16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Progress?
I was pleasantly surprised with this album from Weezer. The last album that i owned from Weezer was the Red Album which nothing really made me want to continue listening to that cd. Then came Ratitude which i didn't buy because of a couple listens and didn't find anything worth the money. Once they stepped away from the big record label they stepped back into the days...
Published on September 15, 2010 by William F Cherry
100 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little better than Raditude. . .
Listen, I'm a really big Weezer fan. And no matter what they put out, I will keep listening. I agree with what I've heard a lot of people say: Raditude was definitely my least favorite Weezer album. But unfortunately, I don't feel that Hurley is much better. Are there some good songs on this album? You bet. I really dug "Ruling Me," "Smart Girls," and "Time Flies"...
Published on September 14, 2010 by greenrogue
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100 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little better than Raditude. . .,
Listen, I'm a really big Weezer fan. And no matter what they put out, I will keep listening. I agree with what I've heard a lot of people say: Raditude was definitely my least favorite Weezer album. But unfortunately, I don't feel that Hurley is much better. Are there some good songs on this album? You bet. I really dug "Ruling Me," "Smart Girls," and "Time Flies" (which has sort of a rough, scratchy, old LP sound to it that is very cool). But aside from those few, I often felt like I was listening to the same song over and over again.
I hate those people that point back to the 90's and say "This is what Weezer used to sound like and now they suck." No, they don't. Bands will naturally change and evolve over time, but it may not always be for the better. It seems like with The Red Album, there was a shift in tone where the lyrics became more goofy and simplistic (although there was still a lot of musical experimentation on Red that I really liked). It's not as though some of their songs weren't goofy before, (that's always been part of the band's charm) but now they just seem intent on creating simple "party" music with repetitive, pop-punk rhythms. That was the foundation of Raditude, and much of that sound carries over to Hurley.
When I listen to these last two albums, I have to ask myself, "Would I really like this music at all if I didn't already like Weezer?" I'm not sure. At least on this album, it feels like there are a few touches of the "old" Weezer in there. So I guess it's a step in the right direction. But I would love to hear some of the passion and flair that graced their earlier albums return. Like I said before, I am a huge fan and I will keep listening no matter what. I'm fine with the band evolving, I just don't necessarily enjoy the place they're at right now musically.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Serious Look at an Increasingly Goofy Band,
When weighing anything Weezer has recorded in the last decade against such classics as their eponymous blue album or Pinkerton, you're more than likely going to be very disappointed. Rivers stopped writing serious lyrics long ago, and since then has seemingly been on a quest to sell out as much as possible (Weezer Snuggie, album title controversy, etc.) while simultaneously pumping out some of the most generic pop/rock songs ever made. Their last two albums in particular were forgettable endeavors that often sounded like theme music for a Nickelodeon show. In recent times, they are commonly considered wash-ups with cringe-worthy lyrics. Say it ain't so.
Going into the album, I expected the worst because Rivers has a propensity to let his longtime fans down these days. All that aside, I'm rating this album based on its own merits. The first thing you notice is the cover. Their album covers were never very serious, but this is certainly their most ridiculous cover yet.
