchy guitar hook. I just like the squeaky sound that sounds like a pig’s squeak during the verses. It works very well with the guitar as well. The second verse contain a piece of lyrics that caught my eyes, "Everyone likes to dance to a happy song, with a catchy chorus and beat so they can sing along, Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts, maybe if i work with him i can perfect the art…" The chorus on Pork And Beans is totally different from the verse. It has Rivers singing on a heavier tone and the music just explodes and gets louder. And brings the normal and old Weezer back. To me, Weezer always sound good no matter how new and old they are.

Weezer has it slow and soft with "Heart Songs". Once Rivers breaks the silence and enters the verse. The whole song just comes together. As he sings the verse he mentioned a number of popular artists whom he grew up listening to that have influenced his musical style. Before the bridge comes, Weezer are so soft, so smooth and so friendly to our ear. The music and everything else just floats on like clouds. When the bridge comes, they just take on a stronger tone and violin can be heard playing as well, lifting Heart Songs onto a powerful finish. Otherwise, it’s all smooth and "These are the songs… They never feel wrong, and when I wake for goodness sake… These are the songs I keep singing…" Lovely and lovely!

"Everybody Get Dangerous" is a really dangerous track! With the guitar work that is going at the same speed with Rivers’ vocal. It’s very catchy to just listen to the vocals. The chorus just gets better with "Everybody get dangerous… (Boo yah)" It’d drag you to sing along with Weezer. In the background of the verses, you can listen to the sounds created by samplers and synthesizers. It features the fast guitar riffs that if you listen on earphones, the sound would keep circling from left to right. Cool effect! The last 30 seconds which features some yelling and drums are all that needed to end this energy-pumped track.

"Dreamin’" features vocals from Brian. Dreamin’ is a simple rock track that will bring you back to the old successful days of Weezer when they just got started into making and playing music. The guitar and bass sound somewhat lazy just as Rivers breaks into the verse. When the bridge comes, Weezer just shift into a lower gear and have it slow. Brian can be heard here where he would sing after Rivers on every phrase. The ending guitar plays in a slower version of the guitar that we have heard in the beginning. Just right before the end, Weezer surprise us with a short break, "I don’t want to get, with your program… Take back the love…" The good old days.

In "Thought I Knew", Brian takes the vocals. At the beginning, the synthesizers can be heard clearly before the guitar just strums the way in so tastefully. The guitar also has a pop-like element in it. As Brian sings, the guitar just know how to add the extra effect to Brian’s singing, especially the part "Thought I knew, but I didn’t have, a clue…" Great piece here. Throughout Though I Knew, the music itself was great, with the help of synthesizers and the great playing of guitars, even listening to the music is good enough to get you tapping you feet. I’m impressed here by Weezer.

"Cold Dark World" has a dark element to it. And this time, it’s Scott to take the stage. Just as the title suggests, it’s really a cold dark world when you listen to this track. From the lyrics, this song would make you think it’s a happy track. "Angel girl in a cold dark world, i’m gonna be your man, angel girl in a cold dark world, i’ll make you understand…" But after listening to the music, you would think twice. The last 23 seconds where Scott can be heard yelling, we can hear that his voice shares subtle similarities with Rivers. Could be a good thing for Weezer though.

On "Automatic", it’s Patrick’s turn to take the vocals. With the piano in the beginning, Patrick sounds really soft and lay it low in the verse. When it comes to the chorus, Patrick just belt it out like a rock and roll star, "Hey! It’s automatic when you know it… Hey! It’s automatic when you feel it…" During the bridge, a short guitar solo can be heard and as it draws closer to the end, Patrick just howls as the piano and synthesizer play in the background. Great fading by Weezer.

"The Angel And The One" is a slow ballad and Rivers is back on the vocals. It starts off slow and gradually picks up the note while the tempo remains the same. It reaches a point where Rivers really raises his singing tone, "I’ll take you there my friend, i’m reaching out my hand, so take it… We are the angels and we are the ones that are praying… Peace, shalom…" The word "Shalom" means peace in English and it’s a Hebrew word. While the rest of Weezer is singing, "Peace…" Rivers just howls until the song fades. In the remaining 1:30 minutes, the synthesizers and guitar can be heard playing as to complement how the song is going to end. The Angel And The One is like a hike toward a mountain top and upon reaching the top, one just takes a good rest and falls asleep. Great ending by Weezer!

Darren Tan


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