The Black Album



by Daisy99 USER (3 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2019 | 8 replies

Release Date: 03/01/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Weezer going through motions. Again.

Last few years have been surprisingly lively for Weezer. Starting with the release of 2016's The White Album, easily among their best three records, followed by the single Feels Like Summer which had people think Weezer would go down the route of electropop(which wasn't the case), leading up to Pacific Daydream which, while definitely a step down from previous record, was not Weezer ditching guitars like some people's reaction would have you think. Then came 2018, during which The Black Album was originally supposed to drop, but as May came around, nothing happened. As summer came, Weezer released cover of Toto's Rosanna before releasing cover of Africa, which would go on to become Weezer's biggest hit in years(and resulted in less than well recieved cover album, The Teal Album).

But after two years of waiting, The Black Album is finally here and Weezer have, once again, changed their sound. At least in some regards. Tracks like Can't Knock the Hustle, Zombie Bastards or Byzantine introduce new pallete of sounds for the band to various degrees of success. The first of the mentioned songs(which was also the lead single for the record), Can't Knock the Hustle, features funk elements in the rhythm as well as backing vocals in the chorus, which wouldn't be out of place on a 90's rap record, while Zombie Bastards uses ukulele over mid-tempo electronic beat. Rivers' way of delivery, which at times almost sounds like spoken word, works well over this kind of music and doesn't feel out of place. That can't be said for all the tracks though. The closing track, California Snow, while overall one of the better tracks on the record, starts with Rivers sounding like he's trying to impersonate some of the modern rappers with attitude in his voice before letting out very awkward "woo" after each line, which has you questioning if the track isn't some sort of satirical piece. Fortunately enough though, the part doesn't take up too much of the song.

Another of the highlights are tracks High as a Kite and I'm Just Being Honest. The former is the only song on the record which sounds like traditional Weezer, even if more sombre than the rest of the record and many of the songs in band's discography. The bridge is reminescent of 2014's release Everything Will Be Alright In the End, even if being significantly better than most of anything on that record. The latter of the songs is a beautiful, melancholic pop-rock piece, which shows Weezer at their very best. It also works as sort of crossover for the sound pallete of the record, with tone similar to High as a Kite while being more playful like the rest of the record.

Sadly though, the record isn't flawless. It's very front-loaded(the first four songs are all the previously released singles), plagued by boring formula repeating in every song(the only song which doesn't feature the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula is California Snow) which gets weary very soon and a lot of songs suffer from being boring. The first track which offends with this is 5th track, Piece of Cake, which is middle of the road piano ballad which goes nowhere. The same, regarding being directionless, goes for The Prince Who Wanted Everything which, despite not being nearly as bad as the previously mentioned song, repeats the same, 70s kind of feeling riff, for almost the entirety of the song with little to no variation, driving even the little interest it could've brought at the start to the ground. The very worst song though is easily Too Many Thoughts in My Head which is plagued by repeating drum pattern where snare takes the lead, but due to terrible mix(which doesn't affect the rest of the record, weirdly enough), leading to headache, since it overbeats anything else. It also features the very worst lyrics on the record.

Stayed up reading Mary Poppins
Overwhelmed by Netflix options
Boy found brains he never knew he had
Meet me there in London Canyon
Fuel up, bitch, there's no more slackin'
Moses looks upon the promised land

I'm so high on cookies it's insane

The record features the most swearing ever heard on a Weezer record, and while swearing isn't bad by itself, the way Rivers uses it feels so fake and forced in. Even in great songs like Can't Knock the Hustle or I'm Just Being Honest, the lyrics at the very least lead to a sigh.

Weezer have found themselves on an uncomfortable place on the record. While first half of the record is mostly filled with great songs, the second half suffers hard, with I'm Just Being Honest being the only genuinely great track on it(California Snow is also decent, however it doesn't reach the highs to be truly considered 'great'). The sound of the record, unlike lyrics, feels mostly genuine and like the band are enjoying themselves, but it's not enough for a great record. Still, I'm excited to see what place in Weezer's long discography will The Black Album take and how will it age. For now, it's Weezer going through motions once again.

Best tracks:
Can't Knock the Hustle, Zombie Bastards, High as a Kite, Living in L.A., I'm Just Being Honest

Worst tracks:
Piece of Cake, Too Many Thoughts in My Head

user ratings (291)
other reviews of this album
Rowan5215 STAFF (4.2)
do somethin' kinda unique to me...

industry plant (2.5)
Identity crisis personified...

Drbebop (3)
More like The Grey Album...

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

Haven't written anything in ages due to school(and could feel it when writing lol, pls give me feedback too I really really need it), but I decided it's to try and write something again, and since Weezer is one of my favorite bands and have this new album out, it felt right to choose this.

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

The Weezer album cycle masterclass:

Step 1: Put out two awesome albums consecutively.

Step 2: Put out crap for 10-15 years.

Step 3: Repeat.

We are currently in step 2.

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah seems like that. It's a shame really cause I genuinely enjoyed the singles and I'm Just Being Honest is pretty great too, so if they did go all out on that sound this would've been pretty decent pop record.

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty good 2nd review. I couldn't disagree more about which half of the album is better though; Honest --> Snow are the only 5 tracks (along with Kite, the clear standout) that I can stomach. LA and Zombie are especially weak.

Digging: Patrick Watson - Wave

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks! I know it's kinda bumpy, working on that. And I'll try the record a few times more, but even on third or individual song by song listens these songs are bland at best to me. But still, understandable and honestly I'd prefer for Weezer to put out stuff like this over stuff like Make Believe where nothing stands out in any way(since being consistently good is apparently impossible for Rivers).

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

Alright review, if a little by-the-numbers, detail-heavy - pretty much summarizes my thoughts, but I can't really rate it yet. Can't see myself giving it higher than a 3.5. Not like I'm much better, though.

March 2nd 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

albums fine high as a kite byzantine and the prince who wanted everything are great rest i could do without but none of it stood out as being too bad so

Digging: The Menzingers - Hello Exile

March 3rd 2019


Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

'none of it stood out as being too bad'

when you know your standards for what you expect from music have dropped

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