Memories - This song hints that maybe somewhere buried under the garbage, the old Weezer is somewhere to be found. The chorus lyrics will make you want to listen to classic Weezer. (6/10)
Ruling Me - Reminds me of the green album. It has nice back-up vocals reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's probably one of the catchiest, most Weezery songs on the album. (9/10)
Trainwrecks - This sounds like an Aldous Snow song on the Get Him to the Greek soundtrack. Catchy melody but mediocre lyrics about topical things like forgetting to check blogs, kicking ass, etc. (7/10)
Unspoken - Rivers puts on the voice of a toddler that truly irritates me. Aside from that, the song is pretty good until it goes into the "rock out" section. (6/10)
Where's My Sex - Songs like this make me wonder why I still bother giving Weezer a chance to redeem themselves. The lyrics are embarrassing to the point where I question whether Rivers really attended Harvard. This song represents everything I hate about Nü-Weezer. (0/10)
Run Away - Rivers makes up for the disaster on the previous track. I really enjoy the chord progression used in this song. The back-up vocals are nice, and the lyrics are simple but poignant. I consider this the key track of Hurley. (10/10)
Hang On - This song is alright. It would probably make nice driving music. The layering is what makes it passable. (6/10)
Smart Girls - At first, I thought this would be a cover of the Brian Wilson song. It might as well be; it's just as misguided. This song would be better as an instrumental. I'm sure it will be the credit music for the next Cameron Diaz romcom. (4/10)
Brave New World - This song is very forgettable. I keep thinking he's going to say "This is the dawning of the... age of Aquarius." (3/10)
Time Flies - I like what they were trying to do here with the lo-fi barroom romp closer. Do I think it worked? I'm not really sure. (5/10)
Overall, this album reminds me of the band Lit. Yes, Lit. (The world has mostly forgotten about this band and I'm actually surprised that I remember them.) This isn't really a good thing. I hate to say it but I think Weezer might be finished for me.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Stellar,
I read a lot of negative reviews for this album and they were more or less what I expected to hear. I don't listen to the radio very much these days, but what little I have heard from Weezer has been akin to Beverly Hills which is appallingly bad. However, I decided to read a couple of the 5 star reviews just to give the album a fair chance (hey not everyone has the same taste). One reviewer mentioned that Weezer has always been a fun band to listen to and don't take themselves too seriously and therefore critiquing them so harshly doesn't make sense. I had to agree.
I haven't picked up anything by Weezer in a long time, but Amazon recommended their CD to me, so I figured I would take a look. To give a frame of reference to 'a long time,' I own The Blue Album, Pinkerton and The Green Album.
The album is not a steaming heap of poo as some of the reviews would have you believe. That said for the most part it is simply ok. Some of the bonus tracks, specifically Viva la Vida, are straight up terrible. Honestly if the album were produced by some unknown artist I might have given it a 3, however, Weezer really ought to hold themselves to higher standards than this. Other artists emulate them, and this does not deserve mimicry. Rivers Cuomo's voice seems different to me? And not just a little different, jarringly different. I transition from listening to In the Garage to Memories and he sounds like a completely different vocalist, and definitely not in a good way.
Long story short, the bad reviews are pretty harsh, but they are right in one regard: this isn't worth your time or money.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Progress?,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hurley (MP3 Music)
I was pleasantly surprised with this album from Weezer. The last album that i owned from Weezer was the Red Album which nothing really made me want to continue listening to that cd. Then came Ratitude which i didn't buy because of a couple listens and didn't find anything worth the money. Once they stepped away from the big record label they stepped back into the days of Pinkerton, The Blue Album, and The Green Album. This just sounds like a natural progression from their first three records.
If you liked the Weezer that released Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, or Troublemaker then this will be a dissapointment to you as a new Weezer fan. If you appreciate their old albums then this is a nice pickup because it is a glimpse into the past. Hopefully they keep it up.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars,
Here we go again, another Weezer album and another divide amongst their "fans". Nothing else needs to be said about Blue and Pinkerton, they're 16 and 14 years old and Weezer will never make them again. That being said, here is "Hurley", the follow up to the critically reamed "Raditude", and once again people are saying that it sounds like old school Weezer. The only thing I can say to that, is that the auto-tune to River's voice seems to be gone, which is definitely reminiscent of the 90's. Other than that, I don't really hear it. The first single, "Memories" is kind of odd to me, because I'm shocked that people really dig it. Sure, it's an ode to the good old days, but it certainly doesn't sound like the good old days. It's just kind of... cheesy. "Ruling Me" breaks in and it is certainly a far superior song to "Memories" (my ocular nerve went pop zoom!). The rest of the tracks are pretty good ("Unspoken", "Train Wrecks" etc.), save for "Where's My Sex" and "Smart Girls", which I truly believe are two of the worst Weezer songs I've ever heard (up there with the Bollywood song from Raditude). My major problem with this album however, is that there are MULTIPLE opportunities for sweet guitar solos to kick in. You can actually feel them coming... but then they don't. I mean, there is literally one guitar solo that I can count on the whole record. If they were overly done on Green, they are completely lacking on Hurley. It's actually kind of frustrating to wait for the guitars to kick in, and then not get them (kind of like blue balls to the ears). So, ultimately, Weezer remains consistent in that they continue to put out albums that have a few really great songs on them, but overall don't really make a huge impact. That's not a bad thing, considering the rate they put them out at now (River's stated in Rolling Stone that he's already got the next album recorded and is starting on the one after that!), but let's not pretend that it's something it's not.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weezer's "Lost" Album,
I guess it is getting too easy to be Weezer these days. Come up with an infectious guitar riff, write some seriously oddball lyrics, and let Rivers sing in his geeky lost-boy voice. While he's still one of the best at this game, he is also beginning to sound seriously old-hat about it. A song as lame as "Memories" also contains a killer hook and a great line about "when Audioslave was still Rage," all while going for the nostalgia quotient for the fans who were on-board back when the first album shocked everyone.
