Weezer ‘Pacific Daydream’ – Review

16 Nov

Like all genius’, Rivers Cumo has constantly teetered on the edge of insanity. His music is often brilliant, often terrible, occasionally brilliant and terrible at the same time. ‘Pacific Daydream’ is no different. The ten track alblum is the follow up to 2016’s assured return to form ‘Weezer (The White Album)’, which prioritised classic songwriting, minimal production and surprisingly mature themes. ‘Pacific Daydream’ however, with its skittish attitudes, multitude of tasteless production choices and zany subject matter, follows more in the lineage of the handful of albums that proceeded The White Album, particularly ‘Raditude’ and The Red Album.

It starts off reasonably promisingly with ‘Mexican Fender’, a song built around razor sharp hooks as much as that play on words in the title. After this though things diverge wildly. The album contains a series of tasteless genre excersises that find Weezer doing their best Maroon Five impression. The E.D.M stylistic touches of lead single ‘Feels like Summer’ are even more unforgivable than the empty platitudes that puff out the lyrics. Even at their worst, you could never accuse Weezer of being this bland and middling in the past. The surprising R&B of ‘The Beach Boys’ will likely leave you scratching your head as well, longing for the relatively assured pop rock of ‘Hash Pipe’ or even ‘Beverley Hills’.

Weezer are in the unusual position of being both overrated and underrated. Their first two albums, as good as they are, are perhaps not as flawless as some critics like to suggest. Neither are The Green Album and ‘Make Believe’ as bad as the same critics say. But like Oasis on this side of the pond, Weezer are in the unfortunate position of living in the shadow of two brilliant records they have no intention of forgetting about anytime soon. Which means they sometimes encourage critics to hold them up to a standard they are never likely to reach again. You can therefore admire them for songs like ‘Feels like Summer’ and ‘The Beach Boys’ which at least try to steer them in a new, modern direction. It may not be what Weezer fans are clamouring for, and it may not play to their strengths, but these songs at least convey a sense of something being risked, and fun being had. Compared to recent, lifeless records put out by the likes of Foo Fighters and Muse, or more contemporary acts such as Catfish and the Bottlemen and Nothing But Thieves – that’s something worth celebrating.

4.5/10

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