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Album Review: Van Weezer by Weezer

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Weezer is a rock band from Los Angeles. I recently reviewed their OK Human album which came as a bit of a surprise since people weren't sure if the Van Weezer album was put on hold or if it was renamed. We eventually found out that they were going to be releasing two albums this year. Weezer finally release their second album of the year and their fifteenth studio album Van Weezer.

The first track from the album is Hero, which was also one of the promotional singles for the album. I'm really not too thrilled with the opening of the track. While we get a lot of guitars to open it up, the sound just sounds too bright and the melody just seems like a basic lick that we've all heard before. While I get that they're trying to go back to some of their older tracks, Rivers voice just seems a little too polished to get this rock sound going.
 
All the Good Ones slows the pace of the album down a bit, but not in intensity. It's also the shortest track, just clocking in under three minutes. Other than that we do keep on with the layers of guitars, but it does have a pop feeling to it as well. For this track, it doesn't seem as forced for Rivers, so I think that's why this track works so well for them. Anyways, this track talks about how all the good women out there are already gone and taken.

The End of the Game opens up with a heavy Van Halen influence, but I doubt this album would be complete since the album is titled Van Weezer. It opens up with some guitar licks similar to Eruption, but it does eventually fade and has a similar feeling to the previous track. There are some other subtle Van Halen references in here, but it's mostly at the beginning and ending of the track. I also find it funny how they reference one of their older tracks, Island In The Sun.

I Need Some of That definitely keeps on with the intensity of the guitars at the beginning, but it pulls back when Rivers comes in with the vocals. Again, the vocals seem a bit too polished for Weezer so it's a bit strange hearing this track from time to time. Anyways, Rivers has said this track is dedicated to a former producer and member of Weezer, Ric Ocasek. You can also hear him on the last part of the track with an old recording.

Beginning of the End was originally supposed to be used for the third Bill and Ted movie, but a remix was used instead. This opens up a bit quieter than some of their previous tracks, but as always, it will open up later on. There's really nothing too special about this track until we get to the instrumental break halfway through. Even then, it's just not that special with other instrumentals clouding the main guitar solo on this track.

Ofcourse Blue Dream continues to use some familiar guitar licks from classic rock tracks. The beginning of the track, we hear the same riff from Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train, which has also been used in other spin offs. I guess this track lacks originality, even though the title of the album is a blatant rip off of Van Halen. It doesn't sound bad, but as stated before, Rivers just doesn't have the same old rough voice for these types of tracks.

1 More Hit brings back some of the originality for Weezer. We do get the dark and heavy guitar riffs brought back on this track, especially closer to the end of the track with the instrumental break. It's not really my cup of tea, but Rivers seems to talk about his experimentation with drugs in his youth and how he knows it's not good for him. The pre-chorus is also a bit odd for me, but check it for yourself to save me the embarrassment of typing it out on here.

Sheila Can Do It definitely seems like an older Weezer track. Come to find out, this was actually part of Rivers' other band, Homie. Unfortunately that track never came to light, but I guess he decided to dig it back up and rebrand it on this new album. Other than that, it just seems like your usual rock track with the same generic formula. Sure, it seems like a fun and quirky track, but there's nothing that really stands out on here.

She Needs Me is a complete change of scenery since this track starts out very quietly with a single acoustic guitar. Surprisingly, it does open up after the quick introduction so I guess they weren't wrong about keeping this album loud and guitar-heavy. The guitar solo is a nice addition on this track, but other than that, it's your typical love track, which is probably about his wife. He also talks about some of the things he does for her.

I guess we would finally get an acoustic track on this album, Precious Metal Girl. With a title like this, I wouldn't have expected this track to be the acoustic one, but here we are at the end of the Van Weezer album. There's really nothing too spectacular about this track, other than the fact that the album is finally over.

I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up with this album, especially since I didn't know what they were planning on doing with this album. Rivers just doesn't have the same flare as he once had.
Overall Rating: 5/10
Favorite Tracks: All the Good Ones, The End of the Game
 
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