"Hurley" is a 50/50 Weezer album, about the same as "Maladroit" or "Make Believe" in my Weezer rankings. In fact, two of the best songs are the bonus tracks, the soccer team anthem "Represent," and (of all things) the kids' show "All My Best Friends Are Insects." Frankly, given Rivers' childlike view of the world at times, writing a song for "Yo Gabba Gabba" about bugs with a serious buzzing guitar seems like a natural. As opposed to "Smart Girls," which just sounds forced. (As a point of reference, I thought "Where's My Sex" to be amusing, too.)
At least they're still trying to reinvent their wheel. "Unspoken" sounds like they're going for maturity without the cheese, and "Time Flies" could be this year's "Good Riddance/Time of Your Life." Good for them.
PS - "Hurley" succumbs, badly, to the loudness wars. The darn thing is compressed to within an inch of its life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album since Pinkerton,
I've read a lot of reviews on Amazon that rip this album to shreds, and I have to wonder if these people are listening to the same album I am. While it's true that the album is not perfect (there are definitely a couple of clunkers on here), by and large, it's an amazing album. Maybe the negative reviewers didn't really give it a chance, and who can blame them, after the abomination that was Raditude?
But this album deserves a chance. It's a bit of a grower, but if you'll remember, so was Pinkerton. It took several years for the reputation of that album to change from the second worst album of the year (from Rolling Stone readers in 1996) to one of the greatest albums of the era. I doubt this album will ever achieve the same status as Pinkerton because that album did not have a single misstep, and this one has two, but I'd be very surprised if the stature of this album didn't grow with time, maybe even into that of a minor masterpiece.
Now, the two aforementioned missteps are pretty bad, so here's my advice: make a CD or an iPod mix deleting those two songs ("Where's My Sex?" and "Smart Girls"), and what you're left with is eight songs clocking in at just over 27 minutes. More of an E.P., really. But what an E.P. it is.
First, the bad. As I said, "Where's My Sex?" and "Smart Girls" are both pretty awful, but between the two, "Where's My Sex?" wins the razzie, hands down. It's epic bad. Like "We Are All On Drugs" bad. The conceit of the song, such as it is, is singing about socks as if they're sex (or singing about sex as if it's socks; I'm not really too clear on that, but it doesn't matter - you get the idea). It apparently came from a cute malaprop his daughter made confusing the two. But that's the kind of thing you post on Facebook, not write a song about. Anyway, if I'm making it sound terrible, it's not as bad as you think. It's worse.
On the other hand, "Smart Girls" is just mildly irritating. It consists mainly of listing girls' names and then singing a chorus of "Smart girls - never get enough of those smart girls," etc. If they're so smart, why not say something smart about them, Rivers? That's how you get smart girls. It's hard to imagine any truly smart girl could possibly like or be flattered by a song this stupid.
Anyway, that's it for the bad. Now for the good - pretty much everything else. Yes, there are the occasional lapses into Red Album lyrical absurdity ("One day we'll...crash a Diddy party in disguise" from "Trainwrecks" as an example), but by now, we've come to expect that from Rivers. Ever since he lost Matt Sharp as an editor, he's been unable to distinguish the difference between good, silly fun and complete lunacy. And as Spinal Tap so famously observed, there's a fine line between stupid and clever.
