WEEZER Hurley (Epi­taph)

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Weezer has grown into a band that their most de­voted fans love to hate. And to be sure, duet­ing with Kenny G, sing­ing about Bev­erly Hills, re­leas­ing a sig­na­ture Snug­gly, and nam­ing an al­bum Ra­di­tude does seem to stick it to those who would like to stick up for you. But Weezer has al­ways been in it for laughs. Lest we for­get, they ar­rived on the scene sing­ing about sweaters, ap­pear­ing with the Fonz in their videos, and bear­ing a logo that goosed Van Halen. So re­ally, they’ve stayed truer to them­selves than most bands ever will. Is the hu­mor present on Hurley? Yep, that’s Hurley from Lost (ac­tor Jorge Gar­cia) on the cover, and yep, they’re sing­ing lines like “Sex mak­ing is a fam­ily tra­di­tion” on “Where’s My Sex?” But Rivers Cuomo takes his goof­ing off se­ri­ously. His at­ten­tion to craft — even if that craft is com­ing up with corn­ball, wiseacre teen an­thems — is un­de­ni­able, and here he lights one fire­cracker af­ter an­other. “Rul­ing Me” is a glossy, hook-laden mon­ster, like El­ton John on steroids. “Train­wrecks” is an in­fec­tious stom­per about a dis­as­trous re­la­tion­ship that’s still go­ing strong, which could sum up the band’s re­la­tion­ship with its fans. Those fans shouldn’t scoff at Hurley, the band’s biggest-sound­ing and best record in years.

— Robert B. Ker

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