Weezer: Hurley

RIYL: The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, Tegan & Sara

Casual fans of Weezer, the ones who only really know their pop hits, should love Hurley. The new album, their first since parting ways with Geffen and signing with indie label Epitaph, is a strong collection of pop rock/punk songs that will make the grayest autumn days ahead seem much sunnier. Everything about Hurley feels as big and burly as the photo of “Lost” actor Jorge Garcia (a.k.a. “Hurley”) on the front cover.

Throughout the album, Rivers Cuomo sings with the angst and melancholy of a singer half his age. But there is a lightness to his performances that makes you think that getting free from the corporate record company bog has given the band and Cuomo a new lease on life. “Memories” is a driving, nostalgic look back at that bygone era of… the ’90s. “Unspoken” begins with pretty, acoustic harmonies. Is this Weezer unplugged? Fear not, as the song shifts into gear by the end, kicking some serious ass. “Where’s My Sex” starts off as almost a joke, as Cuomo changed the letters of “socks” to “sex” in the lyrics. As the song nears its completion, the band suddenly becomes Green Day, switching time signatures and segueing into a completely different tune, a la “Jesus of Suburbia.”

The strongest selection on Hurley is “Hang On,” a beautiful work of ’70s-style pop/glam rock. Listen to it, you’ll hear shades of Sweet and Cheap Trick flowing freely with Weezer’s impeccable harmonies and hand claps. This one has radio written radio hit all over it. I hope so because this one would sound great coming out of teenage cars across America.

Each song on Hurley flows right into the next one making this a great listening experience. At ten songs (four bonus tracks are also available on a Deluxe edition) it’s also one of the quickest listens, too. Maybe the songs aren’t as complex as some of Weezer’s previous efforts, but this is certainly one of their most accessible and therefore fun albums. (Epitaph 2010)

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