Critic: Huw Jones
Publication: Slant, 2009
Writing Disorders: Scorn Disease
Most Emo Phrase: “naïvely holding out for a return to Rivers Cuomo’s melancholic roots”
Ugh: “such an abhorrent cocktail of deluded lyricism and indolent musicianship.”
Hi, Huw. It’s clear from your opening paragraph that you’re not a fan of Weezer’s latest release:
“Weezer’s unpardonable decline into soulless streamlined pop-rock continues with Raditude”
Maybe it’s the contrarian in me pulling the strings, but I’ve got to ask. What’s wrong with streamlined pop rock? I’m assuming you mean that it’s inferior to its counterpart, cumbersome rock that no one listens to. Remind me again why that’s better music, Huw, even if it’s got so much soul?
You really don’t pull any punches after your opener:
“This terribly titled and woefully written record consists of odes to partying, romance, and girls who “got hot”
Yeah, that sounds like an awful time. Screw fun.
“For those who, like me, were appalled by The Red Album’s forays into teen-pleasing power-pop anthems or were naïvely holding out for a return to Rivers Cuomo’s melancholic roots, this album is not for you”
Huw, did you ever stop to think that maybe Rivers Cuomo doesn’t return to his “melancholic roots” because he isn’t melancholy? The guy’s got plenty of money and looks cool in glasses. Wouldn’t it be worse if Weezer wrote depressing songs to reflect states of mind they no longer felt just to please critics? Not just any critics, but those who were absolutely orgasmic over a guy singing about an Asian fetish on an album that came out 15 years ago?
Tell you what, Huw. Let’s play a game. Let’s play “The Kind of Music Huw Jones Thinks Would Be Good Based on His Hatred of Raditude.” Playing is easy. I’ll just take every single negative comment you wrote and use its opposite to paint a picture of what you want music to sound like. Here, I rewrote the first part of your opening paragraph to reflect how it might have been written if Raditude pleased you:
“Weezer’s enviable ascent into soulful, cumbersome unpopular-rock continues with Coypond. This wonderfully titled and nobly written record consists of odes to staying home alone on Friday nights, verbal abuse, and boys who “got ugly,” executed with enough laudable complexity and salient chronicle to bolster interest in their output from here on in.”
Jokes aside, you come off like an asshole reliably throughout your review, especially when it comes to the ever-popular “it hurts to blast your art” statement:
“It pains me to lambast Weezer with such vitriol”
So don’t do it. If it hurts, don’t do it. Why are you doing it if it hurts? Why are you lambasting with such lambast when you could just as easily NOT write a review of an album you loathed? Or better yet, why did you spend part of a day writing this three-paragraph waste of time when you could have learned the seven basic chords on guitar in order to write your own brilliant collection of music?
First came Blue, then came Pinkerton, then came obtuse comparisons in a baby carriage:
“sporting a stout acoustic riff that owes a lot to the Jam’s “Town Called Malice” as well as John Fred & His Playboys’s “Judy in Disguise.”
Huw, chances are that this Weezer riff owes nothing to those two bands that you happened recognize used similar chords. Just because a band’s riff sounds sort of like another band’s riff doesn’t mean that the newest band “owes” anything to the older. It just means that it’s easy for rock music to sound similar when it’s been 60 years since Chuck Berry first started playing chords in songs.
I’m going to end with this great bit you wrote on Cuomo’s songwriting:
“Cuomo spins a meet-the-parents story that, however sincere he may be, seems a bizarre topic for a man on the verge of 40”
Yeah, almost as bizarre as a grown man yearning for another Pinkerton from someone on the verge of 40. And just as funny.