Weezer – Hurley (CD review)

Weezer – Hurley (Epitaph) – CD review – Weezer has changed the way they do albums.  It used to be that they would put out a new CD every three or four years.  Now, the band seems to be on a furious pace; releasing a new record every year, or sooner.  Hurley, their eighth studio album, comes just 10 months after their last one, Raditude.

It’s no coincidence that this increase in productivity also coincides with leader Rivers Cuomo’s decision to seek outside collaborators in his songwriting.  And, for this new album, does he ever collaborate! Cuomo is the sole writer on only two songs: the pounding “Memories,” and “Unspoken,” which starts out with a gentle acoustic guitar.  For the remaining tracks, Cuomo looks for outside help in some of the strangest places.  He enlists the help of songwriting pros Desmond Child (“Trainwrecks”), Linda Perry (“Brave New World”), Rick Nowels (“Hang On”) and Greg Wells (“Where’s My Sex”?), who all have tons of hit songs to their credit.

Then, he taps alternative stalwarts Ryan Adams, Tony Kanal (bassist for No Doubt) and Dan Wilson (of Semisonic, “Closing Time” fame) for “Run Away,” “Smart Girls,” and “Ruling Me” respectively.   But, the absolute kicker is the teaming of Cuomo with 70’s heartthrob Mac Davis(!) for “Time Flies.”  Despite all this diversity, the record still sounds amazingly like Weezer; incredibly hooky, crunchy pop.

“Hang On” is another pounding rock anthem that we’ve come to expect from this band, while they’re always good for a laugh or two, and both “Smart Girls,” and “Where’s My Sex” fall into that category.  This is the first Weezer record not on a major label (they’ve recently signed with indie legend Epitaph) but there really seems to be no change in direction.  Another fabulous collection of Weezer songs.  The band is obviously on a roll. –Tony Peters