Can't Stop Partying Pitchfork Media track review
|"Can't Stop Partying"|
|Review by Scott Plagenhoef|
|Published||October 30, 2009|
|"Can't Stop Partying"|
Reviewer: Scott Plagenhoef (Pitchfork Media)
Publishing date: October 30, 2009
| The new Weezer album picks up where the last one left off, which was highlighted by a return to uptempo singles trading in an offbeat sense of humor and an unironic embrace of fun rock'n'roll (see "Troublemaker", "Pork & Beans"). Here they rope in Lil Wayne, however, for the anti-fun rock'n'roll song. And the idea works: Cuomo and Weezy frame the satire with that sort of detached, knowing, arch-ironic vocals that sharpened and sold a ton of Pet Shop Boys songs.|
And, hell, it's a message worth stating, too, especially in the context of a pop song. There's been a lot of talk recently-- from The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones fretting about the state of hip-hop to Jay-Z claiming the genre is in its hair-metal phase-- about the increased vacuousness and predictability of hip-hop (and, by extension, U.S. pop music). A genre that was once so sonically adventurous it arguably frightened rock away from the idea of progression is now a retread itself, though it's still oddly unfashionable to point that out. If you're suggesting that hip-hop, or electronic music or pop,might be in a bit of a rut lyrically or otherwise, it doesn't follow that you're making some sort of knee-jerk, Luddite rockist statement.
Problem is, the joke/comment here on "Can't Stop Partying" is one-note and, ultimately, a snooze. Iggy on "Nightclubbing" proved you could take on going out dry, glassy-eyed, and droney without sounding like you're nodding off, or worse that the listeners will. Cuomo's a smart guy, and to his credit his somnambulist take and the sort of hypnotizing, zombie-like way in which he and Weezy are reading their lines here mirrors the way in which the country is still sleepwalking, distracted and uninformed, through an economic crisis, an anemic health care debate, and a couple of wars. But the song itself isn't making that leap; it's not capturing or chastising a national mood so much as preaching to their converted, like-minded fans.
There is in an actual great single from 2009 that addresses some of what this song does plus way more, and does it much better: Lily Allen's "The Fear", which is pointing a finger not only at herself but the entire rubbernecking, shameless, celebrity-obsessing crumbling empires of the UK and the U.S. By comparison, Weez(y)er risk coming off seeming like boring/bored rock stars, and their song, worst of all, is rote and drab. Ironically, it's victimized as a listening experience by the very things it does to make clear it's satire.