Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo Review

artist: Rivers Cuomo date: 02/19/2009 category: compact discs
Rivers Cuomo: Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo
Release Date: Dec 18, 2007
Label: Geffen
Genres: Rock, Alternative
Number Of Tracks: 18
The Weezer frontman opens up his vault of home recordings and releases it to the masses. This one might only be for the die-hards.
 Sound: 8.3
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (3) 36 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo Reviewed by: UG Team, on december 18, 2007
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Since 1994, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has churned out dozens of precious and quirky, hook-laden pop gems, some of which became big-time anthems. This collection of demos -- early home recordings on Cuomo's first Tascam unit to more elaborate present-day renderings -- showcases the singer/songwriter's work in it's earliest stage of development. Stripped of their armature -- the band's muscular attack, the monolithic rock production and attendant filigree that has been a mainstay of the Weezer sound -- one might expect these tracks to be a batch of unfledged, aimless sketches. Surprisingly, on cuts that qualify as barely lo-fi or this-close to hi-fi, through themes both grand and small, Cuomo's odd-ball genius is never far from surface. The fully realized ear candy of Buddy Holly is virtually indistinguishable from the group version -- all of it's grunge punch and zany synth lines are intact. As always, Cuomo's greatest triumphs occur in the most unlikely places, in this case while dissecting the inner workings of versification on a fascinating and disparate trio of covers: Gregg Alexander's The World We Love So Much, Ice Cube's The Bomb, and Dion's Little Diane. By hopscotching unironically from genre to genre, Cuomo's inner censors weaken; as a result, he grows expansive and daring, more original in his own voice. // 9

Lyrics: Famous for writing, rewriting, and then canning hundreds of songs, Cuomo embodies the reductio ad absurdum of the tortured genius. But here's the thing: There's a point to it all, and it's one that the singer pursues with the single-mindedness of an amusement park ride. He is particularly compelled by the idea of unrequited love and unconditional acceptance -- to say nothing of the homies who keep dissing his girl. For the most part, however, he casts a baleful eye on relationships that, in his view, are ultimately bound to go terribly wrong. There are shining moments where he reveals himself as a true believer, most notably on the gorgeous folk ballad Wanda (You're My Only Love) and the even prettier album-closer I Was Made for You. Cuomo can toss off-the-cuff snipes with the best of them, but when he wears his heart on his sleeve, he's in a league of his own. // 9

Overall Impression: The raw, unadorned beauty of Cuomo's singing -- sometimes he's all cracked pain, other times he's so jacked-up on his own inventiveness that he's gleefully off-key -- lends a certain voyeurism to the album: You sometimes feel as if you're eavesdropping on a desperate, private conversation. Still, Cuomo has willfully opened himself up in this manner -- okay, so it's exhibitionism -- inviting us into his land of ideas. And when the Brian Wilson of his generation lets you play in his own personal sandbox, why say no? // 9

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overall: 8.3
Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo Reviewed by: thedevil, on february 12, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, to be completely honest, the one and only reason I bought this album was for the new Songs From The Black Hole tracks that Rivers has so graciously decided to release, and specifically Superfriend. But after listening to the album I was pleasantly surprised by other songs on the album of scraps and rarities.His raw emotion on "The world We Love So Much" takes me back to the Pinkerton days, back to when he actually still sung with emotion. He goes off-key, his voice scratches, and at times it sounds like he will cry at any second, but that's the beauty of it. The sound on the record, as a whole, is only ok.But, like any rarities collection, it's about the quality of the songs themselves and not so much about sound quality. // 8

Lyrics: It all depends where you look. The first half of the disc has some of his better songs about love and it's hardships, but the second half of the disc seems to have more of a "Make Believe" feel to them lyric-wise. Which isn't good. But, from what the liner notes said about the upcoming album, and that their is to be a 6 minute long opus track, the possibility that he may start exploring a more personal lyrical style again is good. // 8

Overall Impression: As a whole, the album has a few missteps, but is well worth the gems that you get, like the remixed "Blast Off!" the rough demo for "Buddy Holly" and early Weezer song "Lemonade". If your a huge Weezer fan (like me), then definetly pickup this album! Even if the non-SFTBH songs aren't your cup of tea, then the release of more of the Weezer "Holy Grail" is reason enough to get it. Myself, all I need are 5 more songs and I'll have all the SFTBH, which sounds like a possibility of happening, since Rivers sounds eager to release another rarities collection. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo Reviewed by: twatbag, on february 19, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well upon getting this album I was excited to finally hear the unreleased songs from the "Songs from the Black Hole" the unreleased Weezer album that has been called "A lost masterpiece". But anyway. The album starts off with "Ooh" which is nothing but an intro of "Ooh" it moves onto "The World We Love So Much" which has a really nice acoustic feel to it but Rivers singing is a bit odd if he is trying to be soulful. Several tracks later it moves onto "Buddy Holly" a Weezer classic though no idea why it was on this. But then a few tracks later finally onto the SFTBH tracks and my attention really is grabbed from the moment "Blast Off!" comes on and it really is nothing like I'd ever expect Rivers to pull off so well (this goes for all the SFTBH tracks on this album). "Superfriend" & "Lover In The Snow" are possibly my favourite tracks off this album, with "I Was Made For You" closing the album off very nicely. // 8

Lyrics: Not much to say about Rivers with lyrics, always very catchy, simplicity and romantising at their best. Myself I think Rivers voice really does some of the lines justice. "What the hell am I doing/ Thinking with my willy? / Knowing I don't love her/ I tell her no, Then kiss her toes" it's really not the sort of lyrics you could see any other sort of singer pull off without the song turning into a massive joke. // 9

Overall Impression: Well compared to Weezers albums, it's no where near as great with production but these are demos and some of the best material I've heard from the front man. "Superfriend", "Lover in the Snow" & "Wanda (You're My Only Love)" are probably the best tracks on this album of unheard gems. I really couldn't fault this album apart from production wise, but like I said these as only demos so that really shouldn't cloud judgement anyway. If it were stolen/lost I would buy it again, definately worth a place in your collection! // 9

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