Music Article

A Sharp Turn

Can Weezer stop bickering and make good music? Now that Matt Sharp and Rivers Cuomo are done feuding, they may bring their band back to its heyday

The message boards are buzzing, the e-mails are flying, the blogs are, umm, blogging: Can it be true? Is Weezer back? Not Weezer 2.0 of the lesser ''Green Album'' and Maladroit discs with metal-dude bassist Scott Shriner (formerly of Vanilla Ice's rock band!), but the original ''Buddy Holly''-era Weezer with superlative bassist/keyboardist/falsetto guy Matt Sharp. The good Weezer.

The timing is perfect, given that Geffen is releasing a double-disc expanded edition of Weezer's excellent 1994 debut, ''The Blue Album,'' on March 23. And it follows a surprising reunion between Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and Sharp at one of his solo gigs in Fullerton, Calif., performing not only classic Weezer ''Blue Album'' songs but a few new tracks they had written together. Given that one of Sharp's last contacts with Cuomo was in the courtroom -- Sharp sued his former band for lost royalties in 2002 -- this was an unexpected event.

Speaking over the phone from Los Angeles, Sharp confirms that the pair have started working together again after not speaking for several years. ''Rivers and I have started to, let's see...'' Sharp pauses. ''Reignite our creative relationship, and we are writing together and occasionally performing together.'' As Sharp explains it, Cuomo showed up to one of his solo concerts a few months ago, and since then the two have been e-mailing and hanging out again. ''We just came to the conclusion that it doesn't make much sense for us not to be working together,'' he says.

Listen2This wholeheartedly agrees. Though Weezer's 2001 comeback CD, ''The Green Album,'' was a welcome-if-unspirited treat, 2002's Maladroit was a definite letdown. And neither had the magic of their diabolically catchy power-pop debut. It's obvious that Sharp's goofy humor, kick-ass falsetto, and Jedi-like mastery of the epic loud-quiet-loud arrangement (see: ''Say It Ain't So'') were missing from the band's two post-Sharp discs. (For more proof of this hypothesis, pick up a copy of Sharp's awesome 1996 side project, the Rentals' Return of the Rentals.) While Sharp says he hasn't heard the two Weezer albums that Cuomo and Co. made without him, he agrees that he and his former band-mate ''seem to be able to make better music together than apart.''

Cuomo declined to comment for this story, and the band's label publicist hadn't heard about the Cuomo-Sharp reunion and went as far as to say that Sharp is not involved in Weezer's current recording sessions with producer Rick Rubin. In the meantime, Sharp has a pretty, self-titled acoustic album coming out on April 6, and he isn't ruling out a full-fledged Weezer reunion. ''We haven't put any title on it yet, we're just happy to be working together...writing as often as we can and enjoying each other's company. At this point, I'm not really counting anything out.'' Say it is so!

Originally posted Mar 19, 2004 Published in issue #756 Mar 19, 2004 Order article reprints
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