Having been greeted with a bear hug by fans after emerging last year from a nearly five-year absence—sparked by the initial commercial bust that was 1996's Pinkerton—Maladroit finds Weez

Having been greeted with a bear hug by fans after emerging last year from a nearly five-year absence—sparked by the initial commercial bust that was 1996's Pinkerton—Maladroit finds Weezer back on solid footing (after the success of 2001's eponymous set, known as The Green Album) and fearlessly tapping the volume and passion of the now-gold certified cult fave Pinkerton. At times paint-peelingly heavy ("Take Control" and "Slob"), the often devil-horn-worthy Maladroit was no doubt a chance for the band to kick out the jams after the exhaustingly honed Green Album. Be forewarned: There's not much along the lines of "Island in the Sun" here; the poppiest of these cuts owe more to "Hash Pipe." Still, there are plenty of smart hooks and catchy vocals throughout. Riffing like crazy (witness the awesome Scorpions-inflected solo on "Fall Together"), the band scores an alt-rock masterpiece with "Dope Nose." We all knew Weezer rocked, but who knew the band could kick this much ass? Play it loud!—WO

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