Friday, January 4, 2008

Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo

Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo does a good job answering the question, “What kind of songs does Rivers Cuomo write?” The eighteen tracks that make up this release run the gamut of piano ballads, punk infused numbers and jangly guitar pop to name a few of the styles he tackles. There are also a couple of covers on the album. Most notably “Little Diane,” the Dion & The Belmont’s chestnut. It’s recorded with Sloan as his backing band.

One of the great features of this CD is the extensive liner notes that Rivers Cuomo provides. They give the sort of insight into the songs, performances and inspirations that’s usually reserved for box sets.

There are many fascinating tracks on “Alone….” One of them is “Dude We’re finally Landing.” It’s less than a minute long and performed Acapella. It works perfectly.

The last track, “I was Made For You” was intended for the next Weezer album. However the band voted on a different composition instead. It’s filled with melancholy and yearning, a tremendous closer.

“Alone…” works on several levels. On one hand it’s a fascinating look into the creative process of the mind composing Weezer’s music. Additionally it works well as a stand alone piece, even if you’re unfamiliar with Weezer. The Tunes are fleshed out enough that this doesn’t sound nearly like nearly the demo reel it seems like it might be at first blush.

This album is a great choice for fans of melodic, well-constructed pop music. Rivers Cuomo displays what can be achieved when the primary goal is writing a good song.