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Weezer’s Red Album, I Don’t Like It, I Love It!

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If you haven’t noticed, I usually try to steer clear of writing album reviews on the Indie Ear Blog. Music is a very personal thing, so who am I to say if an album sucks or not? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to take a mic cord and wrap it around a critic’s neck for giving a bad review to an album I love. However, today I felt compelled to write a review for Weezer’s Red Album, which just came out last week.

I absolutely love it! I can’t stop listening to it–as soon as it’s finished I find myself going back to track one and starting all over again.

(above: I’d give it another thumbs up if I wasn’t afraid of dropping the jewel case on the floor.)

Here’s why I’m addicted to this damn thing–Weezer decided to flip the bird to music critics and throw any and all self consciousness out the window, all while creating the album they wanted to make, having a boat-load of fun in the process.

It’s no secret that Rivers Cuomo has been infatuated with hip-hop slang ever since penning the lyrics to “Buddy Holly” (“What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl?”), but it’s refreshing to see him finally embrace his rap jones on the Red Album, pulling out his rhyme pad for a majority of the tracks. Critics may call his rhyme flow elementary, but c’mon, after writing five albums’ worth of material, both loved and worshipped by mainstream and college radio kids alike (including an album that could go down in history as one of the most bizarrely honest rock albums of all-time), where do you go from there?

Well, you go back to why you started making music in the first place–for the fun of it. And what’s more fun than rhymes, power chords, and ticking off music critics? Here’s a blow-by-blow, track-by-track recap of Weezer’s latest offering:

1. Troublemaker
Cuomo rhymes “beyatch” with “kids”–eat your heart out Lil’ Wayne!
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“Doing things my own way.”

2. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
Who doesn’t love an epic rock song? Police sirens, rock-star falsettos, and anthemic choir-like sing-a-longs–eat your heart out Freddie Mercury!
Lyrical Message(s) to Critics:
“After the havoc that I’m going to wreak, no more words will critics have to speak.”
“If you don’t like it, you can shove it.”

3. Pork and Beans
This is the Red Album’s answer to the Blue Album’s “Buddy Holly.” Catchy as heck with a chorus that makes no sense at all!
Lyrical Message(s) to Critics:
“Imma do the things that I wanna do, I ain’t got a thing to prove to you.”
“Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts, maybe if I work with him I can perfect the art?”
“I don’t give a hoot about what you think.”
“I don’t care!” (6x)

4. Heart Songs
Reminds me of the Blue Album’s “In the Garage.” Cuomo lists of all the important songs and albums that lead to his musical upbringing. Anyone who started a band after listening to Nirvana in the early 90’s may even find themselves a little choked up when Cuomo explains the importance of Nevermind. This could also be the first time in recording history that Debbie Gibson, The Fresh Prince, Michael Jackson, and Slayer are given shout-outs in the same song.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“These are my heart songs, they never feel wrong.”

5. Everybody Get Dangerous
I really should hate this song, because it almost sounds like a bad rap-rock song from a college band in the ’90’s. But then I remember that it’s a Weezer song with boasts about how dangerous they are by going cow-tipping and playing ice hockey without pads. If you don’t get slimed with the irony, maybe the “boo-yah” in the chorus will help you see the light.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
The mere fact that this song was included on the album is a big F-you to critics.

6. Dreamin’
A classic Weezer track, complete with barbershop quartet breakdown (ala, “Surf Wax America” and “Holiday”) and a swelling punk-rock-explosion of a finish.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“I don’t want to get with your program.”

7. Thought I Knew
What?! Brian Bell singing on a track? Has the control freak known as Rivers Cuomo lost his mind? I love the fact that Cuomo is sharing the ball with the rest of the band. Bell channels the spirit of Matthew Sweet and crafts out a little album gem.

8. Cold Dark World
Scott Shriner’s turn to play with the ball (although it sounds like Cuomo rhyming). The line, “I will protect you, never disrespect you, but if you need love then I’ll be here to sex you” is so absurd it’s hilarious!
Lyrical Message to Critics:
Refer to track #5 “Everybody Get Dangerous” (above)

9. Automatic
Pat Wilson’s turn to play with the Weezer beach ball. This is definitely single-worthy, Billy Squier would be proud (and maybe even a little jealous of the catchy big-rock hook)!

10. The Angel and the One
Weezer ending an album in classic Weezer tradition–with a soft and gentle Rivers Cuomo ballad. Like the Blue Album’s “Only in Dreams,” this track takes it good time fading out, clocking in at over six minutes.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“Peace, shalom.”

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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