Widely credited with being the band who kicked off (and merged) the two sub-genres of punk-pop and geek rock, The Green Album is Weezer's attempt to wrestle back their crown from the upstart likes of Blink 182 and Wheatus. The Green Album, recorded nearly five years after their previous album, the widely ignored (but wholly excellent) Pinkerton, sees the band reunited with former Cars frontman Rik Ocasek, who produced their multi-platinum debut way back in 1994. The result is an album of catchy pop gems, more accessible than Pinkerton, and with a quicker pace and more sonic depth than Weezer. Though the high-pitched harmonies of former bassist Matt Sharp are missed (he left to focus on his own band, the Rentals), lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo still has a way with an infectious hook and a sing-along chorus, especially on "Don't Let Go", "Photograph" and "Knockdown Drag Out". The album's first single, "Hash Pipe", kicks off with a bass-heavy, 70s-sounding metal riff, while "Island in the Sun" is as summery as its title suggests. At just over 30-minutes long, The Green Album may leave some listeners feeling a little cheated, but overall, this is a gem of an album, small yet perfectly formed. It is also a worthy return for a band whose influence is undeniable, if under appreciated. --Robert Burrow
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