Review Summary: Hit the beach, grab yourself a cannoli, and let the Weezer gang kick off your summer relaxations!
Just two years ago Rivers Cuomo exclaimed that he would “rock like it’s ‘94” on Back to the Shack
, an obnoxiously catchy apology letter to the few Weezer fans who stood by them through their pop-ridden decade of experimental stinkers. Interest in Weezer was at an all-time high with Everything Will Be Alright in the End
. For the first time in over a decade, Weezer had a record that teased a return to form with a slate full of alternative rock fledglings that glimmered with bits and pieces of what originally made them a worldwide sensation. Thankfully for the cautious and the skeptics, Rivers follows through with his promises on The White Album
; a record that radiates the rays of summer at full swing and bathes in the waves of their eponymous debut and it’s cult follow-up.
What The White Album
delivers on in it’s “return to form” is a concept album like Pinkerton
with a framework bearing fuzzy wall-of-sound pop rock riffs heavily reminiscent of The Blue Album. While the similarity in design principle is high - by no means does that make The White Album
a carbon copy of the albums it aspires to be. On the contrary, the first half of the album presents itself as a new direction in the ever-changing format of Weezer with piano heavy, alternative rock flavoring that gives each track a unique personality. Meanwhile the second half gets the nostalgia wheels turning with heavy Blue-era aesthetic. The new ideas Weezer toys with on this record are what make The White Album
stand out as a worthy successor.
With the calming crash of waves and the call of seagulls on the album introduction, California Kids
, Weezer kick off their newest record with an energetic power pop guitar lead that slides into a chorus that soars with heavy feedback laced riffs and backing whistles from accompanying vocalists. Weezer’s new ideas for the album are sublime and they come together beautifully in Wind In Our Sails
and (Girl We Got A) Good Thing
. These two tracks are the first chapter of Weezer's (completely original) "awkward geek finds love" concept. The former is a piano heavy whimsical love song that jumps aloft with a chorus that follows River stretching his vocal range in catchy, unique ways. Good Thing
shares a similar whimsical tone, this track reeks heavily of Beach Boys and The Turtles influence with the pounding of tambourines and a marching guitar riff on top of warm synths and harmonizing vocals.
From here the album begins to delve into old-Weezer territory with Do You Wanna Get High?
, which coincidentally begins with the line, “Crush up the blue”. Synths ripped straight from Pinkerton
(and even further, from Ozma’s Rock and Roll Pt. 3
) are found through-out the track and are excellently placed, never being overbearing as if to suggest: "Look! Our new album sounds just like the old ones!" The following tracks King of the World, Summer Elaine, and L.A. Girlz are heavily dominant Blue-era Weezer sound. They all share a collection of crunchy, fuzzy riffs hidden behind walls of sound. L.A. Girlz
stands out as the definite best of the bunch with a heavy alternative edge that draws parallels to what could only be described as the lovechild of The World Has Turned
and Across The Sea
The record's final two tracks are a unique turn for Weezer. Jacked Up
has a more urban beat and a repetitive piano riff that carries River’s unusual falsetto serenades across it’s 3 minute run-time while Endless Bummer
is a 3 minute acoustic track that leads into an astounding crescendo of furious electric guitar solos. If there were any detractions from White Album
as a whole, Thank God For Girls
, Do You Wanna Get High?,
and King of the World
feel like filler for an album that tries to follow a progressive story arc as neither lyrics nor the sound honestly suggest they follow the cohesive theme of the album as a whole. Yet both of these tracks are so outstanding on their own merit that an issue such as that is easily passable in the long run.
It would seem that everything was
alright in the end for Weezer. The White Album
delivers on the promises of featuring a throwback to an old-age sound while still delivering fresh ideas for the group that hold up on their own perfectly. The White Album
is undoubtedly the true successor to Pinkerton
with its expansion of ideas and thematics featured on it and the album before that one. While the summer season may still be a few months away, Weezer do a great job bring the season to us early. Let’s just hope there are enough cannolis to go around by the time June swings by.