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Weezer: Pinkerton

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Weezer's self-titled 1994 debut was one of that year's great guilty pleasures, a glossy slab of rock candy with the kitschy self-awareness to match its swollen arena-anthem choruses. And if songs like "Buddy Holly" eventually wore thin with overexposure, that could never take away the hundreds of times you happily bobbed your head every time it popped up on the radio. Weezer's new Pinkerton doesn't quite match the gooey perfection of its predecessor, but damned if it doesn't come close enough. "Why Bother?" and "The Good Life"—which includes a hilarious, off-hand, oft-repeated lyric about "shakin' booty"—highlight this fine collection of songs about doomed relationships, while strange tangents (read: Rivers Cuomo's G. Love impression on "El Scorcho") never weigh the album down. At 35 minutes, Pinkerton flames out pretty quickly, but it's an unabashed joyride while it lasts.