AOL Session Features a Poppier Weezer and Some Interesting Guests

AOL Sessions recently posted 5 new video recordings from Weezer featuring a few songs from their upcoming album Raditude, along with a piano cover of Green Day's "Brainstew," and a beautiful version of "Butterfly" played on the harp. Perhaps the most interesting part of the performances are the musicians that they invited to join in the performances of their new songs: Kenny G (yes, the clarinet guy,) Chamillionaire, and Sara Bareilles.

I've been a fan of Weezer since the Blue Albums days, and have personally always found the more gritty and personal songs such as the ones featured on Pinkerton to resonate most strongly emotionally. I've learned over the years that it is pointless to wonder exactly which direction Rivers will take in his song writing, as he seems to jump from one style of music to the another without any clear evolution. When I heard that Rivers was planning to take the band's upcoming release Raditude in the direction of pop music, I was very curious as to how this would work out, and admittedly a little skeptical. I didn't want to hear an album full of dance pop versions of "Beverly Hills" and "We're All on Drugs." The release of the album's first single, "If You're Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To)" proved most of that skepticism pointless, and these latest AOL Sessions videos dispel any skepticism that was remaining.

The first video is a performance of the new song "I'm You're Daddy" featuring a clarinet solo by none other than Kenny G. Following that is a personal favorite, a version of the new song "Can't Stop Partying" featuring Chamillionaire in place of Lil' Wayne who performs on the album's version of the song. This is basically a rap song, with a pop rock chorus, and its a very catchy can't help but to get it stuck in your head type of song. This is the type of song that will be very polarizing I'm sure, but in my opinion they pulled it off. Next up is a duet version of the album's first single, "If You're Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To), " featuring vocals by Rivers and Sara Bareilles. This was a great song to release as the first single and its arguably even better done as a duet. Rounding off the videos are a cover song of Green Day's "Brainstew" featuring just drums, a grand piano, and vocals by Rivers, and a version of the Pinkerton album song "Butterfly" with a harp taking the place of the original's lone acoustic guitar.

Its been a bit confusing lately seeing the drummer of Weezer playing guitar, the lead guitarist just singing, multiple band members playing keyboards, and some entirely new member on the drums but it still sounds like Weezer and thats all that matters in the end I guess.