Music, Weezer

Weezer: Raditude (a review you probably won’t agree with)

weezer-raditude-aa

I’m not bragging here, but I’m probably a bigger Weezer fan than you. Did Pat Wilson (Weezer drummer), Mikey Welsh (Weezer bassist 1998-2001), and Karl Koch (Weezer assistant/historian) ever stay at your house? (scroll to the end of this review for a photo of this event) Did you spend $100 to get the rare Pink Triangle radio promo CD with the never before commercially released radio remix of Pink Triangle? Probably not.

So I’m probably coming at you with this review from a totally different perspective. You’re either:
A) A fan of the Blue album and Pinkerton that hates anything Weezer has done since 2000-present

B) A casual fan who got into them after 2000 and enjoys some of their tunes. You also had to go back and discover Blue and Pinkerton cause you missed them the first time around.

So if you don’t agree with this review that’s probably why.

I’m a Weezer fan for the long run. Sure, I’ve pretended I wasn’t a fan quite a few times since 2000 when Weezer puts out the embarassing song or pulls the embarassing stunt. It sucks. But there’s been some shining moments. I love love love “Island In The Sun” from The Green Album. I think that although weird and scatterbrained, Maladroit is pretty rockin’. Make Believe was sort of tame, but there were some catchy songs. The Red Album’s had some lyrics that made me think that Rivers Cuomo was a 39 year trapped in a 13 year olds body, but listen to “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” or “The Angel and The One” again and be amazed.

When Weezer announced that they were titling their 7th album Raditude I just about lost it. And then I found out they were putting a picture of a jumping dog on the cover. I cried a little bit. And Rivers was acting even more like a 13 year old boy. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. WHY ME AND WHY MY BAND?

But that was before I heard any of the music…

“If You’re Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To)” was the first single and it caught my ear. It was no “Across The Sea” from Pinkerton, but it was catchy. I got the rest of the album 2 weeks ago and while it is no Pinkerton, it is the best thing they’ve done since 2000. The songs are catchy. They’re trying new things by working with different producers and songwriters. “Can’t Stop Partying” is so far out of left field for Weezer (yes, it sounds like a lot of other hip hop type songs but…for this band this is different). “The Girl Got Hot” was made straight for radio (the smooth production gives this one away) but I’m singing along. “Put Me Back Together”, which was written with two guys from The All American Rejects, sounds like Weezer trying to do an All American Rejects song (who in turn sound like they’re trying to be Weezer), so the results are sort of mixed. “Love Is The Answer” gets a George Harrison Hindu-esque treatment, and it’s easily the most cringeworthy moment on the album.  Raditude would be better with this song left off.

My favorite part of Raditude are the “bonus tracks” found on the deluxe edition. “Get Me Some” is a pretty rad rock song with a cool guitar solo. Once again, something out of left field for Weezer. “Run Over By a Truck” and “The Prettiest Girl In The Whole Wide World” are two of my favorite Weezer songs. They’re just so cool. Yes, “Prettiest Girl” was written in 1997 and I have had a version of it since 1998, but they finally managed to capture the song in the studio perfectly.

Overall, Raditude is just a great set of catchy songs done by a band that has had really good moments and really bad moments. If you loathe the current version of Weezer, you’ll loathe this album. If you just like good pop music, you’ll love this album. I think it’s their best in a long time.

Things I Wish Weezer Would’ve Done Differently With Raditude

-Weezer started recording this album with producer Jacknife Lee and the tracks he produced are by far the best (Tracks 6, 9, 10 and all of the bonus tracks).  I would like to hear more from these sessions. Why didn’t they just stick with his productions as an album? Why did they have to go back and add more? This is one thing that irks me with Weezer. They can never seem to just stop recoring once they have an album’s worth of songs. They go back to the studio, change things up, and the results are mixed.

-Rivers Cuomo, I beg you. Quit acting and writing lyrics like a 13 year old boy. Yes, I know you’re trying to write catchy pop songs but it is getting creepy. I know you have it in you to write decent lyrics. You did it quite a bit in the old days and from time to time you pop up with a good set of them. PS you’re still one of my biggest heroes.

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Me, Karl Koch, Pat Wilson, and Mikey Welsh at my house (circa 1999)

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45 thoughts on “Weezer: Raditude (a review you probably won’t agree with)”

  1. Agreed! I hopped on board the Weez boat in 4th grade when I heard Buddy Holly on the radio for the first time and they immediately became my favorite band. And yes since 2000 I have felt the need to deny my love because of some embarrassing moments but I still feel that the good ones overshadow the bad. But I can’t stop listening to this record. It is definitely their greatest since Pinkerton by far. That’s rad that they stayed at your house. I also have that Pink Triangle radio promo. So as another seasoned fan I agree and I think we are in a catagory of our own and most of us will agree that this album is great.

