Weezer & r & & r & Weezer [The Red Album] & r & & r & 1-1/2 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & F & lt;/span & rom top to bottom, the Weezer's Red Album schizophrenically shifts among well-worn musical territories. The songs are classifiable in three groups: Blue/Green Album outtakes ("Troublemaker," "Pork and Beans," "Automatic," and "Dreamin'"), Pinkerton outtakes ("Heart Songs," "Cold Dark World," and "The Angel and the One"), and drivel ("The Greatest Man That Ever Lived," "Everybody Get Dangerous," and "Thought I Knew"). For the second time this year, Rivers Cuomo disappoints greatly when he should slay.
It's clear that Weezer no longer desires to write the formulaic three-minute pop songs at which it excels. And that's perfectly fine. But if Cuomo & amp; Co. want to establish other identities, they must take the task more seriously than in the present case. For all of the time the band had to write this album, it sounds like the product of one unsupervised week in the studio. A real bummer.
-- CAREY MURPHY
DOWNLOAD: Don't bother
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & E & lt;/span & ven though music fans luckily find the bulk of indie's super-aggro times to be pleasantly distant memories, it will come as a surprise to hear a sincere, irony-free album full of sentimental songs about love and loss without feeling the slightest desire to vomit. With traces of folk and country and light, guitar-driven pop, Deb Talen and Steve Tannen forge together an optimistic collection of feel-good, three-minute ditties. At times sounding like Sheryl Crow or even Joni Mitchell, Talen offers an immediately accessible listening experience.
The most successful tracks extend the tranquil beauty of the vocal harmonies present throughout the 14 songs. The best of the group feels comfortable and familiar, like a cozy evening at home. And though Talen's voice is the most prominent (as on the standout title track), Tannen has some wonderful moments (as in "Not Dead Yet"). A fine summer album and worth the time.
-- CAREY MURPHY