I'm not sure whether I should temper my expectations or just be balls-out excited. The newly revealed Weezer album, coming out June 24th, is now up for preorder. My natural inclination is to jump for joy, but the more I learn about the album, the more of a skeptic I become.
Don't get me wrong - I'll take any Weezer I can get. When you rule out classic rock, I listen to no other band more than the Weez. The Killers are up there too, but I think I killed their last album after listening to it too frequently (not unlike what I've habitutally done to every produced by Timbaland right after it come out).
At first glance, it seems like they're getting back to their roots - another self titled album, Rivers' bizarre self-deprication in dressing up like a cowboy - but it's kind of a 'fool me twice, shame on me' thing with those of us who long for the Pinkerton days.
Make Believe, their last album, is not as bad as many make it out to be - yeah, a lot of the songs were borderline forgettable, and Beverly Hills is the lowest music-quality single they've released. The first single from what fans are already calling 'The Red Album' is Pork and Beans, a tune that kind of reminds me of Beverly Hills in that it's catchy and the lyrics are pretty transparent, but it still has that signature Weezer quirk. You can take a listen for yourself. I just think that Rivers' ballad against record execs begging for more pop-y radio-tailored songs is exactly what they're looking for.
The core of this inner debate is to dread or be excited about the new direction that the band is taking - in a Pitchfork interview with Rivers, he revealed that fans should expect "Longer songs, non-traditional song forms, different people writing and singing, instrument switching, TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint-- for starters." Cuomo also 'fessed up that he would be the one rapping - something that I'm trying to imagine, but can't seem to wrap my mind around. On one hand, they seem to get the picture that loyal fans haven't been happy with the turn the band took with Make Believe (though 'Perfect Situation' and 'This is Such a Pity' are solid tracks), but instead of going back to basics that won our hearts with hits like 'Say it Ain't So' and 'El Scorcho', Weezer is getting experimental on us.
Of course, much of this is a moot argument - I'm no music snob. The aforementioned Pitchfork Media gave Make Believe an 0.4 out of 10, and I still bought it the first day it came out. No matter which way they go with their music (within reason), I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Weezer.