We all know how these reviews go. I talk about the band and their music and the fans anticipation and maybe even the singles that have already been released, and then pose a big rhetorical question asking if this album is going to be good or bad. To me it’s the optimal way to start a review. But I can’t do that here. It hurts too much.
I am absolutely flabbergasted by this album. Nothing I have listened to in the past few years have just left me in such a debilitating state of “why?” Why did Rivers Cuomo and company have to once again tarnish their good name after releasing “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” and “Weezer (White Album),” which were two albums that marked a return to form for the band after a near 20 year long spell of albums ranging from mediocre to horrific. It doesn’t help that that same spell came after two literal masterpieces of alternative rock: “Weezer (Blue Album)” and “Pinkerton.”
But no. Instead of finally getting a stretch of quality albums, we get this piece of soulless, repetitive, vapid, disappointing, and overall torturous piece of garbage.
First off, I want to talk about something that I don’t often address in reviews: song length. It’s something I don’t usually touch on because to me complaining about that is completely trivial in many cases, unless songs either don’t expand upon themselves further when they should or just overstay their welcome. None of the songs on this album do that thankfully. However, I noticed something far more egregious. The shortest song on this album, “Happy Hour,” is 2:57 long. The longest song, “Weekend Woman,”is 4:05 long. Every single song on this album is between 3 and 4 minutes long. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no change of pace. No sense of change or progression. It’s all just hits the same beats over and over again with little to no surprise.
The same goes for song structure. Every song has the same structure: Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, another chorus or verse, then an outro that has a 50/50 chance of being the same thing as the intro. There is absolutely no variety. And I get that many songs have this exact structure. But thing is, with this album, I could not only clearly tell that each song had the same structure, but I could also discern when those songs were going to change parts without even having to hear them. It is repetitive to the end.
That repetition is definitely not helped by the fact that each song sounds incredibly similar. Every song sounds incredibly beach-ey, as if they were going to be on “Weezer (White Album)” but were cut because they weren’t very good. That would be my theory if these song weren’t so glossily produced. “Weezer (White Album)” had high production, but it sounded like the band was playing each song how they would play it live. It felt real and involved. These songs, especially “Beach Boys” and “La Mancha Screwjob,” sound like they were half made on a computer in Rivers Cuomo’s basement. They sound more like pop tracks written by a boring producer than rock tracks created and written by a band.
And that is what kills this album dead in its tracks. Every single song on this album sounds like soulless garbage. Every. Single. One. They all sound like Rivers Cuomo was bored so he drafted up some concepts in MIDI, wrote down lyrics about girls not liking him, which may have worked as a twenty something but not as a near 50 year old man, and then called up his band mates and told them these were gonna be the new songs of the upcoming album. There is no passion or heart in any of these songs. It’s all mindless, heartless garbage.
But hey, maybe there is hope. Maybe there is some magic “Weezer Cycle” that can bring us another good album. Think about it. Their first two albums were released were released in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Then, 20 years later in 2014 and 2016, Weezer releases two albums that were actually good after two decades of pure garbage. So now all we have to do is wait till 2034 when Cuomo is a senile 64 year old man and finally releases some more good music with his aging band.
I don’t think that will happen though. This album makes me sad more than anything. After listening to the whole album I went back and listened to my favorite Weezer song, “Only in Dreams.” This song is somber yet emotionally powerful, with both a giant chorus and one of the best buildups in all of music history. It is 8 minutes of absolute beauty. The same band that released that purposeful, emotional, and passion filled song released this album. And that, to me, is the saddest thing about this.
“Pacific Daydream” gets a 1.5/5. And god help Rivers Cuomo.