Life is full of constants and variables, the ebb and flow of life for the human race has moved at an ever constant rate, with the lubricant of those constants and variables easing and intensifying the friction along the way. At the dawn of man, we understood the constant that the Sun would rise and fall every day, food and water was required to live, and feces released from our anus after eating such food. Their variables were simple but there nonetheless, rains would come and go at a random pace, animals would sometimes be caught for meat, and sometimes they would escape mans grasp, and sometimes they would go hungry that night. These variables are things we can't predict and cannot control, they throw in the conflict, madness, and confusion into our lives, like a wildfire in the brush.
Weezer was a modern constant, something we could always count on to become progressively worse as the river of time flowed, like a flower after being plucked from he earth. With each album, Weezer would deteriorate a little bit more, leaving us to reign laughter and pity upon them not much unlike the boos and hissing felt by the Away team at a football game, they were bound to lose from the locker room. But Weezer has pulled back their shroud and have revealed their true status of an ever revolving variable, floating around in the sea of our consciousness...because "Hurley" is a pretty alright album.
I had Rivers Cuomo pinned (if you read my review of Raditude) as a man strictly set on destroying every ounce of love ever garnered by "Pinkerton" and "The Blue Album", while he laughed inwardly every step of the way. He's convinced me now, that he is more than a simple Troll king, he's a mastermind...an antichrist hellbent on destroying any sense of steadfast in our lives, becoming a king of discord, plunging our minds into a never ending pit of black madness.
For you see, Hurley is a fine album, good, pretty damn alright, and that is something that shouldn't be, can't be, oh how untrue I wish it was. The pop melodies are nothing new, pretty bad, over the top and more youthfully teenage than the band's own children, yet the songs are well done, with a raw sense not seen on their more recent albums. I feel like a Chess-playing robot being beaten by the simplicity found in the heart of a child...I cannot compute.
Some songs revert back to the Raditude days of pop rock stained with desires to be a modern version of "Dazed and Confused", a drug filled, mailbox breaking, beer and muscle car teenager with no sense of what sounds interesting and good, rather than "cool". But many of the songs move back to before Rivers Cuomo dreamt he had a cool high-school life, back when he was a loser geek who dreamt he was more, the same way Icarus dreamt he could fly like the gods. Songs like "Memories" and "Unspoken" take us back to those days, where Weezer very well could have been in a garage with Kiss posters plastered on the walls, playing loud and dorky music, forcing twelve-sided dice to roll with sheer rock-and-roll prowess.
"Hurley" should have been AWFUL. It was destined, written in stone, decided, and pre-determined, much like Hugo "Hurley" Reyes' fate the second he crash landed on the island in Lost. Instead, we get an album that could very well be only bested by Pinkerton and The Blue Album. The incomprehensible nature of this is something so maddening to this reviewers mind that I must slowly type to keep my fingers from turning on me and gouging out my eyes. The interesting elements on the album come from the begging of songs like "Memories" and "Trainwrecks" where we feel Weezer laughing at the over production on more recent works by introducing these songs with orchestral drawls, which lead into a more raw songwriting sensibility...one that astonishingly bears fruit like a barren desert, a miracle in retrospect.
The elephant on the album "Where's My Sex?" plays out more like a miniature-pony, being cool and all, but never sounding anywhere near as interesting as the dorky and charming "Smart Girls" or the perfect album closer "Time Flies" which has a low-fi quality Neutral Milk Hotel fans might strangely appreciate and welcome. I found myself thinking over and over "This song might just be listened to multiple times!" which is something I haven't thought since hearing the gimmicky sounds on the Green album or possibly "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" off of Red. I find myself shivering as I feel the cold breath of hell freezing over while pigs fly across the darkening skies like the war planes over a Nazi Germany.
"Hurley" has brought upon us the complexity of the variable where there shouldn't have been one. We are hit with the immensely tortuous tangle of the web known as life, and the insanity brought upon by the unknown. The rotation of the Earth very well could have shifted a miniscule degree by the release of a mildly good Weezer album, bringing about the end of the world as we know it. Rivers Cuomo has proved to be a more than formidable opponent, one who is so unpredictable and unyieldingly sporadic in his mischief that we cannot, must not, and will not underestimate him. The impossible is now possible, and the gates of the abyss have opened to release unfathomable horrors not even H.P. Lovecraft could measure...all because Weezer has managed to put out a surprisingly alright album. May god help us all.
Album Rating - 8.4 / 10
You can also read this review here: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/38981/Weezer-Hurley/