Atlantic Crush

Weezer were at their best when they attempted to channel the reality of sensationalized teen spirit through their angsty, goofy and catchy guitar rock. Here, Rivers Cuomo’s four-piece provide a weak, overproduced attempt to capture this same teenage feel, with little success.

Following what many fans regard as a strong return to form for Weezer with the release of The White Album, Pacific Daydream is arguably Weezer’s most commercial attempt yet, not in itself a negative thing; however, it also results in the band’s least authentic offering, with their typical heavy guitar power-pop present only on opener ‘Mexican Fender’ (and even then in moderation), the opening synths of which promise a more experimental attempt from the band, something which is quickly alleviated when the song begins. Having said this, the opener still proves one of the better tracks on an album entrenched in mediocrity.

“The band often sound out of touch on this latest offering, half-heartedly attempting to channel the fantasies of starry-eyed teens”

Cuomo has not been shy in his appreciation for the Beach Boys, with sampling and clear influence on the band’s recent previous attempts, and this trend continues in a more obvious vein with track ‘Beach Boys’. The influence here, however, appears not to extend much past a mention of the band in the chorus, incidentally also one of Cuomo’s worst hooks. He sings over the track’s vaguely Latin music-inspired backing, ‘it’s a hip hop world and we’re the furniture’, and indeed the band often sound out of touch on this latest offering, half-heartedly attempting to channel the fantasies of starry-eyed teens. The generic and often even comical quality of Cuomo’s lyricism (a particularly bizarre moment comes on mellow track ‘Happy Hour’, when he sings about meeting a scientist and “conversating about rare birds and MIDI keyboards”) means this very much sounds like a 47-year-old attempting to write an album for young people.

Shoddy and unoriginal lyricism forms a central issue for the album; the opening verse of ‘Happy Hour’ is one of the strangest verses the band have ever written, with little rhyme scheme and structure, topped off with a very forced Monty Python reference. Other poor moments include Cuomo’s valiant attempt to rhyme ‘moist’ with ‘boys’ and the album’s final track, in which a goofy, romantic tale comes across as oddly empty.


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This is not to say that the album is entirely devoid of good moments, a particular highlight coming in the form of ‘Weekend Woman’, an entirely pleasant track with a catchy chorus that reminds of 2000s pop rock such as The Fray and a bridge which seems to be the closest thing the album has to a genuine Beach Boys influence. This is also arguably one of the band’s only attempts to experiment a little, with their use of glockenspiel providing some much-needed variety to the backings. Despite this, the overly sweet production on this track, something reflected throughout the album, means this remains another generic pop track to be undoubtedly lost over the years.

The main single from the album is pop-EDM track ‘Feels Like Summer’, a song which oddly ends up sounding like the underwhelming lovechild of groups Imagine Dragons and 21 Pilots, an idea which directly conflicts with Cuomo’s own claims prior to the album’s release that it sounded as if “the Beach Boys and the Clash fell in love by the ocean and had one hell of an amazing baby”. This once again serves to showcase the sheer lack of originality and craft Weezer seem to have put into the album.

“For a band of their talent, it seems like a real shame that in this album, Weezer have decided to resort to a throwaway set of lazily written pop songs”

If The White Album was the career-reviving album Weezer needed, Pacific Daydream is one they simply did not. For a band of their talent, it seems like a real shame that in this album, Weezer have decided to resort to a throwaway set of lazily written pop songs which sound as if they could have been created using a template. The track ‘Get Right’ in the latter stages of the album sums up the entire listening experience: a moderately catchy track, the authenticity of which is smoothed over by a combination of overproduction and underwhelming lyrics. Despite its out-of-this-world album art, Pacific Daydream fails to get far off the ground at all

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