  2. i really must be the only person who likes love is the answer because of it reminds me so much of within without you. there’s obviously a happier atmosphere to love is the answer, but the addition of the indian style instruments just makes it more universally appealing to me. just my opinion, but good review. 🙂 and LUCKY for meeting those amazing people.

    1. thank you! this guy “justin the librarian” sounds like a DORK. so what if he knew about weezer before me. i bet he doesn’t have a weezer head band and weezer shoes. i do.

  3. Wow! My link on weezer.com just got posted and these three comments happened like asap.

    I really just felt like “Love Is The Answer” is a bit out of place on Raditude. It sounds a lot more like it should be on a Cuomo solo album. The Hindu stuff is just a bit over the top for me on a Weezer album. But I do think it’s a pretty killer tune. I enjoyed the Sugar Ray version (minus the Sugar Ray) Gotta run. My nine month old boy is trying to eat a book.

  4. For someone who thinks Raditude is the best album since 2000, you sure are very critical of it. I agree with all of your criticisms and I too hope that Rivers has some better lyrics left in him for future albums.

    1. Jag-You’re totally right. I am pretty critical of it. I should’ve highlighted some more of the positive aspects of the album…so here goes!

      The first 6 tracks are great to crank up at high volume and sing. Sure, they’re not the most groundbreaking songs ever but sometimes you just need to drive around and sing at the top of your lungs.

      “Trippin’ Down The Freeway” is AMAZING. One of the best Weezer songs ever. Catchy, artistic, just beautiful. I love the harmony that (I think) Scott sings on the “I’m totally caught up on your hook” line. Beautiful.

      “In The Mall” just rocks. Reminds me a lot of Blue album Weezer. Pat’s got a lot of kick ass tunes in him. That guitar solo is great. The “take the elevator to the escalator” bridge is wonderful.

  5. I am a type A fan that also enjoy the new stuff… when the new stuff is good. I got mixed feelings about raditude, but damn… “I don’t want to let you go” is AMAZING. I also wonder why they didn’t stay with Lee because the quality of the arrangements and the overall emotion and texture is near perfect on his tracks.

    1. I agree with you on “I Don’t Want To Let You Go”. The song was always great, but the production here makes it AMAZING. I love the “da da da da” build up near the end…and then the drums ever so slightly kick in. Perfect. It is moments like this that make this album the best thing they’ve done sice 2000.

  6. You forgot to mention us fans in categry C) A die hard fan that has been in love with Weezer since they played the opening of the Blockbuster Music in Cerritos ,CA back in ’94, and doesn’t know enough about rock music to be critical of it, so they love whatever Weezer does!!!

    The only way I know how to rate an album is by how many of it’s tracks remain on my ipod, so if anybody cares, this is my contribution to your GREAT review… Blue Album (entire cd), Pinkerton (entire cd), Green Album (3 tracks), Maladroit (3 tracks), Make Believe (2 tracks), Red Album Deluxe (8 tracks)… and Raditude Deluxe (entire cd… except “Love is the Answer” of course)

      1. Since you ask I’ll say this, if the song rocks or the chorus is big and strong, I’ll let a few cheezy lyrics slide. I’m a sucker for all the singles, so in addition to those… American Gigolo, Slob, Burndt Jamb, and Everybody Get Dangerous are just good, simple Weezer tunes great for rocking out to. Angel and the One and Pig… so good… Scott Shriner’s voice on King still blows me away. Greatest Man that Ever Lived is so different and so freakin genius… and you can’t beat the passion in River’s voice in the chorus of Miss Sweeney. SO GOOD!!!

        btw… thanks for praising the bonus tracks on Raditude. I went back and listened to them again. Good stuff!

      2. I’m a fan of Everybody Get Dangerous as well…some dumb lyrics but that bridge just blows me away. I think Scott gets a lot of unnecessary criticism due to the whole “devastating” thing, but I love his voice and bass playing. He’s easily the best =w= bassist. I’m a huge fan of “Cold Dark World”, a song that everyone seems to hate.

  7. Perfectly put. I sit in the sdame boat as you. From the beginning. I cringe here and there, but when all is said in done, they have at least 2 amazing songs on every album. Most bands only get that for the first 2-3 albums. So Ya, Weezer are Gods. Good & Bad, but there as close to perfect as anyone could get for our generation.
    Cheers.
    Demo Kid.
    Canada

    1. I know! There’s always 2-3 songs on each album that just blow me away. Pinkerton was an album full of that (and so was Blue) so I think after two straight like that a lot of people expected EVERY album to be like that. Hey, The Beatles even had their off moments.

