By Greg Kot
Updated November 19, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST
Karl Koch

Beneath Weezer’s geeky, glimmering arena rock, Rivers Cuomo is one conflicted auteur. On part 2 of his answer to Pete Townshend’s ”Scoop” series of outtakes, he carries the listener through an alternative version of his career: a snippet of classical music, a portion of an aborted rock opera, a garage- rock reconstruction of the Beach Boys’ five-part harmonies. In Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo‘s soul-baring liner notes, Cuomo pinpoints melodies as crucial outlets for depression, guilt, ecstasy. He even turns a seemingly facile collaboration with Jermaine Dupri (who knew?) into an autumnal catharsis — the best Weezer song you never heard. A?

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