Rivers Cuomo has done battle with his fans, his record label, success itself. But the title of Weezer’s eighth album is an olive branch to the ride-or-die nerd side of his audience: A Weezer record named after Hurley from Lost is like Rick Ross slapping a picture of Scarface-era Pacino on an album cover and calling it Tony. This is also Weezer’s first album on an indie label, giving Cuomologists a chance to test their long-standing theory that a Rivers freed from Geffen Records might be a less dickish genius.
In perfect contrarian fashion, Hurley is their most “corporate” record ever. Cuomo co-writes with a bevy of A-list song doctors (Linda Perry, Tony Kanal, Desmond Child), and calls in cameos from the Jackass crew and Michael Cera, seemingly just for the hell of it. The result: a Weezer record, some great cornball pop-metal tuneage, some irony, some insanity.
“Memories” is a hilarious ode to how awesome it was to be in Weezer back in the mid-Nineties (“When Audioslave was still Rage”); “Ruling Me” is one of Cuomo’s best girl-drunk rockers; and “Hang On” is power-ballad heaven. We also get two classic-Cuomo doses of jaded angst: the hipster-bashing “Trainwrecks” and the horny-Harvard-dude anthem “Smart Girls.” Of course, it wouldn’t be Weezer without some tossed-off dementia. “Where’s My Sex?” is a Pinkerton-esque song about, um, sox, with the word “sex” sung in the place of “sox” â€” like, “I can’t go out without my sex/It’s cold outside and my toes get wet.” As Hurley might say, “Uh, dude, you OK?”