Twenty-two years into their rollercoaster career, Weezer has released their 10th studio album, Weezer. This album, affectionately known as The White Album, is considered by many to be the band’s “comeback record”. Does this matter? Should this matter? Does anything really “matter”? Read on, find out!
The Simple Gist: Have you ever enjoyed the music of Weezer? If so, go ahead and pick this album up. It teeters comfortably near the sound of what is commonly known as the bands “prime” so fans of both old and new should enjoy it.
The Overanalyzed Breakdown: I’ll just go ahead and say it… it is generally accepted that Weezer passed their prime long ago. Have they? I can’t really say. I’ve always enjoyed the band’s music but their mid-90’s albums have always held a special place in my heart (and the hearts of the majority) because of the era from which they were created. Can any of us go back to the mid-90’s and relive our young teen years? Of course not. So then, who could expect a band like Weezer to continue to pump out songs with the same exact sentiment for over 20 years? The best any of us could hope for from a new Weezer album is an experience that mainly resonates with our modern selves and only mildly tugs on our nostalgia strings. Weezer’s White Album does just that.
California Kids: If the album cover didn’t give it away then the chirping seagulls and crashing waves from the first 20 seconds of this track will inform you that The White Album is dedicated to the beaches of California. Even more importantly (especially if you’re not a fan of the Golden State) you’ll recognize a glaring ode to California’s greatest export, The Beach Boys. California Kids is a perfect introduction to the beachy power pop style of the record so if you want to hear the feel of the whole album in one track, it’s right here.
Wind In Our Sail: The first and most noticeable thing that stands out on this fun track is the infectious drumming of Weezer’s Patrick Wilson. I could definitely see a rapper using this beat and keyboard combo to create a great backing track but as the song progresses you really get a great sense of the bands unity. I’m not sure if this is more a testament to the track’s mixing but no one element really overpowers any other and it all comes together like one tasty club sandwich of sound. Mmmmm, club sandwich….
Thank God for Girls: It wouldn’t be a Weezer album if it didn’t include a few tracks dedicated to the lovely ladies. Rivers Cuomo delivers most of the vocals on this one in his rapping style (which typically I’m not a big fan of) but the chorus for Girls is catchy as hell and I find myself singing along even if I don’t want to. This will probably be the first song you hear from album on radio and TV so if you’re not very impressed by it (as I wasn’t) don’t let that steer you away from the rest of the album.
(Girl We Got A) Good Thing: Am I listening to Brian Wilson at his peak? It sure feels like I am (and I like it)! I really feel like this track is the perfect predecessor to the band’s 2002 hit Keep Fishin’ which is a hell of a song to proceed. If the band’s management has half a brain they will try and make this song a summer anthem because it would fit right in with any beachside barbeque.
Do You Wanna Get High: This track is a little hard to describe because nothing truly stands out with it other than the grungy guitar solo at its’ end. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad song it just sort of gets lost in the shuffle and comes off more as filler rather than a standout hit. Hey, they can’t all be Buddy Holly’s.
King of the World: Just when one might start to get bored with The White Album this track gets the action back rolling along. It’s got everything you’d want from a Weezer single, catchy chorus, power pop guitars and lots of “woah oh oh oh ohhhhh”. King of the World is sure to put a smile on your face (it did mine).
Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori: It’s got everything you’d want from a Weezer single, catchy chorus, power pop guitars and lots of “woah oh oh oh ohhhhh”. (INSERT SONG TITLE HERE) is sure to put a smile on your face (it did mine). Alright, alright, The White Album doesn’t exactly break new ground with sound or variety but this is power pop, not prog rock. If you can do something well, why mess with it?
L.A. Girlz: I’ll overlook my irrational hatred for intentionally misspelled words for this track because L.A. Girlz is hands down my favorite song on The White Album. It completely embodies the concept of the album by taking a bold step into the modern era while still managing to sound like the Weezer we know and love. Stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this song. Hell, put it on repeat.
Jacked Up: As we begin to reach the tail end of The White Album the band starts to slow down the tempo and focus more on soft piano with smooth vocals. It’s a delightfully subtle tune with subtle results that follows seamlessly into the soft acoustic guitars and the soothing sounds of the beach on the album’s final track Endless Bummer. These songs are a great way to end an album.
The Verdict: The White Album isn’t a perfect record but it’s probably the closest thing to a perfect Weezer album as we’ve had in a very long time. I said it above and I’ll say it again: if you’ve ever had the slightest interest in the band, do yourself a favor and pick this album up.