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Weezer
Pinkerton
(DGC)
allstar rating: 7

Two opposing forces are at work in the Weezer ethos these days: let's be cute, but let's be assholes.
  On the one hand, the songs on Pinkerton, Weezer's follow-up to their double-platinum 1994 self-titled debut, are every bit as catchy as those on the first. "The Good Life," "Why Bother?," and "Falling For You" should dominate alternative rock airwaves for the next several months. The band's singular sonic approach applies here as well: scrunchy-but-compressed walls o' guitars blend with the occasional Moog synthesizer (the latter courtesy of the indulgence of bassist Matt Sharp, who also fronts the Moogy side project the Rentals) and Rivers Cuomo's tortured-young-man vocals in three-minute pop starbursts.
  And somewhere during that scrunchiness comes a soft, squishy middle, a minor-key chord that melts sensitive-guy hearts just so.
  But the band seems to be tiring of their cutesy image, and so to toughen up and show us that they're really grown (if young) men, they scatter locker-room lyric references all over Pinkerton. Hell, even the name refers to the male organ. Such songs as "Tired of Sex" and "Pink Triangle" overcompensate--in the half-hearted guise of irony--to show that if you want to, as Cuomo suggests in the band's current bio, you can "just turn the shit up and rock out with your cock out." Sure, his tongue is in his cheek, but it also seems to be in various other anatomical parts. He thinks that's funny. It's not. In fact, it's quite feasible that women--who surely comprise the majority of Weezer's audience--will be offended by the rampant borderline misogyny.
  That said--and that's bad enough--very few things in life are better than a catchy three-minute pop song...

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