CRY ME A RIVER(S)

Weezer’s front man doesn’t give a hoot what you think of their new al­bum

Sharp - - GUIDE - By Matthew Hague

CU­RI­OUSLY, WHEN WEEZER an­nounce a new record, their fans tend to ex­pe­ri­ence ex­is­ten­tial ter­ror. In their 25 years as a band, their re­sults have al­ways been an anx­i­ety-pro­duc­ing un­known. Such is the case with their 11th LP, Pa­cific Day­dream. Will it be iconic like their first two al­bums, the Blue Al­bum and Pinker­ton, which in­spired a gen­er­a­tion of so­cially awk­ward boys to feel? Or will it be ut­terly scorned like 2010’s Hur­ley, which was so ab­hor­rent one fan at­tempted to raise $10 mil­lion to pay the band to re­tire? (He was un­suc­cess­ful.)

For his part, front man Rivers Cuomo, now 47, isn’t wor­ried about fan re­ac­tions — at least not any­more. “It only both­ered me in the early days,” he says. “I just know that’s part of the whole process of be­ing Weezer. I feel one way when I’m mak­ing a record. Then it comes out, and peo­ple are go­ing to have their re­ac­tion to it. Then I re­act to their re­ac­tion. It’s just a process that goes around.”

And the cy­cle is sure to con­tinue with Pa­cific Day­dream, an al­bum that’s less power chord rock and more Edm-tinged Beach Boys pas­tiche. It’s yet an­other sci­ence project for a band that con­tin­ues to be ruth­lessly ex­per­i­men­tal, and re­mark­ably re­silient to crit­i­cism. “I’m mix­ing to­gether dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents with­out an idea of what is sup­posed to hap­pen,” says Cuomo. “If at the end of that ex­per­i­ment peo­ple say it makes them feel happy, I don’t feel I have an author­ity to tell them oth­er­wise.” And that’s for all time.

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