Rivers Cuomo. Rivers. You are a rich, beloved musician despite not releasing a piece of music unilaterally agreed upon as “good” or even “necessary” in nearly two decades, now that the novelty of “whoa, a new Weezer album!” has worn off in the aftermath of so many gimmicky music videos, collaborations, and branding opportunities. Buoyed by those admittedly catchy post-Bush singles, Weezer seemed to ascend along an improbably upward trajectory toward renewed mainstream relevance—remember how “Memories” scored the Jackass 3 credits?—which may have enabled you to feel more capable of ever of being the weird dude you’ve sung about being for nearly two decades.
Hence this latest development, an album recorded with former Allister singer Scott Murphy in which you mostly sing in Japanese, completing the circle of Asiatic fascination you began with Pinkerton with all the songs about being in love with school girls across the sea. With titles like “Homely Girl,” “Freakin’ Love My Life” and “終わりのないこの詩,” it’s not entirely easy to see what you’re going for other than “I’m doing me,” but that’s admirable in its own right—bizarre, and likely to further tarnish the warm, pre-Bush memories that Weezer diehards are continually referring to, but whatever. It’s hard to figure you out, but that’s always been the case. Blue Album forever.