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Maladroit

Weezer

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Album Review

Bands used to make records like this all the time. They'd release an album, tour all year, write a bunch of songs, record 'em, release another album a year later. Since hardly anybody — not even indie bands — did that in 2002, it's a remarkable event when Weezer does exactly that, especially following a half a decade of inactivity. But, it's hard not to think that this is the way it should be done by all bands, since Maladroit retains the high quality of The Green Album. True, it doesn't offer much that's new — it has a similarly short length, clocking in at 33 minutes, it favors riff-heavy, melodic rockers and has a lack of ballads, while Rivers Cuomo is doggedly avoiding the exposed-nerve confessions of Pinkerton — but there are a couple notable differences that give it its own character. Since the band has returned to self-producing, there's a tougher sound — nowhere near as raw as Pinkerton, yet similarly loud and raucous, overflowing with guitars spitting out riffs and solos with a gleeful abandon. So, it's essentially a harder-rocking version of the last album. But you know what? It doesn't matter because the band is at a peak. Cuomo continues to write consistently strong songs, occasionally penning a flat-out stunner ("Dope Nose" is one of Weezer's all-time greatest songs), the band is tighter than ever, and the record crackles with energy — nothing new, per se, but still vibrant, catchy, and satisfying. It's so good, it's hard not to think that it offers definitive proof that even in 2002, it's best for a band to keep going once they've hit a peak, to turn out a bunch of records that find them at the top of their game instead of waiting three or four years to craft a follow-up. After all, that's what builds not only a body of work, but a legacy. [The Australian edition appends one bonus song (the previously released "Island in the Sun") and seven videos: "The Quiet Storm," "The Cobo Challenge," and live versions of "Dope Nose," "Death and Destruction," "Burndt Jamb," "Keep Fishin'," and "Take Control."]

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As one of the most popular groups to emerge in the post-grunge alternative rock aftermath, Weezer received equal amounts of criticism and praise for their hook-heavy guitar pop. Drawing from the heavy power pop of arena rockers like Cheap Trick and the angular guitar leads of the Pixies, Weezer leavened their melodies with doses of '70s metal learned from bands like Kiss. What truly set the band apart, though, was their geekiness. None of the members of Weezer, especially leader Rivers...
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Maladroit, Weezer
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