Alone: Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo’s new release is the type of CD that needs to be listened to while reading the liner notes and drinking red wine. Alone. Not a crisp studio album, Alone is a scratch at the surface of the immense amount of material Cuomo has written and recorded. While at times rough or frivolous, most of the music is highly listenable.
Standouts include four tracks from the abandoned Weezer album Songs from the Black Hole, a space rock opera that held a mirror to Weezer’s own voyage to stardom. Though some of the lost album’s songs were altered for use on the album Pinkerton, the rest have only been available as sheet music posted on Cuomo’s MySpace. Cuomo gets nostalgic during the crunchy remake of Dion’s “Little Diane,” and Sloan offers a grungy accompaniment reminiscent of Halifax’s we’re-the-next-Seattle days.
From beginning to end, the CD is a reminder of Cuomo’s inspired ear for melody. While a few tracks can be skipped, Alone is a great opportunity to gain insight into a gifted songwriter’s process by hearing the “creative sounds someone makes when they think they’re alone.”