Weezer: Raditude (DGC/Interscope)

I've always found Weezer irksome, but I can't deny the pleasures of Raditude.

Take "Can't Stop Partying," one of the tracks destined to be a single and make appearances on soundtracks galore for future teen comedies and hour-long dramas on the CW (if they can shoehorn it in under Leighton Meester's stranglehold). The song is undeniably listenable, while letting Weezer have their cake and eat it, too. Rivers Cuomo parodies American excess by singing "I gotta have the cars/ I gotta have the jewels" to a hip-hop beat. You can't help but wince thinking of all the folks who'll be blasting this from their SUVs while failing to realize they're the ones being made fun of. Let's not forget: Weezer make their critique by just invoking everything they're allegedly scorning. Oh, Weezer, your cultural criticism is so finely barbed.

Assumedly, these ideological double entendres are responsible for the slavishness of Weezer's fanbase. "Cuomo's a genius!" they exclaim.

No, he's not. But he's pretty good at this whole pop-schlock thing, which is the side of Weezer that makes Raditude enjoyable. While it's fair to roll one's eyes at the emo crooning on "I Don't Want to Let You Go," it's still strangely compelling. Plus, songs like "I'm Your Daddy," "Put Me Back Together" and "Let It All Hang Out" are just pure cotton-candy-pop fun.

The only serious offense here is "The Girl Got Hot." Oh, heterosexual white-male subjectivity, you're so precocious! Seriously: The song's terrible. But the album's great.

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