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And what have these very personal, emotional exercises yielded for Rivers Cuomo, the artist? "Beverly Hills" and the album's second single, "We Are All on Drugs," smack of the sardonicism that pushed his band to the alt-rock forefront more than a decade ago. But "Perfect Situation," a song drummer Pat Wilson describes as "classic Weezer," rings as unaffectedly honest as anything the band has recorded in years. Yet once again, Cuomo adopts the all-too-familiar role of unaccomplished suitor.
"'Perfect Situation' is the oldest song on the album," he says. "We'd just finished touring, and I'd come back to L.A., and I was going out a lot. And I went out to a bar one night, and there was a really pretty girl who sat down next to me, and we were kind of talking. We were in this group of people, and occasionally we would end up talking to each other, but I couldn't make it happen. It wasn't that she was giving me a negative vibe at all. Just something within me was stopping me from connecting with her even though I was really attracted to her. And that's something that's happened so much in my life. And I just got so frustrated and angry with myself, I went home."
In his fabled L.A. apartment with blackened windows, no car, and no phone, the sequestered songwriter drank a beer, turned on his tape recorder, and "very quickly" sang out words to capture his lack of fulfillment.
So despite continued critical and commercial success, hours of meditation, and a professed desire to reach out and join, you know, the real world, it's hard to say if anything has really changed for the talented front man.
"Like I said, that's the oldest song on the album," Cuomo insists. "I think I'm in a much more happy and healthy space."
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