But from the first song onward, this album overcomes its minor shortcomings and keeps you fully engaged (and, by the way, from this point on, I'll be referring to the album as tracks #1-8, ignoring "Where's My Sex?" and "Smart Girls").
The opening track, "Memories," is just that: a dizzying collection of very specific details chronicling the rise of Weezer as a touring band from the garage to the Playboy mansion and everything in between, to a chugging riff and a soaring chorus, and it's every bit as entertaining as it sounds.
The next song, "Ruling Me," is co-written by Dan Wilson from Fountains of Wayne and contains such F.O.W.-styled lines as "My ocular nerve went pop-zoom," but also shares Wilson's gift for insanely catchy, melodic power-pop.
Third track "Trainwrecks," despite a few silly lyrics, is a rousing Gen X/GenY/Gen-9/11 anthem that, played live, will practically dare people not to pump their fists and cheer.
But the first of several real detours that make this album special is track four: "Unspoken." It is the most nakedly confessional song Rivers has done since Pinkerton. It starts warmly and pleasantly enough, but in the chorus, it turns suddenly dark, and its desperation becomes almost palpable. "And if you take this away from me, I'll never forgive you, can't you see? Our life will be broken. Our hate will be unspoken." This is the kind of song many of us have been waiting for for almost fifteen years. And the flute that flutters through the verses (yes, a flute) gives the song a dreamy, early-70's vibe that makes the chorus crush you that much harder.
The next song, "Run Away," co-written by Ryan Adams (if you're wondering how that pairing could possibly work, you're not alone; but it works better than you could possibly imagine), may well be the best song on the album. It starts off as a scratchy solo-Rivers piano demo, where he sounds as vulnerable as he has ever sounded, and then turns into...well, that's kind of hard to explain. Is it a hard-driving anthem? Is it a lovely ballad? It's a bit of both, actually, and it's power-pop perfection.
Track six, "Hang On" starts with a nail-biting tension that builds and builds into a chorus with the kind of crescendo we haven't heard since "Surf Wax America." It's a song about maintaining hope in the face of adversity, and it sounds fittingly triumphant.
The following track, "Brave New World," sounds like a cross between Gary Numan and MGMT, as interpreted by Weezer. Yeah, I know. That sounds weirder than the Ryan Adams thing on paper, but it actually works (a lot better than their wincing cover of Numan's "Are Friends Electric?" from the "Pork and Beans" single).
But they save the best for last. "Time Flies" is another song that starts as a demo, but this time, it stays that way for the duration. Just guitar, vocal, keyboard, and a steady but unobtrusive kick-drum. And when I say demo, I mean demo. This song is so lo-fi, it makes Pavement sound like Pink Floyd. But it's the perfect medium for the confessional nature of the lyrics. In the past, when someone used the words "confessional" and "Rivers Cuomo" in the same sentence, you pictured anger, bitterness and nearly unhinged rage or sorrow. Not this time. This song finds Rivers sounding happier and more at peace than he ever has before, and it's absolutely life-affirming. It's the perfect end note to a (near) perfect album.
Get this album now, if you haven't already. And if you've already got it but put it aside, listen to it again. And again, and again. You won't be sorry. And if you don't, it's truly your loss.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Average for Weezer in my Eyes,
This review is from: Hurley (MP3 Music)
Weezer have passed their commercial peak, given the relatively tepid sales of albums 2008`s exceptional Weezer (Red Album) and 2009's Raditude. Despite this, the creativity of the band - well namely its ageless frontman Rivers Cuomo continues on without a hitch. While Hurley, a ludicrously titled follow-up to 'Raditude' is enjoyable for the most part, the quality takes a slight nosedive in my opinion. Maybe it's the switch from a major label to an indie label, but something just feels different. There are genuine hits, but nothing strikes home like say "Pork and Beans" from 'Weezer (Red Album)' or "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" from 'Raditude'. Like 2005's Make Believe (Jewl), this album doesn't truly standout among Weezer's discography. The biggest draw aside from a few truly sound cuts is the cover art - which has nothing to do with the material. Whatever, I suppose.
