Many families have had a talented, charming, and clever member that has been in and out of rehab. This cousin/nephew/uncle shot out of the gates and soared to great heights with ease. He became the family favorite because despite the success he achieved he maintained his aw-shucks charm that was so endearing. Eventually he begins to falter. He burns the candle at both ends and the older he gets the less amusing and excusable his drunken actions become. The Keaton family had Tom Hanks as Uncle Ned on a very special episode of Family Ties. For music fans Weezer is the proverbial Uncle Ned of our generation.
Eventually the Uncle Ned’s sober up after 28 days and look like they are getting their act together. Then just when we get our hopes up that we are getting the pay off of all their potential, they rip our hearts out. Yet, each time they fall off the wagon and go back to rehab we get our hopes up that this time they will pull it together. With each passing forgettable Weezer album we get our hopes up with a quality single (eg. “Pork and Beans,” “Hash Pipe,” “Perfect Situation”) and then left heart broken wondering what happen. After years of hoping the cycle would end, it finally has. Weezer is dead. At least the one we knew and loved. Their latest Raditude, is the equivalent of Uncle Ned blatantly ask for money. No more schemes, no more false hope, no effort whatsoever.
The first single "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" sounds like something from one of the thousand long named worthless bands that are played on Fuse all day. The second single "Can't Stop Partying" has some potential that is lost by distracting piercing synths not mention the ridiculous repetitive lyrics. River's even sings, “Screw rehab, I love my addiction!” “Put Me Back Together” could easily be mistaken for an American Idol runner-ups debut single. Worse yet, they co-wrote the song with The All-American Rejects. One of the best bands of the 90’s is now co-writing songs with the “Give You Hell” guys! The only song that sounds like a Weezer song is “Let it All Hang Out.” Except the lyrics were written by Jermaine Dupri wasting good riffs and hooks on lines like, “I'm going out with my homies and we gonna let it all hang out.” Even Cuomo’s teen angst at 40 isn’t that embarrassing.
Raditude is an uneven and lazy record. Weezer has forgotten who they really are, or at least who they were. Listening to The Blue Album is like looking back at an old photo of Uncle Ned’s graduation. We can remember how happy it made us, the future looked so bright and exciting. Now it’s a sad reminder of how far they have fallen. Fortunately, this will be the last time we get our hearts ripped out, which in itself is pretty sad. Who needs a drink?