Maladroit Kerrang! record review

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Maladroit cover
Studio album by Weezer
Released May 14, 2002
Professional reviews

Metascore 72
Reviewer: Ian Winwood (Kerrang!)
Publishing date: May 11, 2002
Rating: 5/5
5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars5/5 stars (5/5)

SO THAT'S it then, he's mad. A voyuer, a sex shopper, a pervert, a meany, a short arse, a bearer of grudges, a thrower of toys from prams, a hater of band mates, a liar, a beardo, an arsehole and a malcontent. Look at him go, that strange, strange man; being rude, being nasty. Rivers Cuomo - and on this you can bet your trousers - would probably kick a limping cat right the way across a busy street. Rivers Cuomo - and on this you can bet your shoes - would probably kick a pregnant woman right in the tush. A quick question: so what? In the face of 'Maladroit' - an album of such sublime, complete and perfect brilliance that it manages, so much of the time, to dazzle and amaze - it would take a strange and reactionary mind to focus on the behaviour of an individual rather than on that individual's artistry. It would be like pointing at the stars and looking at your finger. It's right to say that if Rivers Cuomo plied his trade in any other business then he would recieve the lamping of a lifetime. But, and here it is, he doesn't ply his trade in any other business. And the reason for this is that of all the bands you'll read about in the pages of this magazine, Weezer are among the very best. In fact, Weezer, perhaps, are the very best. At 39 minutes and 43 seconds long, 'Maladroit' might well be the finest record weezer have made. This may sound like no big deal - it is, after all, only the band's fourth release - but it follows only a year after 'The Green Album', a record which, to this listener at least, sounded as perfect as perfect could be. But if 'The Green Album' rang like 'Reign In Blood' in its completeness and precision, Then 'Maladroit' is the sound of Weezer stretching their limbs. So here we have AngryWeezer ('Slob'), PunkWeezer ('Possibilities'), MetalWeezer ('Take Control') and even SecondPersonWeezer ('Keep Fishin'), all alongside the usual PopWeezer ('Dope Nose') and LoveDoneGoneWrongForMe-Weezer ('Death And Destruction'). At no point in any of theese songs do this band poot a foot wrong, either in playing or in the compositions. And you're reminded, again and again, of just how stunning an outfit Weezer really are. Yes, they have a source material of impeccable brilliance, but it's the band as a whole who bring this stuff to life. And for this, all four of them should take a bow. Yet there's still the feeling that weezer have so much left to show. Even at his lowest point - the years between 'Pinkerton' and 'The Green Album' - Rivers Cuomo was writing a new song every single day. And while songwriting may well be an instinct for him, it's still an instinct that he's take the time and the effort to develop. Which is why it's so refreshing that Weezer - much against the wishes of their record company, you can be sure - are so certain in what they do that they've taken to throwing out albums every 12 months. They seem to have heeded similar advice as that given be producer Nick Lowe to the young Elvis Costello: which is, "This song has got four chords, what's the problem?" It should mean, on the evidence so far, that Weezer will not grow stale. It should mean that there's plenty to look forward to. But even as it is, Maladroit still manages to fill the present like a thunderstorm. It is a magnificent record, strong enough, graceful enough, and with enough talent and skill to ensure that any talk of Rivers Cuomo as anything other than an artist shrinks to nothing in comparison.

— Ian Winwood, May 11, 2002

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