Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weezer - Maladroit

And this is where a lot of people jumped off the Weezer bandwagon. Maladroit was an interesting collaborative experiment if nothing else. Unbeknownst to their label, the band went into the studio mere months after The Green Album came out. They started cutting demos on a daily basis and posting the results on the Weezer home page. Fans could download the demos for free and give feedback to the band as to which demos should be fleshed out and put on the album. I was a part of this process and I still have all the demos I downloaded back in the day. There were more than a few good songs that didn't make this cut for this album ("Don't Pick on Me," "High Up Above," "We Go Together," and a few others). Fans who were following the process felt too much of a sense of entitlement and actually demanded that Weezer owed them fully-realized version of their favorite demos (the Weezer web boards got really snippy in those days, so I left them never to return). Fans who hadn't been following the demos were shocked by the changes in Weezer's overall sound on this album. A lot of people ended up having a bad experience with it and it tends to show up in used record stores more often than it deserves.

Maladroit brings a whole lot of different things to the table. This is where Weezer started playing with textures and song structures they had never touched before. Rivers let his inner metal fan out, and really went for shredtastic solos that sound completely different from The Green Album's simple riffs. Oddities like "Burndt Jamb" and "Death and Destruction" made the cut, which baffled some of the Weezer faithful. Over the years I have come to enjoy Maladroit in spite of its somewhat disjointed presentation. There are a lot of great songs on this album and it certainly deserves more respect than it has gotten thus far.

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