Weezer [The White Album]

Written by: MIN on 10/05/2016 19:24:24

2014’s “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” was to many fans Weezer’s return to form. After having released several albums through the 00s to rather lukewarm reviews, “Everything…” saw the band release an album containing nothing but good to excellent songs with a touch of originality. Afterwards, the question that remained was: Is the band able to match such an entertaining album? Personally, I’d have to say no. Weezer’s tenth full-length, their self-titled “White Album”, isn’t as fun or innovative, but it’s a strong album with some delightful songs. Producer Jake Sinclair wanted to help the band recreate some of their 90's-charm, and he’s partly succeeded.

The album’s many topics often revolve around insecurity, mermaids, Radiohead and getting high while listening to old Burt Bacharach records, and thus it feels very much like something that could’ve been written in 1996. When you listen to the first few guitar-strums on the album’s final song “Endless Bummer”, you can almost hear the soft fluttering of tiny wings, largely reminiscent of “Butterfly” off Weezer’s 20 year old classic sophomore album “Pinkerton”. Another highly evident inspiration to the album is The Beach Boys: Rivers Cuomo has previously cited the band as an inspiration on it, and a song like the album-opener “California Kids” is solid proof. The harmonies found in it are not only really well-executed, but they also have “Beach Boys” written all over them.

There are plenty of varied choice-cuts to choose from on “The White Album” where especially the highly dynamic contrasts between slow bass-walking and chunky riffs on “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” and the weird piano-ballad “Jacked Up” (featuring lyrics about having trouble ejaculating) stand out, but the album’s highlight has to be “L.A. Girlz”. The song’s constantly driven by a thick guitar riff and a layer of synthesizers with Cuomo pleading to the girls of Los Angeles to care about him, until the song breaks down during the bridge as Cuomo softly sings ”Does anybody love anybody as much as I love you baby?” over the sound of a piano. The line’s then repeated multiple times with increasing harmonies to a degree that would make Freddie Mercury proud, and afterwards it’s interrupted by a remarkable guitar solo that leads the song back into the chorus. If only every track was this good, Weezer would definitely have outdone their last album, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.

Songs like “King of the World” and “Thank God for Girls” come off as too mock and obnoxious, and “(Girl We Got a) Good Thing” is just plain forgettable. Rivers Cuomo is still a charismatic frontman, but too often in his lyrics it feels like he’s trying too hard to find the balance between awkward and cool. The last ten years or so, being a bit nerdy and liking unusual things have become relatively popular in the modern world, but here it occasionally feels forced. The boys in Weezer have been some of the frontrunners in regard to all things weird for the past 24 years (just read the entire lyric sheet to “The Blue Album”), but it sometimes seems like they’re falling behind and trying to catch up with everyone else instead of setting the pace themselves. Ultimately, this is forgivable since the band has crafted an album with plenty of quality songs with excellent musicianship and harmonies this far in their career, but it keeps the album from standing among the best of their discography.


Download: California Kids, Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori, L.A. Girlz
For The Fans Of: Superchunk, Antarctigo Vespucci, Rozwell Kid, Weatherbox
Listen: facebook.com/weezer

Release date 01.04.2016
Atlantic, Crush

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