  8. i’m trying to figure out what class of weezer fan i am. i was 4 when the blue album came out, but every time buddy holly came on the radio i was a happy kid, thus my mom went out and bought me the album. blue and pinkerton are 2 of my favorites, but i must be crazy to think that i am the only one who loves the green album, albeit not as much as the aforementioned 2, but it came damn close. i also dig maladroit, its not as good as the previous 3 but its good. now make believe is where i think we can all agree – bad. raditude is a lot of fun, and it brings me back to the earlier weezer as well as infusing new weezer into it, and it works. so im not sure where that puts me, but i am a fan nonetheless. your review was also fantastic.

    1. i forgot to mention the red album! i also like that one. a few hit and miss, but for the most part i enjoy it. dont take my forgetting it as meaning that i dont like it, because i do.

      1. I dig the Red Album a lot as well. The lyrics are pretty corny on some of the tunes, but I especially love Greatest Man, Angel And The One, and the tunes sung by the other guys. And the bonus tracks on that album….WOW! Do I sense a theme here of amazing bonus tracks?

  9. You definitely need to delete your first line that says “I’m not bragging here…” because everything beyond that point was you bragging. But i don’t blame you, I would totally brag if Pat Karl and Mikey stayed at my house. But even if they did, I wouldn’t claim to be a bigger Weezer fan than someone else, I would just accept the fact that i was lucky enough to have that happen to me.

    And I also wouldn’t classify Weezer fans into those two categories. I was born in ’91, so obviously I did miss The Blue Album and Pinkerton the first time around. But it was when The Green Album came out that I really started getting into the weeze. Island in the Sun is my favorite weezer song, and i can’t think of a song made by anyone that can pump me up like Hash Pipe can. Ever since then i have loved everything that Weezer has put out. Rivers has stayed consistent and continued to put out catchy, relatable songs (everything from Beverly Hills, to The Other Way, to Pork and Beans, etc.). I think Maladroit, Make Believe, and The Red Album are all incredible cds with awesome songs. And now Raditude is just as awesome as the others.

    I totally agree with you about Trippin’ Down the Freeway. One of my favorite Weezer songs. As well as In the Mall and Put Me Back Together.
    And I’m tired of hearing all this hate on Love is the Answer. It is a pretty sweet tune.

    And please stop saying that you’re the biggest Weezer fan. I can’t remember a single time (let alone “quite a few”) where I was so embarrassed to be a Weezer fan that I denied it. That’s a little silly.

    And also please don’t beg Rivers to change up his style, because he might be 39 but he is still rockin’ out and making great albums. So Rivers, I beg you, keep doin what youre doin.

    1. RE: Love Is The Answer. I do sort of dig the tune, but it is so insanely out of place on Raditude. I was originally recorded for Make Believe and I think it would fit so well on that album.

      Concerning the “biggest Weezer fan thing”. I originally wrote this review to share with my colleagues in the library world (I’m a professional librarian) so I was sort of aiming that line at them, since I really don’t have any work colleagues that are into Weezer like me.

  10. completely agree with this review. i like Green a tad bit more than this one for Green’s consistency. and though green’s lyrics are really random and weird (some would debate meaningless), i really dig them. they are just so weird and ambiguous, it somehow rubs me the right way.

    other than that, i think raditude is musically stronger than anything maladroit-red. love is the answer being the biggest exception (that song is just god awful).

    lyrically, as you mentioned, raditude is extremely shallow, and rivers definately needs to get out of his 13 year old boy mode. its definately creepy and lame. i think 13 year olds probably feel the same way.

  11. I am a recent fan of Weezer (I’ve “listened” to them since 2008 but looked up/listened to all their classics since February. So yeah i’m a new fan, (for i am 13) but their easily one of my favorite bands. I think Love Is The Answer would have been better with no creepy Indian Singing, otherwise that song was fine. (That’s what made George Harrison’s indian songs so great, ONLY indian instruments) My two favorites on the album are Trippin On The Freeway, I Don’t Want To Let You Go, Girl Got Hot and I Want You To are easily my favorites on the album. (Not Including Bonus Tracks) Best Weezer since 1996!

  12. Justin, I taped that rivers solo show where he did “prettiest…” along with the other show where he did “wanda” at the save central sq benefit show. I’ve got lots of old weez stuff and I loved your take on raditude. I assume you were on the old weezer email list. I spent a lot of time on it in 1998/99.

    1. Nicholas!
      First off, from myself and all of the Weezer fans that have enjoyed those bootlegs over the years….THANK YOU. Those were some amazing shows where some amazing music was performed and thanks to you we all can hear it.

      I only really got into Weezer on the internet in around 1998-1999 so I can’t recall if I was on the old Weezer mailing lists. I did a lot of emailing with Karl back in the day.

