weezer-raditude-aaThere was a time when Weezer was one of the most important bands in rock. Their ability to write memorable songs with confessional, wide-eyed lyrics earned them a great amount of respect and fame. “The Blue Album” and “Pinkerton” are considered by many to be two of the most essential albums of the 90’s, and still withhold the test of time.

Sadly, the band continues it’s slow decline, kicked off by 2005’s “Make Believe,” on “Raditude,” an album rife with over indulgences that make one question whether this is the same band that penned “Buddy Holly,” “Tired of Sex,” and “El Scorcho.”

Perhaps the biggest problem with “Raditude” is that it sounds so forced. Lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s lyrics now border on middle school Live Journal postings, with such lines as “You are my baby tonight, and I’m your daddy” from the song “I’m Your Daddy.” On “Love Is the Answer,” Cuomo sings “Love is the answer. You have got to trust in the world” over a sitar and between verses sung in Hindi. It is almost embarrassing to listen to in how cliche it all sounds.

Musically, it is hard to delineate between many of the songs on “Raditude”, as nearly every song has the same chugging guitars, quiet parts for variety, and an almost non-existent punch to them. It’s the same sound that we have heard since 1994 from Weezer, just with all of the fun and effort sucked out of it. On “Can’t Stop Partying,” the band tries to shake things up by using a Timbaland-inspired backing track and incorporating Lil’ Wayne into the mix. It results in a song so awkward and uninspired that even Lil Wayne sounds uncomfortable. That speaks volumes about this album.

What keeps “Raditude” from being a total loss is closing track “I Don’t Want to Let You Go.” It marks the first time where Cuomo’s lyrics sound heartfelt and sincere, and it doesn’t follow the same musical formula as the rest of the album. It is proof that Weezer are still capable of writing a good pop tune. However, as a whole, “Raditude” is an empty, emotionless, cliche album that you would do best to avoid.

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