Alone: The Home Recordings
As we open up the diary of the bespectacled Weezer front man, and dive into the demos that until now remained neatly stacked in his personal mix tape library, it is important to remember two things: 1. Even the most talented artists can produce embarrassing bits of crap, and 2. This is the same guy who penned some of the poppiest bits of fun this side of The Beach Boys. So, go ahead and open your ears to what he’s been keeping to himself.
These demos–some pretty rough, others quite professionally polished–date all the way back to 1984 up until this past year. Like his day job band, the best material on Alone: The Home Recordings dates from 1992-1997, corresponding with Weezer’s The Blue Album and Pinkerton.
Weezer mega-fans may recall hearing rumblings of a post Blue Album, pre-_Pinkerton_ project–a spacey rock opera called Songs From the Black Hole. The opera never saw the light of day, but pieces of it have finally surfaced here with “Blast Off” being the song that should have all Weezer fans banging down the band’s door demanding that this rock opera been properly finished.
Other celebratory nuggets include a funky, fuzzed out cover of Ice Cube’s “The Bomb” that’s admittedly Beastie Boys affected, a gorgeous piano ballad called “Longtime Sunshine” that was written on Cuomos’ mom’s piano, and “Crazy One”, a typically adorable pop song about love and longing.
So, yes, for those songs alone this is a release to make pop music fans stand up and shout…however, “This Is the Way,” the album’s most recent track (2007), should be skipped over at all costs. The mere thought that this is the place that Rivers Cuomo’s writing is at these days is a depressing one. It’s soft R&B pop with a cheeseball synth drumbeat, and it probably should have been erased seconds after being put to tape. In the liner notes he hints that this song could end up on the next Weezer disc. Please, Rivers, no!
Rivers Cuomo: http://www.riverscuomo.com