  13. I agree with almost all of your critiques. This album doesn’t have the stand out songs that red had, but it’s more consistent. 1- 6 are all fantastic, especially “Put me back together” for me. Love is the Answer is growing on me, but In the Mall hasn’t yet. It’s just not good.

    Only time will tell if it’s better than Green, but for now it’s my 4th favorite weezer album. And I’m so glad I got the kids/pokerface cover. so good.

  14. I too am a very long-time Weezer fan. One might go so far as to call me a Weezer freak. I don’t have the Pink Triangle radio single but I do have the radio single for El Scorcho. I also have every album on vinyl (I paid $100 for blue and pinkerton when no one else had tem.)

    I didn’t get a chance to spend one-on-one time with any members of the band, but I did publicly invite them out to eat at Denny’s (and got publicly turned down). That was the question that DIDN’T get aired in the Q&A section of the Nissan Live sets.

    Anyway, I agree with the vast majority of this review except for a few points. I think this album is OK, but not the best since Pinkerton. That would probably fall to Maladroit. I also don’t think that River’s problem is that he writing like a 13 year old boy. I think he has suffered the same downfall as many rock stars – complacency. Weezer lacks the sincerety they had on Blue and Pinkerton. Although these two albums were very differnt from each other, they both were sincere and honest.

    River’s meant and felt every word on In the Garage and Say it Ain’t So. And you could hear the angst in his voice throughout the entirety of Pinkerton. I figure he got really hurt by the poor reception of Pinkerton and just has never really gotten over it enough to write anything that meaningful.

    Another problem I see… there’s no need to go outside the band for writing partners. Cowrite songs with your bandmates. I realize Pat and Brian both had their own songs on Make Believe but, there didn’t really seem to be any collaboration. I think Rivers and Pat should do another 50 song writing spree and see what comes from it.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled too much. PEACE!

    1. I forgot to mention that I own ALL THREE commercially released Special Goodness albums — not and inexpensive endeavor.

    2. Blue and Pinkerton on vinyl for $100! Rad! That’s dedication!

      “Cowrite songs with your bandmates”
      I agree. All of the guys write great tunes and I would love to hear more of their input on Weezer records. Their opinions are often very overshadowed by Rivers and I think that’s a shame. The Space Twins record is beautiful. So are the SG records.

      ..And I agree about the new 50 song scramble! They need to do that!

  15. First of all, you are not the only long time Weezer fan. And there are not just two Categories of fans. However, your review is pretty accurate. But if your looking for serious from this band, you’re going to get it on occasion, but overall you’re just not going to get it. And I’m glad. That’s why I love and have always loved Weezer right from the very start when i first heard them in 94. They will always be my favorite band. And I love the new record. =w= t-1ooo

  16. Its good to hear that the consensus here on the board or at least on the article seem to indicate that it was at least decently received. I’m an old school =W= fan. I remember hearing the Sweater Song on the radio when it first came out when I was nine and I’ve loved them since. Pinkerton took me by surprise when it first came out but I loved it anyways. Green album was fun and Hashpipe is the best song ever written to work out too. Maladroit was fine and I liked Make Believe. I absolutely loved red except when Brian and Pat sing. Sorry but their contributions to the album were jsut utter crap. Then we have Raditude. I have nothing against the dog on the cover. Its a tight photo. But when I read songs by my favoritist band ever called “I’m your daddy”, ” “Trippin Down the Freeway”, “Get me Some”, “Let it all Hang Out”, “Can’t stop Partying (the solo version was good at least). I was at least optimistic when I I thought “In the Mall” sounded similar to “In the Garage.” But I just can do it with this record. Thats fine if Rivers wants to write to his new 13 year old demographic but its pretty messed up to forget about the people that bought your albums, went to your shows and supported you for the alst 15+ years. I have Weezer stickers on my car (couldnt get the license plate as it was taken already) but this is to embarrassing for anyone older then 13. Maybe you should grow up a bit. At least a band that you just went on tour has musically.

  17. Meh…Cant Stop Partying is easily the worst thing they’ve EVER done, is almost EMBARRASSING to be a Weezer fan after that one…Love Is The Answer? Crap. Theres a few catchy songs on there I’ll grant you, but clearly Riv has lost touch w/ what the Weezer fan base wants…I like Weezer less & less after these past 2 CDs.

  18. I would be an option C: i discovered Weezer in like, 2007. But that was because my friend downloaded the Blue Album onto my laptop. Ive loved Weezer since. I sincrely love all of their albums, but this one especially. Every song is good, but the one i like least is “Dont want to let you go.” Im offended that you think that “Love is the Answer” should go. That is one of my very favorate songs on the album. But overall, i agree with you: catchy songs from a good band. P.S. Raditude is one of the best album names ever.

  19. I’ll be rollin over in my grave at the fact you didn’t invite me over the day they were at your house. You owe me big time dude

    =m=andy

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