Maladroit

Maladroit

[mal-uh-droit]

Maladroit (meaning either inept or an inept person) is the fourth album by Weezer. It was released on May 14, 2002, nearly a year to the day after their previous album was released, and was the first Weezer album to stray from the 10 song per album "tradition". Maladroit features heavy metal riffs, uncommon to Weezer's previous releases. It was also the first Weezer album to include lyrics in the booklet. Maladroit is Weezer's first album with band member Scott Shriner.

As of December 2007, the album has sold 605,000 copies in the United States, having reached a high of #3 on the Billboard 200 and quickly going gold. Yet its chart stay was relatively brief, making Maladroit Weezer's least successful album commercially. The first 600,000 copies of the album were specifically numbered, and located on the back of the CD case near the lower right-hand corner.

Production story

For their 4th album Weezer attempted an innovative system in which they'd release demos in MP3 format on their weezer.com website every day while in the studio working on Maladroit. This resulted in dozens of different versions of over thirty different songs circulating on the Internet before the album was released.

The idea was to keep solid communication open with their fan base on their official message board as well as, more crucially, on unofficial messageboards such as the Rivers Correspondent Board (which was closed to the public at Cuomo's request, chiefly so that members of the press could not gain access). Yet front man Rivers Cuomo and the fans strongly disagreed on a number of creative things. One thing they did agree on was bringing back the old summer 2000 song "Slob" for use on the album. Cuomo commented "I never would have thought to put the song "Slob" on the record if the fans did not request it." Regardless of disagreements though, Weezer fans are still "specially thanked" in the album's liner notes and the album title itself was suggested by a boardie on the Weezer message boards going by the screen name of Lethe.

The band's uploading of MP3 demos onto their website resulted in many major radio stations playing the still unreleased (and sometimes unfinished) songs on the radio for the masses to hear. In the week it was leaked to radio stations, the leadoff single "Dope Nose" reached #25 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart without an official single having been issued.

Yet the airplay resulted in a gag order being issued by Geffen Records in which they wanted Weezer to return the master tapes from the Maladroit sessions and apologize to each radio station that played the song. The band resisted though, citing that they had funded all the sessions themselves and the apologizing bit was pointless. The fans resisted as well, forming an online group called Unreleased Weezer for the Masses that rallied for the release of the album.

Perhaps as a result of the strong disagreement with fans during Cuomo's time in this era, the album has some slight lyrical jabs at the fans, most notably on "American Gigolo" ("if you hate this/I can't blame you") and "Space Rock" ("you wanna cry/when you're dealing with the kids/they know it all/and they're pinning you to boards."). Twenty-five unreleased songs from the Maladroit sessions can still be found on the Internet.

The hit songs "Dope Nose" and "Hash Pipe" (off The Green Album) were both written using the same method, on the same night. The story goes that Rivers took "a bunch of Ritalin and had like three shots of tequila" to write the songs.

Track listing

All songs by Rivers Cuomo.

  1. "American Gigolo" – 2:42
  2. "Dope Nose" – 2:17
  3. "Keep Fishin'" – 2:52
  4. "Take Control" – 3:05
  5. "Death and Destruction" – 2:38
  6. "Slob" – 3:09
  7. "Burndt Jamb" – 2:39
  8. "Space Rock" – 1:53
  9. "Slave" – 2:53
  10. "Fall Together" – 2:02
  11. "Possibilities" – 2:00
  12. "Love Explosion" – 2:35
  13. "December" – 2:59Bonus tracks

The European and Australian version of Maladroit features "Island In The Sun" from The Green Album as a bonus track. Some of the European issues also have the b-side "Living Without You" between "December" and "Island in the Sun" on it.

Reception

Maladroit received generally positive reviews, earning a 72/100 on Metacritic. Nude as the News were pleased with the album and commented "Maladroit combines the best parts of the three previous Weezer albums: creamy guitar riffs, addictive beats, staple "hoo hoo's" and the brilliant mystique of Cuomo’s lyrics." Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine claimed that the band had hit a peak. Kerrang! gave the album five out of five stars and stated, "It is a magnificent record, strong enough, graceful enough, and with enough talent and skill to ensure that any talk of Rivers Cuomo as anything other than an artist shrinks to nothing in comparison." The album ended the year with Spin Magazine going as far as to call it the 6th best album of 2002, as well as Rolling Stone readers voting it as the 8th best of the year. Also in another Rolling Stone readers poll it was voted the 91st greatest album of all-time.

Chart positions

Album

Chart Peak position
Billboard 200 3
UK Top 40 16
Sweden 22
Norway 4
Finland 11
Netherlands 95

Singles

Year Song Peak positions
US Modern Rock
US
Main-
stream Rock

US
Bill-
board
Hot 100

UK
Top 40

Sweden
Finland
2002 "Dope Nose" 8 -
2002 "Keep Fishin'" 15 29

Personnel

All information is taken from the CD.

  • Chad Bamford – Producer, Engineer
  • Brian Bell – Guitar, Vocals
  • Christopher Carroll – Engineer
  • Rod Cervera – Producer
  • Rivers Cuomo – Guitar, Vocals
  • Femio Hernández – Assistant Engineer
  • Graham Holmes – Production Coordination
  • Tom Lord-Alge – Mixing
  • Stephen Marcussen – Mastering
  • Chris McPherson – Photography
  • Craig Montgomery – House Sound
  • Darren Mora – Assistant Engineer
  • Sean Murphy – Photography
  • Francesca Restrepo – Art Direction
  • Jordan Schur – Executive Producer
  • Scott Shriner – Bass, Vocals
  • Todd Sullivan – A&R
  • Weezer – Producer
  • Patrick Wilson – Drums

Notes

External links

  • - United Kingdom
  • - United States
  • - Japan

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