Leaping from the majors to the indies, Weezer misses not a beat, choosing to continue the co-writing craze Rivers Cuomo kicked off on 2009’s Raditude. Hurley -- named after Jorge Garcia’s beloved Lost character for no particular reason, but anybody with three eponymous albums in an eight-LP career doesn’t care much for titles in the first place -- is marginally louder and rougher than the clean sheen of Raditude, but not enough to fool anybody into thinking this is a punk rebirth. For Cuomo, independence means he can follow whatever notion seizes his fancy, and in this case he’s capitalizing on collaborations, penning eight of Hurley’s ten songs (the album runs four longer on a Deluxe Edition that includes a strong cover of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”) with a roster so diverse it borders on the nonsensical. Rivers is open to writing with anybody: he’ll construct slick modern pop with professional songsmiths Desmond Child and Linda Perry; sharpen up his power pop with the assistance of fellow former college rockers Dan Wilson and Ryan Adams, whose respective “Ruling Me” and “Run Away” are among the album’s highlights; and craft his sweetest, smartest tunes with No Doubt’s Tony Kanal (the crisp “Smart Girls”) and Rick Nowels, who co-wrote the classic “You Get What You Give” with Gregg Alexander and collaborates on “Hang On” here -- then, of all people, Cuomo gets old pro Mac Davis to work on the closer, “Time Flies.” Nothing on paper ties all these writers together but Rivers is the common denominator, so there’s a consistency of sound -- his co-writers amplify quirks and help him hone his craft, turning the songs tight and efficient. Sometimes, the quirks become overwhelming -- the one-note joke “Where’s My Sex?” wears out its welcome by the second verse -- but usually the melodies and riffs are clean, simple, and powerful, hooking immediately and sticking around for a while. Again, Cuomo doesn’t suppress his emotion; he just prefers sentiment (albeit delivered somewhat ironically as on lead single “Memories”), but what he loves most of all is a pure pop song and Hurley offers up its fair share.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine