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I think people are too hard on Weezer - the band's third album was panned as 'unexperimental' and - well, un-Weezer-like. But after only two albums, does anyone really know what Weezer is like? If people had pigeonholed The Beatles after their first two albums, they'd still be stuck on "I Want To Hold Your Hand".

Yeah, it could be said Weezer took a step backwards with this their third album, ditching the emotions and experimentation that made them loved, if not popular. But if - as I suspect - they'd simply put their ambition on hold, this isn't a trend, and they're still really, really good at being entertaining and catchy.

An album doesn't always have to be a statement, and I don't think the band are taking the easy way out, because I honestly don't believe it's easy to write songs this enjoyable. Even the abrasive lead single "Hash Pipe" grooves along on Rivers' falsetto vocals. And whilst the lyrics are banal, Rivers clearly doesn't give a damn, though there are no melodies that stick in your head like the debut's "The Sweater Song".

But it's fun! I honestly enjoy listening to this record. It's good because all these songs would make solid singles; it's great because they've got the catchy guitar-rock without the brooding mushy baritone vocals that every 'rock' vocalist seemed to be affecting at the time.

So don't expect a masterpiece, because this isn't one. But for anyone looking for a fun and intentionally meaningless chapter in the career of a great band, then pick this album up.

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Posted: Wednesday 3rd May 2017 5:25 PM

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album review
Once the poet laureate for confused 20-somethings, Paul Westerberg cruised into his thirties just as sensitive but almost completely forsaking the energy of his youth.

His second solo album Eventually is so quiet and unambitious as to almost not be there. Just a few tracks attempt to rock out, and only the crusty "Century" is convincing.

Westerberg's forte here is slow aching country/rock songs, generically structured, but based on the quirky perfect chord sequences that made his work with The Replacements so enduring.

Combined with his crackly voice and expert harmony arrangements, "Love Untold" / "MamaDaddyDid" / "Once Around the Weekend" / "Time Flies Tomorrow", will quietly break your heart. "Good Day" is a little sappier, but Westerberg hits some nice piano notes.

He's still a genius, but I wish he'd put some effort into making a statement, or breaking a sweat.

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Posted: Thursday 4th May 2017 6:48 PM

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