By Sarah McCarthy
It’s easy to have low expectations for a band that hasn’t released a well-received album since its first two in the early ‘90s. Set the bar even lower when you see the ridiculous album cover, a close-up of Lost actor Jose Garcia’s face. On the surface, this album begs not to be taken seriously. Surprisingly, Weezer’s Hurley does not suck—it’s actually pretty awesome.
The story of Weezer is an interesting case. In the early ‘90s, Weezer was one of the biggest alternative rock groups after releasing two iconic albums, Weezer (better known as “The Blue Album”) and Pinkerton. Since then, the band has managed to ride that fame for nearly 20 years and six albums. To the dismay of the fans, each album has been increasingly worse than the last.
For the first time in over a decade, this album displays the raw and emotional sensibility that made Weezer famous in the ‘90s. Furthermore, several of the tracks on the album have a scratchy, raw, un-produced feel to them. Arguably, this is one of Weezer’s most over-produced albums yet, but it is evident that the band is finally returning to its roots.
The album lacks a central feeling, but it is a bumpy ride of emotion that explores being a lazy and unaffected mess to befriending bugs to an angry, sex-driven search for socks. Far from a concept album, Hurley feels more like a compilation of songs. Perhaps a product of iTunes culture, the album is best heard in individual songs, rather than as a whole.
Overall, the album has highs and lows. It’s definitely the band’s best effort since the fan favorite album Pinkerton. It’s not overwhelmingly memorable, but it has enough great tracks to be considered a solid album for both casual and diehard Weezer fans alike. However, for listeners unfamiliar with Weezer, Hurley may not be the album to fall in love with. As a fan, it’s a fairly good record that pays tribute to an era long-gone in music.
Welcome back, Weezer—we missed you.
Sarah McCarthy is a senior journalism major who really doesn’t mind a good close-up of Jose Garcia. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.