Before you ask, no it isn't Pinkerton. And none of them ever will be, so how about enjoying something new?
Weezer - 2016
Beachy, summery goodness. Add in a dash of guitar crunch, a pinch of strange lyrics, and a splash of unforgettable bridges and choruses, and we have Weezer (White Album).
Weezer is back again! And so am I, here to provide you with everything you need to know about this superb new album.
Following up the 2014 critically acclaimed album Everything Will Be Alright In the End, Rivers Cuomo and co. continue to rock and put out another fantastic album. These last two have been phenomenal! I read a review just yesterday that called the White Album the best one since 2002's Maladroit. Personally, I do not think that reviewer gave EWBAITE enough credit, but unfortunately that album simply did not receive an adequate chance to publicly shine and thus was overlooked by many.
That is not the case with the White Album (please note: not The White Album. They aren't trying to disrespect some of their own music heroes). New label CRUSH and Weezer are kicking ass with album promotion, with news and songs peppered around the internet all through early 2016. The album officially dropped April 1 and this last week has been a whirlwind of promotional activity: release parties on the beach in L.A., official kickoff show in Brooklyn, and a meet and greet coupled with a short set show at Rough Trade in NYC. Weezer also appeared on GMA and Jimmy Fallon last week and then headed across the pond for a 3 show stretch in Europe. There is a huge US tour this summer starting in June, for which Weezer will co-headline with Panic! At the Disco.
Track by track review
The album opens up with 'California Kids'. To get into the mood, the listener hears waves crashing on the beach, kids playing, and seagulls calling out to one another. The song opens slowly, then suddenly the guitars and vocals start. Catchy beat and fun lyrics to this solid opener.
Keys, which are always nice to hear from the boys, is how ‘Wind In Our Sail’ begins. This is another fun pop song, with that ever-present beach theme. Here we also hear the first religious/spiritual reference, which is a definite sub-theme of the album. The song ends with some good ol’ feedback. As teenager in the 90s, I always appreciate a song that ends with feedback.
The 3rd song is ‘Thank God for Girls.’ I’ll admit, it has taken more than a few listens to get into this one. The chorus is undoubtedly catchy as hell though, and I found myself singing it absent-mindedly on multiple occasions after first hearing it back in January. But it is definitely different. Here is a snippet of lyrics:
The girl in the pastry shop with the net in her hair
Is making a cannoli for you to take on your hiking trip
You should check out the video for this song on Weezer’s YouTube. It’s...interesting.
Moving on, next up is ‘(Girl We Got A) Good Thing’ – a song with heavy Beach Boys influence musically that could have come straight from the Green album. That tambourine and ‘ah-ha’s make me think of old-timey beach music combined with the distinct Weezer guitar pop. Really like this feel good tune.
‘Do You Want To Get High?’ starts off with someone calling for more feedback – yeah! This song is a shoutout to old school Weezer circa Pinkerton-era. Some serious Pinkerton guitar and harmony here. This one’s for all the Weezer ‘fans’ who are not fans of anything after Pinkerton. You know who you are.
The back half of this album are my favorite songs. ‘King of the World’ is the most radio-friendly song on this album. Weezer has heavily promoted this one, and rightly so – it is enjoyable and memorable. Rivers Cuomo has reported this song is about his wife. The bridge lyrics are some of my favorite on this album:
We are the small fish
We swim together
No Prozac or Valium
We face tsunamis together
‘Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori’ is my favorite on this album. It’s probably not a coincidence that the opening (minus the whistling) is reminiscent of Nirvana’s ‘Lithium’ since Cuomo has said in the past that he is heavily influenced by Kurt Cobain. As a Nirvana fan myself I am sure this plays no small part in why I enjoy it so much. The song lyrics are, frankly, amazing – there is even a Radiohead tribute with the line ‘Paranoid Android’. I love all the nods to 90s grunge. I love the harmonizing between Rivers, Scott, and Brian. And the bridge – THE BRIDGE, YOU GUYS! Perfection. This is the song I linked for you all in this review, so go listen to it now.
‘L.A. Girlz’ is a power pop treat. A throwback to Blue or Green, it contains some classic Cuomo girl angst. The line “Does anybody love anybody as much as I love you baby?” is hauntingly, captivatingly beautiful, building up and up, then slowing just slightly before crashing into the solo. So well done.
Get ready for some super high vocals from Rivers Cuomo on ‘Jacked Up.’ We get some frantic, old-timey piano paired with a slick groovy beat. Another beautiful bridge ends the song, much like the prize you’d find at the bottom of the cereal box.
Closing out this 34 minute delight is ‘Endless Bummer’. As it opens I’m instantly reminded of the acoustic version of ‘Jamie’ from the deluxe edition of the Blue album (2004). For a final time we hear Beach Boys-esque harmonies and a 60s beach music feel. “I count my steps because I’m OCD” - another great line. The drums, bass and guitars build up in the final 30 seconds of the song, culminating into a discordance not unlike Blue’s ‘Only In Dreams.’ Finally, we hear the waves crashing onto the beach one more time. Fin.
A highly entertaining half hour of music you’ll want to listen to again and again.Scully Back