Weezer - The White Album (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Weezer

The White Album (2016)

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I’ve never picked up a Weezer album with the intention of disliking it. Every collection in their catalogue I’ve aurally entered with childlike optimism. For a while, it was emotionally crushing. But on Everything Will Be Alright in the End, Rivers Cuomo and company began a pseudo comeback. That album, for the most part, was enjoyable and rather cohesive (as opposed to say Hurley or The Red Album or Make Believe or…you get it.)

Weezer, or The White Album, is even better. Their tenth album revolves around Southern California beaches (song titles: “California Kids” and “L.A. Girlz”) proving a laid back atmosphere has done wonders for the band. While Everything felt a bit too serious, it was a welcomed alternative to garbage like “Where’s My Sex” and “The Girl Got Hot.” Many of the best songs on The White Album are divisive but no doubt enjoyable. Lead single “Thank God for Girls” has gotten mixed reactions since it debuted, but it’s good, stupid fun and has a hook that’s catchy as hell: something Rivers does very well. Whether or not you liked “Beverly Hills,” you haven't forgotten the hook. Here he puts his earworms to better use. “Jacked Up,” an odd track with playful keyboards and high notes, doesn’t feel out of place like, say, a Lil Wayne feature, but instead tiptoes the line of experimentation.

Weezer are no longer young kids and anyone screaming for another Pinkerton doesn’t know what they’re asking for. However, they do get hits. “California Kids” is a straightforward opener that sets an overall tone. “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” will please fans old and new with its vintage Weezer vibe. “Endless Bummer” closes the album on a an introspective slow note. This is the Weezer the fans actually want. Because Weezer are a group of forty-something men who, after years in the music business, continuously make slick arena rock. To long for their emo past does a disservice to everyone. They’ve carved a spot in modern rock and, as a result, can’t dabble too far out of their audience’s comfort zone without coming across as a cliché of themselves. But Rivers Cuomo has never stopped deconstructing youth no matter his age or lifestyle. And Brian Bell and Patrick Wilson have always been reliable musicians. (Though let’s be honest, they weren’t really the problem.) Now in 2016 they’ve followed up on their promise of everything being alright in the end.

The White Album is a perfect Weezer album easily consumed in its 35 minute run time. It’s a gratifying experience structured like a pop album jam-packed with catchy choruses. While it is flawed and contains a few too many niche references, that’s become a part of Weezer’s DNA. For a while, those aspects took up too much real estate, but not anymore. The White Album begs to be played more as the weather warms up but it’s manufactured to be timeless. I’m happy to say Weezer do not disappoint and, if the universe is good and kind, they’ll continue on this upward trajectory.