June 04, 2001 12:00 PM

Weezer (Geffen)

Clocking in at just under 29 minutes, Weezer’s latest disc is about the length of a sitcom, which is fitting, since the group made its name with the campy Happy Days-inspired video for its 1994 nostalgia tune “Buddy Holly.” That single led the way to triple-platinum sales for their debut (titled Weezer but referred to as The Blue Album), but their more introspective follow-up, 1996’s Pinkerton, had about the commercial impact of Joanie Loves Chachi. Already aloof front man Rivers Cuomo then effectively went into hiding at Harvard. Five years and a cult following later, the band takes up where they left off on the first disc. With their hook-laden pop and geek-rock attitude, the L.A. quartet plays off deadpan lyrics on deceptively sunny anthems like “Photograph,” with its measured rhymes and classic “Oh baby” chorus, and the thrashing “Hash Pipe.” The simple honesty of the standout “Smile” recalls the finest song on the first album, “Say It Ain’t So.”

Bottom Line: Still a little Blue

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