Much has been made about how the new Weezer album differs from the band's two previous efforts. But the real question is how does "Weezer" stand on its own, removed from the band's past? The claims that the 2001 release -- called "Threezer" and "The Green Album" by fans to distinguish it from the 1994 "Weezer" debut -- is a pop gem are off the mark. Pop music sticks to your brain until you almost can't stand it; repeat listens of this CD did nothing to clear my brain of David Mead's new single.
Highlights include the hand claps and silly "Grease"-style backing vocals of "Photograph" and the quirky lite rock of "Island in the Sun." "Hash Pipe" provides one of "Weezer's" few dark moments, but the darkness is distant and impersonal, and the song sounds too much like an Offspring outtake. Neither the lyrics nor the music are particularly thoughtful, and the band members sound as if they are trying too hard but also not hard enough. In light of the band's history, the new Weezer is disappointing. On its own, it's merely another average record.