11 Studio Albums in, have they started to flat line?
It’s hard to tell. There’s no denying how iconic the inception of the greatest nerd rock band of all time was. Both Blue and Pinkerton are essential listens for any fans of alternative rock – the moody and thick guitar tracks are lavished with colossal fuzz and are underpinned by the pained and estranged vocals of the adorable frontman, Rivers Cuomo. Throughout the span of their 25-year career, they have stuck with some and twisted with others.
Never have we seen a more fluctuating discography, from the Lil Wayne featuring Can’t Stop Partying on Raditude (surely the deepest of troughs) to 2014’s miraculous resurgence with Everything Is Will Be Alright In The End – a pure auditory rollercoaster. Perhaps the biggest curveball in their escapades was last year’s White album. It felt as though Weezer had truly struck gold for the first time since 1996 – the pure summer vibes connoted from the nostalgic surf rock that carried throughout the record was a breath of the freshest air.
Now, Weezer look to continue the success that came the year previous by launching the lead single of Pacific Daydream with Feels Like Summer. Immediately, it feels painfully obvious that they have found a formula that suits their new sound. An amicable beat with friendly, unchallenging lyrics and a ‘na na na…’ hook to ensure that the song is entirely accessible to the masses. This is pop-rock at its most basic, but it’s hard to criticise – Feels Like Summer is a good track that is plenty enjoyable.
This is very much the story for the entirety of Pacific Daydream. As a collection of songs, it is perfectly serviceable and, ironically, my favourite track here is Beach Boys. I reviewed the track here: https://wavebyte.co.uk/2017/09/15/weezer-beach-boys/ and was sure to lay on the criticism – over time the song has grown on me considerably – the hook is utterly infectious and is a solid pop rock track. I would like to amend that single review to 3.5 bytes.
Another standout track is Weekend Woman which, coincidentally, is crafted in the exact same mould as Beach Boys. Punchy chords on a crunchy 6-string dance in between a pedestrian drum beat whilst Rivers croons over the top of the elementary timbre. The payoff in Weekend Woman clearly arises in the chorus, once again a catchy hook saves what is, ultimately, an unimaginative effort.
The remainder of the album is littered with quirky pop-rock escapades that all feel very samey and don’t offer enough variation from the tracks that surround it. There is plenty here to enjoy, but maybe not unequivocally – we’ve heard all of this before and if you’re looking for some stellar pop-rock that offers up something refreshing and feel-good, then just listen to White.