'Lost' meets Weezer: Doc Jensen decodes the band's new album 'Hurley'

weezer-hurley4 8 15 16 23 42. To some, they are just numbers. To Lost fans, they are The Numbers, a sequence of digits seemingly imbued—or accursed—with great power. When Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (Jorge Garcia) played them in the lottery, he became a millionaire. He also became a magnet for bad luck, and his quest for answers ultimately led him to a mysterious island pulsing with maybe-mystical electromagnetic power, drawn by a reclusive and quirky guardian who assigned numbers to all of recruits. The numeral given to Hurley: 8.

What does any of this have to do with Hurley, the new album by alt-flavored pop rockers Weezer that features the beaming face of Jorge Garcia on its cover? Surely there must be some significance to Lost lore. After all, Hurley was No. 8, and Hurley is Weezer’s eighth studio album, and frontman Rivers Cuomo is said to be a Lost fan. Riveted by the prospect of finding secrets to the series in the subtext of Weezer’s new platter of (pretty damn awesome) songs, I recently scored myself an early copy and found the album practially vibrating with Lost resonance… or maybe I was just hearing things.

The opener and first single, “Memories,” captures the essential conflict of every Lost character—the profound interplay between past and present. The song has Cuomo playing the part of an over the-hill punk looking back wistfully, maybe angrily on the good old days of pranking and rocking “when Audioslave was still Rage.” (Like Lost, Weezer loves making coy and clever pop culture references.) By the closer, “Time Passes,” a wiser, resigned Cuomo looks in the mirror, makes peace with mortality, and gleans a chance at immortality. And with that, every single Sideways story from Lost’s last season is succinctly summarized. Thank you, Doc Cuomo. The song “Smart Girls” must be an ode to brilliant fertility doc Juliet, which must mean that Rivers is firmly in the Sawliet camp (sorry, Skaters)—especially considering there’s also a song called “Hang On” on the album, which clearly (CLEARLY) must have been inspired by the heartbreaking Sawyer- Juliet-”Hang on!” moment at the end of season 5.

Then again, maybe there’s room in Rivers’ heart for two leading ladies: “Run Away” is a melancholy love song fit for Lost’s resident fugitive/runaway Kate, most likely written from the perspective of her ill-fated childhood crush-buddy, Tom Brennan. There’s a Jack song, too! “Unspoken” is a powerful ballad with dark undercurrents about a haunted man with addictive fixer drives and yearnings for fulfillment that may be impossible to realize (“Every morning, every day/I am hoping for a chance to get away/In the evening, every night/ I am dreaming of a chance to make it right”), but woe to any woman or relationship that gets in the way of him trying! “And if you take this away from me/I’ll never forgive you can’t you see?”

But Hurley isn’t always so heavy. “Where’s My Sex?” traces modern man’s psycho-spiritual existential angst over missing socks/sex to haunting mother issues and biological drives forged during caveman times. Clearly, Cuomo is attempting to fashion a metaphorical theory that illuminates the true meanings of that season 6 episode of Lost entitled “Across The Sea” that attributed all of its mythology to Jacob’s mentally unstable, emotionally manipulative mother. The episode was kinda lame. So is this song, though it’s the closest thing on the album to a clunker. The truth is that Hurley is Hurley incarnate–cheerful, scruffy, and sly. It’s a record full of Beach Boys sonic richness, hard rawk guitar riffs, and Rivers Cuomo’s trademark mix of irony and sincerity. It reminds me of my favorite Hurley episode ever—the one where he magically jump starts a 70s-era VW bus and does donuts in the jungle while jamming out to Three Dog Night’s “Shambala.” It’s an album about nostalgia, heartbreak, and maturity, or what Losties might call “letting go” and “moving on.” Somewhere in the pacific, I see The Island’s new guardian listening to it with a big smile his fuzzy face.

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  • Chuck

    Time to pack it in, Doc. Your breathlessly overheated explications of everything and anything related to LOST were funny and entertaining when the show was still on the air and a viable pop culture event. Now, though, these one-note columns of yours are beginning to seem more and more strained and desperate in their attempt to keep the joke going. Time to find a new dead horse to flog.

    • The Jackal

      Well there are plenty of Big Brother articles you can go read if you want.

      • Chris

        Lucky for us there are hardly any Lost articles left to read.

    • jk

      Oh, shove it.

    • kgb

      This needs to be said up top in the comments. If you didn’t like LOST or the ending, you simply were too stupid to understand it. Sucks to be you.

      • JFWilder

        On the contrary, if you liked the ending that was dumbed down for you, then you were the stupid one.

    • winecountry

      Chuck: And your contribution to the world is?

  • Peter

    Stop, Doc. I loved Lost and your articles. But stop.

    Alright, I must confess, I was watching my Max Headroom DVDs, and the notable appearance of the number 42 didn’t escape my notice. It might have on its own, but the show also centers around Network 23.

