If you’re male, under the age of thirty, and you escaped early teenage angst by listening to popular rock music, there’s a good chance you were a fan of Weezer. I was. I like to think that those moments of awkward self-awareness and fumbled first kisses are behind me. I like to think I’ve moved on. Weezer, apparently, have not.
The album opener confirms this, telling a fairly typical story of young courtship: “Your mom cooked meat loaf, even though I don’t eat meat / I dug you so much, I took some for the team”. Humourous as it is, the subject matter is well-trodden ground. While I’m Your Daddy is reminiscent of Weezer at their peak, this success is only fleeting — most of Raditude is best described as bland and generic. The catchy Can’t Stop Partying is a venture into new territory, incorporating the vocals of rapper Lil’ Wayne. Although no musical disaster, the brief collaboration is too short to attract new fans, and will most likely polarise their existing fan base.
Despite these criticisms, there are some positive points to this album. It sticks to a proven formula, and is light-hearted and self-mocking. The problem is that there really is nothing exceptional about Raditude. The songs, despite Weezer’s continued willingness to move further away from their lo-fi rock roots, sound tired and all too familiar. While devoted fans and struggling teenagers may enjoy the band’s seventh outing, for the rest of us, this one is probably best left alone. Especially if, like myself, you want those unnerving memories of embarrassing parties, silly hair cuts and bad dress sense to remain well and truly repressed.