I tried to like “Raditude.” I really, really tried to like it, but I just about gave up when I heard “Can’t Stop Partying” featuring Lil Wayne. I’m not saying hip-hop and rock can’t combine; it’s been done before quite successfully, but the group that once sang about Dungeons and Dragons joining forces with the rapper famous for saying “Shawty said I lick like a lollipop” didn’t do it for me.
I can see that Weezer, in their usual fashion, is trying to be ironic by collaborating with artists such as Lil Wayne and Jermaine Dupri for their latest effort, but the irony isn’t funny. I’ve been a die-hard Weezer fan since seventh grade. I’m the type of fan who loves Pinkerton, is an avid fan of the Rentals (former member Matt Sharp’s band), and regularly searches the Internet for Homie concert bootlegs. As a result, I always compare any new Weezer album to their ‘90s material, which makes it nearly impossible for them to deliver.
Although Raditude has a few witty lyrical moments, referencing Roswell star Shiri Appleby in the song “Tripping Down the Freeway,” many of the tracks end up sounding the same. There is a reoccurring theme of partying and hot girls throughout the album (the song “I’m Your Daddy” is followed by the track “The Girl Got Hot”), but it doesn’t work the way it did on Pinkerton.
The final song on the track list, “I Don’t Want to Let You Go,” lacks the sincerity it had in the more acoustic version lead singer Rivers Cuomo recorded on his second solo collection Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo (which I highly recommend listening to). Bands can experiment, but Weezer has spent this entire decade making mostly crap albums, and I can only hope that as the ’00s come to a close, they’ll will go back to releasing good material.