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Weezer - Weezer (2001)

Weezer 2001 was the hippest rock and roll bandwagon to come around in years. A renewed legion of fans sold out the band's 2000 and 2001 concerts, and suddenly a band that seemed like a flash in the pan with its '94 debut, then faded away after the mostly ignored but solid '96 Pinkerton, was cool again. Enough waves were made that the band's moronic video for lead single "Hash Pipe" was played like crazy on MTV's channels (as "H*** Pipe"), paving the way for a respectable top 10 chart debut for the album and a quick gold sales certification.

Dismiss them as Blink 182's smarter older brothers if you want to live in ignorant bliss, but the power pop poster boys du jour have turned in a junior-year effort that has served to remind the planet what good melodic rock music is supposed to sound like. In a country where mainstream rock radio stations have been unlistenable for years and still continue to get worse, River Cuomo and associates bust out of the box with this damn-near-flawless 28-minute burst of pop songcraft that actually rocks hard without ever getting stoopid.

They're songs of angst—but real angst, not the overblown, faux-tortured angst of a million wannabe modern-day metal monsters with dumb makeup and unfortunate piercings, who are such easy targets yet still deserve all the disdain they receive and then some. here it's all girlfriends and sun and islands and crazy thoughts and mind-altering substances and all the small things that make rock and roll "rock and roll." It says, "Hey, life sure is a drag sometimes, but that's no reason to go around screaming about crawling in your skin or remaking a bad Michael Jackson song; let's go for a ride and mellow out instead, man." Weezer are not just this year's born-again gods of power pop; for a few precious moments, they are the reigning kings of rock and roll.