Weezer's mid-'90s ascent had as much to do with the undeniable catchiness of its songs as it did with the outcast aura of its leader, Rivers Cuomo. The kids could relate, apparently, and the band's cult grew despite (or perhaps because of) the five-year silence between Pinkerton and The Green Album. It's been a couple of years since Make Believe, with a new album slated for 2008, and into this most recent gap Cuomo has opened his vaults and released Alone: The Home Recordings.

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Cuomo has always played his solitude to his advantage. When he "disappears," his fans know where he's gone (Harvard), and now these "private" recordings are made public. Combined with candid photos of Cuomo through the years, his notes about the origins of these tracks work well to diminish expectations and take this collection for what it is: an audio diary of curiosities. There's an early version of "Buddy Holly," leftovers from his brief foray into crafting a space musical ("Dude, We're Finally Landing"), a pretty terrible cover of Ice Cube's "The Bomb," and some decent pop ("Crazy One," "I Was Made For You.") But the sum of its charms—and there are a few—add up to something for only the most devoted in the Cuomo cult.