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Weezer: Weezer

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The breathtakingly stupid Weezer begs the question: Is this for real? Or are the over-processed hooks and lobotomized lyrics intentional self-parody? When Rivers Cuomo sings, "So turn off the TV, 'cause that's what others see, and movies are as bad as eating chocolate ice cream," is he a comic genius feigning creative bankruptcy? (C'mon, look at the crrrazy album cover!) Either way, it doesn't matter. If the so-called "Red Album" really is an elaborate goof on an all-too-forgiving fan base, that doesn't make Weezer's newest worst album any less insipid.

Peaking early on Weezer's untouchable first two records, Cuomo now seems unable (or unwilling) to write a single heartfelt song. Instead, he substitutes smarm for sentiment on embarrassing dreck like "Heart Songs," paying tribute to everyone from Nirvana to Debbie Gibson (while mistakenly referencing a Tiffany song) with an air of insufferable, ain't-I-a-stinker smirkiness better suited for the likes of Bowling For Soup. Even after the apparent bottoming-out of 2005's Make Believe, Weezer is a dispiritingly awful record. The contrast between pap like "Pork And Beans" and "Everybody Get Dangerous" and the hilariously twisted, emotionally pent-up songs the band was once known for has never been starker. The blame for Weezer can't all be laid on Cuomo—his bandmates' songwriting contributions (particularly Brian Bell's Uncle Kracker stab "Thought I Knew") are just as unforgivably soulless. Together they punch holes in Weezer where the heart and brain should be.