Rivers Cuomo's J-Pop Album Is Out in America, Whether You Want It or Not

If you and I visit the same Weezer forums, you've probably had Rivers Cuomo's J-Pop album -- okay, Rivers Cuomo and Scott Murphy of Allister's J-Pop album -- for a while now. If you don't visit the same Weezer forums I do, now's your chance: It was released Monday on iTunes. It's called Scott & Rivers, the single is "Homely Girl," and it doesn't sound quite as much like that photo as you think it does.

But it does sound a little like that photo.

"Homely Girl" is a good litmus test. Not just the song, which you can listen to on iTunes at your leisure, but the video, too -- which is about Rivers Cuomo and Scott Murphy going to Japan, meeting a kawaii girl with their adorable mascot dog, and playing a song that has more than a little of this in it (via that same Weezer forum we both go to):

If that just makes you sad about The Blue Album, read no further. But if you're kind of charmed by it -- if the possibility of Rivers Cuomo writing and performing an album of absurdly bright, poppy songs in painstakingly accurate Japanese appeals to you in a way you don't really understand -- keep listening.

With Weezer, Rivers Cuomo has been writing bright, poppy songs -- to varying degrees of popular and artistic success -- for 12 years or so, now. To be honest, I've enjoyed all those albums, and there's nothing I can do about that.

But if you didn't, this might be your last chance to enjoy less-than-perfect Rivers Cuomo. One of the barriers to post-Pinkerton-Weezer enjoyment -- the lyrics that have bothered people between "Hash Pipe" and "I'm Your Daddy" -- is now completely irrelevant to you. Now it's just you, Rivers Cuomo, and the simplified song structures and constant self-reinvention.

Unless you listen to the Adam Lambert version of the album's dramatic closing number first. Then you'll have to deal with the weird lyrics again.

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