Release Date: Nov 25, 2008
Record label: Geffen
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alternative
Beneath Weezer’s geeky, glimmering arena rock, Rivers Cuomo is one conflicted auteur. On part 2 of his answer to Pete Townshend’s ”Scoop” series of outtakes, he carries the listener through an alternative version of his career: a snippet of classical music, a portion of an aborted rock opera, a garage- rock reconstruction of the Beach Boys’ five-part harmonies. In Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo‘s soul-baring liner notes, Cuomo pinpoints melodies as crucial outlets for depression, guilt, ecstasy.
I shudder to think what a genuinely sincere - if not slightly messed up with a Brian Wilson obsession - songwriter Rivers Cuomo once was compared to the cynical hit-seeker he's become in the current Weezer. Alone II is like the antidote to The Red Album's poison - lo-fi and weird enough to remind us that Cuomo is at his best when he's unguarded, feeling romantically doomed after a long bout of self-imposed isolation. If you like the über-personal nature of Pinkerton, then Alone II is your sequel.
When we last left Rivers Cuomo, our eternally bespectacled hero, he was in the middle of doing some stately housecleaning. Following the ho-hum critical response to Weezer’s 2005’s disc Make Believe, it appeared the Cuomo was at a creative stalemate with himself and was eager to try something new, mainly by revisiting his old demos and polishing some obscure rarities. Though Cuomo had already tried to do some basic odds-and-sods clearing the year prior with the release of the Deluxe Edition of Weezer’s debut album, it—somehow—just wasn’t enough for him.