Recently, Rivers Cuomo shot back at diehard Weezer fans who have criticized the band’s latest release, Pacific Daydream. In an Instagram post, Cuomo insinuated that his fans are hypocritical, stating that they always say “be yourself,” but then complain when Weezer puts out something that they don’t like.
While this is a valid complaint from the group’s lead singer, there seems to be a lack of sincerity in a multitude of facets on their eleventh studio album. While his message is clear and to the point, rarely is Cuomo “being himself” on this record.
For a band that has been together since the early 90s, the carelessness and unoriginality is absent for a majority of the ten-song track list. They’re trying to bring back that era in the most unimaginative way possible. Cuomo himself, seems to be missing the glory days of his 20s because he never explores his current state as a father or a husband through his lyrics.
With all of these songs about women, it’s hard to interpret which track is actually talking about his wife. For example, in “Mexican Fender,” Cuomo’s talks about a girl who has a bachelor’s degree in physics, but also loves to sing and doesn’t know how, too.
The rest of Pacific Daydream consists of dull pop songs that lacks any authentic guitar riff, or percussion. The Los Angeles natives are trying way too hard to bring back something that they’ve already done before.
“Feels Like Summer” should not be a song that Weezer can release. The over-produced chorus is way too radio friendly for me to support. They’re popular enough where they shouldn’t have to do something like that creatively.
One of their brighter spots, “Happy Hour,” gave me hope that Weezer has the ability to refine and invigorate their sound. The jazzy-electronic influenced ballad actually delved into Cuomo’s mindset a little bit, where the lead singer tackles the topic of estrangement and loneliness. Finally, he was becoming more genuine instead of hiding his insecurities with pointless pop songs.
Sadly, the run didn’t last. “Weekend Woman” is sprinkled with cheesy lyrics (Fell in love on a Sunday, by Monday morning drifting away), while “QB Blitz” is probably the lowest point on the entire project; Cuomo literally sings about doing algebra on that song.
Cuomo makes it known how much the Beach Boys have influenced him once again on this album, but being a fan of them is right where the comparisons stop. We have to remember that Brian Wilson changed his entire aesthetic on Pet Sounds despite what his bandmates and father thought. Here, Weezer doesn’t change anything, they just kind of recycle music that they’ve done in the past. Wilson gave us insight on his current state of mind, while Cuomo gave us bland pop songs.
Even when we get into the final third of this record, there still isn’t anything wholly memorable. Sure, “Get Right” and “La Mancha Screwjob” sound pretty decent, but it’s hard to differentiate those tracks from any other ones on the project. On “Any Friend of Diane’s” at least Cuomo is telling somewhat of a story. Considering the circumstances, this wasn’t a terrible end to an otherwise forgettable listening experience.
It’s hard for me to get behind someone who takes a shot at his fans, and then hides his feelings with shallow songs about the “glory days.” I’m not sure what happened, because The White Album was a critical success. Maybe it’s because Weezer is all of a sudden putting out projects at a faster rate. We’ve seen this before with the band. They’re hit or miss. Let’s just hope they haven’t run out of steam just yet.