Weezer’s first two albums were startlingly consistent and craft-obsessed pop records that made the most of grunge’s loud-soft mix and found a niche for themselves in a mostly humorless alternative-rock boom with pop-art videos and a reverence for songwriting. In short, they were Marshall Crenshaw with a sex addiction. But they’ve equaled those heights since. On 2001’s “green” album, they played it safe. Last year’s “red” album bucked formula with self-referential goofiness and genuinely inspired detours into old-man strangeness, like “Pork and Beans.” Even half of 2002’s metal-damaged Maladroit shined. In fact, they’ve only made two truly bad albums.
Unfortunately, Raditude is one of them. None of the songs are funny, half are catchy, and all are disposable — nothing offensive or godawful. Even Lil’ Wayne’s WTF guest spot would be considered middle-of-the-road on any 2009 Timbaland-lite pop-rap record. The stupidest songs are the best ones: “The Girl Got Hot” at least tries, with its addictive Gary Glitter cheerleader chants. “I’m Your Daddy” is less creepy than anything on Pinkerton, and sweeter, too. The first few tracks and bonus song “Run Over by a Truck” are hummable, and worthy of spots on a greatest-hits compilation.
— Dan Weiss
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