It’s been a rocky 22 years for Weezer.
The band hit unprecedented highs early on with “Weezer (Blue Album)” and “Pinkerton,” as well as unfortunate lows with the dismal “Make Believe” and “Hurley.” Many believed that the decline was natural; that nothing Weezer produced could ever top the whimsical Blue Album or the cult status “Pinkerton” has achieved.
With Weezer’s latest release, it appears the masses were wrong.
“Weezer (White Album),” released April 1, may not be the best Weezer album; however, one cannot argue that it is a work of art and a worthy successor to “Pinkerton.” Going back to the quirky Weezer sound was a big step, albeit the correct one, after the more mature direction that “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” took.
The “White Album” works so well because despite the many parallels it draws to “Pinkerton,” none of them are overdone. The opening guitar chords heard on “California Kids” are almost identical to the chimes heard on “Pink Triangle,” though that similarity may merely be a coincidence.
Weezer also hasn’t used lyrics this bizarre since “Pinkerton.” Only Cuomo could get away with penning lyrics like “God took a rib from Adam, ground it up in a centrifuge machine/Mixed it with cardamom and cloves, microwaved it on the popcorn setting” seen in the single “Thank God For Girls,” and still be taken seriously.
The entire album also relates in some way back to summer, whether it be the beach, the sun or the warmth associated with the season. This overarching theme produces some of the catchiest Weezer songs to date. After one or two times through, I can guarantee you’ll be humming along to the melodies from “California Kids” to “Endless Bummer.”
Each and every one of these songs would fit right in on deluxe editions of either “Pinkerton” or “Blue Album” with the exception of “Thank God For Girls,” a song reminiscent of the dark ages brought about by the release of “Raditude.” I will admit, I was a little nervous when I first heard this track; it’s a great song, but too reminiscent of the dark ages Weezer just emerged out of for me.
Songs like “California Kids” and “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” capitalize on the beach theme and use their infectious pop melodies to worm their way into listeners’ heads. “L.A. Girlz” and “Jacked Up” are both definitely a step in the right direction, but aren’t nearly as powerful as the aforementioned songs.
Though this is definitely not the album fans expected after “Everything Will Be Alright In The End,” “Weezer (White Album)” is exactly the way Weezer needed to go in order to finally produce consecutive classic albums for the first time since the 1990s and mark their resurgence as one of the greatest alternative rock bands of all time.