    • jk

      Dude, see what Mole wrote.

  • Mole

    Ah Doc. Never change. Also, “Chuck”? The album is called “Hurley”. I would have been disappointed if there WASN’T forced companion theory from Doc. It invited him like a magic touch from a mystical peeping Tom.

  • Randall

    “Somewhere in the pacific, I see The Island’s new guardian listening to it with a big smile his fuzzy face.” And at this point, he probably wouldn’t be surprised that his face was on the cover.

    • Chris

      how pathetic.

      • Randall

        What is?

      • kgb

        Chris is pathetic.

  • Morgan

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, Chuck. seeing more of Doc’s Lost related columns on the homepage always bring a smile to my face. I say keep up the good work, Doc!

    • Maria

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  • Dan

    Bringing a smile to my face as alway Doc. Keep up the great work. What happened to the Mad Men recaps though?

    • M

      I agree! Especially after last week’s excellent episode.

  • jordan

    doc we still love you and this was a great article!

    • Manu

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  • Jeff

    Doc – seriously – give it a rest already.

    • dlauthor

      Exactly. How dare you Doc? Posting articles online that some people enjoy reading, and that are easily skipped if you’re not interested?

      Have you no decency, sir? Don’t you know there is a finite supply of electrons in the world? Why do you not heed the wishes of such eminences grises as “Chuck” and “Chris” and “Jeff”?

      FOR SHAME, DOC. I SAY GOOD DAY, SIR!

  • Dorkophile

    I’m picking a side. Chuck-you lose. Mole-your point is exactly correct. This theory actually makes more sense than many that Doc posed about Lost when it was on. They wouldn’t have named the album Hurley and put him on the cover if they weren’t intentional inviting speculation about Lost connections. that seems pretty obvious. Plus there is so much droll crap written on EW.com, it’s always refreshing to read some real attempts at analysis from the Doc.

    • Lost Apologist(over 7million strong)

      Key word in your post is “attempt”

    • Sloan

      Perhaps you could search the internet and find out that Hurley the clothing company paid for the album and that nobody in the band had seen the show before they were done with the album.

      • Rekha

        Yes they can tell if you smoke by your blood. And, anyone who doesn’t smoke can smell it on you, your hair, clhteos, etc. If you are sick from anything to do with your lungs and you are still smoking ..

    • max

      Dork, Sloan nailed you on that one.

  • Dorkophile

    Oh, and also. I have trouble letting go. and moving on.

  • Mad Andy

    Time to let go of Lost for Gods sake. These continuous articles are boring and pointless and before anyone says anything, I didn’t read it, but jumped straight to the ‘Post Comment’ box.

    Get a(nother) life Jensen and move on. LOST IS OVER AND SLOWLY DISAPPEARING IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR.

    • krista

      Stop commenting if you are not a fan. How long ago did Star Trek go off the air? Since when is there an expiry date on how long a person can be a fan of a show?

      • Chris

        Hey Genius they just made a new Star Trek movie. Its still very much in the popular medium while we can all pray that Lost in all its forms is gone for good.

      • Mad Andy

        I can pretty much guarantee you that nobody will be making Lost movies featuring reincarnations of the original characters some 40+ years after the first air date.

        Oh and nobody connected with ST ever tried to shaft their viewers like Darlton did with all their B-S.

  • krista

    This album and cover was just begging for an analysis by Doc. Thanks for sharing this great find with the rest of us true Losties who will be forever looking for references to this iconic show.

    • Chris

      Really? A giant picture of Garcia’s fat head is begging for analysis? Ok here you go: my analysis is that Jorge Garcia needs to lose about 100 lbs.

    • Peter

      The cover is from a photo of when Weezer’s singer met Jorge some time ago. Nothing to analyze.

  • Zombie jesus

    4 8 15 16 23 42

    Actually those numbers mean nothing, because in the end it’s all about meeting up in heaven.

    Darlton and Cruse saved me the trouble of buying the entire box set of Lost, since I don’t have to go back and connect the dots seeing as the mysteries of the island were a thowaway ruse to get you to go on a “character journey”.

    • jules

      aww, you’re so butthurt.

      • Chris

        And there is why the rest of the TV-watching world hates Lost fans.

      • kgb

        The rest of the TV-watching world hates Chris. There is a whole TV show based on that. Go back to crying over American Idiot Id(i)o(t)l.

  • Zombie jesus

    I’ll bet that when you get to the last couple of songs it just becomes Rivers talking out the lyrics, with no instruments. Because it was really just about the lyrics, the instruments never mattered. Like Lost.

    • KRibbons

      hahahahahahahaha. That is hilarious! That just became my facebook status

    • okay, i loved the lost finale, but this was really funny. A+.

  • Lost Apologist(over 7million strong)

    Hey Doc, you have a little Darlton/Cruse spooge around your lips. Hmmmmm… looks fresh.

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