"Memories" is a bit clunky from a first listen, but it does differentiate itself from other recent openers by Weezer ("Beverly Hills," "Troublemaker," etc.). The production work is interesting, particularly the strings at the onset of the track. At times, it grows too boisterous, covering up Cuomo's earnest vocal performance. Rivers Cuomo's pitch also fluctuates here, with one assuming the singer is aiming for a more punk-driven, raw performance. It's enjoyable and a fine choice for a single, but it doesn't hit home as much as previous Weezer gems. "Ruling Me" is equally solid, if not more so with a grand refrain (if too anthemic for Cuomo's own vocal good), where Cuomo sings: "in the rain, in the sun, everybody needs someone they can dream of all night long... it's no mystery, why you're ruling me."
"Trainwrecks" and "Unspoken" further the sentiment that Hurley is just an average Weezer album. Both tracks are solid, but don't have the same `excellence' and `polish' of class Weezer. The best part of "Trainwrecks" may be the constant iteration of "...but we're still kicking a--, we are trainwrecks" while "Unspoken" benefits from nice production tweaks and one fine anthemic close. "Where's My Sex" is the last noteworthy standout in my mind, even if it is utterly corny. Despite its corniness, there is a better sense of Weezer pushing the envelope here than on the rest of the album cuts. It's undeniably catchy, even if it only hopes to rival the commercial appeal of say, "Beverly Hills."
"Run Away" starts out interestingly with subdued vocals by Cuomo initially, though it never garners enough momentum to feel momentous. "Hang On," carries the sentiment of the album that there is nothing incredibly new or earth-shattering from the aging hipsters. "Smart Girls" is the next hint of truly great Weezer with playful lyrics and a nice groove. It doesn't live up to Weezer's best, but it is one of the better cuts of 'Hurley.' "Brave New World" features another well-written refrain ("This is the dawning of our brave new world...") while bringing nothing new and closing cut "Time Flies" ends the album on a thumping beat and odd production work.
With 'Hurley,' Weezer isn't likely to grab a new audience or convert doubters and critics. It is an ok album, but not a great one. Sometimes flaws are appreciated by music fans as they make the consummate artist appear more human. 3 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My last Weezer album,
After this third dud in a row it may be time to move on from this band. What a shame.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hurley: T Shirt Rock,
Weezer's latest album cover features the smiling face of "Hurley" from the ABC show Lost--I had immediate reservations about its quality. I'm still not sure if front man Rivers Cuomo is playing an elaborate joke with some of Weezer's output. But the new one is certainly better than 2009's Raditude. There is nothing groundbreaking here, only the comfortable pop rock you can expect. The smartly stupid lyrics lean more toward getting older on Hurley, but Cuomo's platitudes are never challenging. It's no treasure, but nothing to gag over, either. Weezer continues to make rock you can throw on like an old t-shirt. It's easy stuff.
Current single "Memories" is that tongue-in-cheek virus of a song off all late-era Weezer albums that every frustrated fan with Pinkerton blue balls wants to hate and ends up grudgingly humming. It's also quite good beyond its point of infection, with interesting loud-soft dynamics and truly throat-shredding vocals. There is some average workhorse pop rock on Hurley--"Train Wrecks," a glory-to-the slackers anthem, and "Smart Girls," which is a bland Pinkerton throwback with an anonymous list of ladies rivaling that album's `Tired of Sex," and maybe Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5." But at least they're in the act of throwing back, right? There's even Mellotron on "Unspoken." There's also some pretty lame balladeering, as in "Hang On." The bouncy closer "Time Flies," though, is worthy of every Weezerphile's stash--its lo-fi warmth is charming, and its melody is as original but inevitable as the best John Keats line. Cuomo even sounds genuine.
The Deluxe Edition's bonus tracks contain some of Hurley's biggest surprises. The convincing "I Want to Be Something"; an off-the-cuff cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida"; and a U.S. Soccer Team theme song--"Represent," which is straight-out Rocky IV-style shtick. Then there's the awesome "All My Friends Are Insects," which makes you think Rivers really is a genius, until you find out it was cut for their appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba. But isn't that one wicked guitar lick for a kid's show?
Better than Raditude and Make Believe, Behind Blue, Pink, Maladroit, and Red. About as good as Green, maybe a little better in that it's less nauseatingly polished.
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