Released June 3, 2008
Recorded Spring – Autumn 2007 at Shangri La Studios and Malibu Performing Arts Center in Malibu, California; early 2008 at Threshold Studios in Santa Monica, California
Label DGC, Interscope
Producer Rick Rubin, Jacknife Lee, Weezer
A daring venture for Weezer, The Red Album finds the band at an interesting point in their career. At times, it still feels like Rivers is in charge. At other times, the band feels like a band where all of the band has input into the songs and songwriting. In then end, The Red Album is a pretty good album full of some great songs and some misses.
Songwriting: A simple but effective rock song, the lyrics are a bit corny but other things make up for them.
Arrangement: Great stuff that keeps the song moving along. Scott has a great bass line in the verses that is simple but welcome.
Production: Designed to be cranked to 11, this song delivers on the rock end of things.
Performance: Overall a pretty good band performance. Nothing special but nothing bad.
THE GREATEST MAN THAT EVER LIVED
Songwriting: A journey through many ideas, sounds, and styles. The melody is killer, the moods are great, and this is Rivers doing what he does best: putting his mind to a song, focusing on the end product, and delivering something unique.
Arrangement: The song changes style so many times, and each section is magnificent. I would not change a thing.
Production: Perfect. The song is epic and everything that went into the production adds to the epic-ness. Is that a word? We’ll roll with it here.
Performance: The band at one of its best Post Pinkerton moments.
PORK AND BEANS
Songwriting: It sounds like Rivers is doing his best to marry the classic Weezer sound with the new Weezer sound on this one. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t work although the song is fine.
Arrangement: The band is emphasizing the chorus in this one, and it really works well. The quiet/loud dynamics really work.
Production: Great El Scorcho vibes in the verse and bridge. A nice nod to the past.
Performance: Nothing special, but still pretty good
Songwriting: A well written song that keeps moving. Great melody and a strong chord structure. The thing that brings it down a bit are the lyrics. They’re just kind of too corny.
Arrangement: Great. Wonderful vibe on this one with the band really finding their place in each song.
Production: Laid back and a bit mellow. I’m into this. It feels new for Weezer. The sampled keyboard bits sound a bit off.
Performance: Above average.
EVERYBODY GET DANGEROUS
Songwriting: A rocker and one that works. The lyrics may seem corny but when given a review they work and they make you think of your stupid adolescent years.
Arrangement: It works. The song flows and really picks up the pace at the bridge which is easily the best part of the song.
Production: Good stuff. It sounds like the band had fun on this one.
Performance: Weezer performs this one well which makes it more enjoyable.
Songwriting: Great episodic songwriting from Rivers, the song is a good blend of the old and new. The bridge “there are bluebirds” section is really some great writing.
Arrangement: Well done. The verses and chorus move along nicely, and the middle section is the most mood evoking part of the song.
Production: Simple at times yet also expanding for the band.
Performance: A great performance.
THOUGHT I KNEW
Songwriting: Brian Bell as the songwriter for Weezer. The structure is nice and the melody to the chorus is great.
Arrangement: I like this take on his song. It is a bit more positive than the version by Brian’s band The Relationship.
Production: Simple stuff, but it works for this song.
Performance: Patrick Wilson on lead guitar is the best part of this song. He is not only one of my favorite drummers, but we need to respect him as a lead guitarist too. His touches on this song show that.
COLD DARK WORLD
Songwriting: A Rivers and Scott co-write, this song is often really put down in Weezer fan circles. I’m going to disagree with them. While nothing extremely special, this song has some good writing that shines over the average lyrics.
Arrangement: The song breathes and lets the bass and drums drive things. This is great.
Production: Sparse, but it really gives the feel of a cold, dark world. I would not change a thing.
Performance: I like the performance, especially from Pat and Scott.
Songwriting: Patrick Wilson as the Weezer songwriter. This is a great rock song from Pat, and it really has that “huge, crushing” sound I often associate with his band, The Special Goodness.
Arrangement: A huge rock song, but not something that is going to be constantly smashing into your face. The instruments are well place and organized and that brings the beauty of the song to the forefront.
Production: HUGE guitars and bass. This song needs this.
Performance: Pat and Scott (on guitar and bass) really make this shine.
THE ANGEL AND THE ONE
Songwriting: A free flowing, soul baring exercise the builds and grows. This song feels personal and it comes out in the lyrics and melody. Exquisite.
Arrangement: The band slowly builds this one up. Weezer are masters at the slow build up.
Production: Four guys in a room with a great song. Just let that be that and keep it simple. The band follows the song on this one.
Performance: It feels like a true band performance, and when the band is ON you feel it.
THE FINAL WORD
The Red Album is a hodge-podge of feelings for the listener. It contains some of Weezer’s best work at times and at others some of its most middle of the road stuff. I was happy to see the band being more of band with this one. The other guys in Weezer are great songwriters and they need to shine as well. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived and The Angel and The One are two of the best Weezer songs ever, so their presence really elevates the album. I have a hard time listening to the songs from the Deluxe Edition of the album…not because they are bad but because they are so great and they were left off of the album. If they were on the album, I could see this album being one of their all time best right up there with Pinkerton. Since they’re not there, it’s a spotty affair.
TOTAL POINTS: 71
AVERAGE SCORE: 7.10