I don’t know what it is about trying that rubs me the wrong way. I think I appreciate effort, but when it’s masked or when those making the effort make it look easy. I hate when something reeks of trying.
I don’t like when an actor that I respect goes out and makes a big studio movie or panders to a family audience. I don’t like when a tv show tries to be outrageous and controversial. But one thing that really rubs me the wrong way is when someone tries to make a radio-friendly song.
Which brings us to Raditude.
Raditude does not exist in a vacuum. In order to fully appreciate Raditude you have to take some things into consideration.
First is the year when it was made, 2009. Much like rest of society, the music industry is in a recession in 2009. It’s at the tail end of a decade long spiral, where the music industry is trying desperately to halt the plummeting sales due to the internet. Big labels don’t wield the power that they used to. And at the same time labels are getting desperate and gimmicky.
It’s also good to remember that Lil Wayne was inescapable that year and had been equally ubiquitous in 2008. He claimed he was the greatest rapper alive and a lot of people believed him.
So those are two factors that might place some context for Raditude’s release. It certainly explains the presence of Lil Wayne and the abundance of songs that seem ready for the radio.
I was very reluctant to purchase this album, mainly because of Lil Wayne’s appearance. And when I did pick it up, I was saddened by what I heard. The Weezer that I knew and loved were nowhere to be found.
It really shouldn’t be that surprising when looking at the people who contributed to the album. Hitmakers Butch Walker, Dr. Luke and Jermaine Dupri all had a hand in the production of Raditude. The result is an album that feels like Weezer is trying to recapture it’s past glory. But whereas their debut had songs that were catchy and ended up being popular, Raditude’s songs are trying their hardest to be catchy.
But that’s not to say that collaborations are a bad thing. For me the best song on the album, Put Me Back Together, got an assist from a couple of The All-American Rejects. But I couldn’t justify any other collaboration on the album.
The Verdict: Raditude is not a great album. There’s a hint of nostalgia to be found in remembering a time when Lil Wayne was the greatest and not just Drake’s friend. But this collection of songs as not aged well. It’s really sad to have my feelings about this album confirmed.