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Lost in Daydreams

Weezer's eleventh studio album falls short of expectations

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One of the most endearing qualities about Weezer is their ability to please a variety of different ears through a mix of peppy pop songs and their signature guitar riffs.

On albums such as The Green Album and Make Believe, the band explores a vibe more directed towards the general public, while albums like Pinkerton and The Red Album focus on a more unique and experimental style.

Unfortunately, their latest album, Pacific Daydream, falls painfully short of pleasing either party. It seems as if lead singer Rivers Cuomo has lost sight of the band’s identity and their values as musicians.

What used to be a twangy grunge garage band is now a confused pop rock group. Their intense and trademark guitar riffs are absent, and their lyrics are simple and half-hearted, like a feeble shot at an emotional ballad by a group of brooding artists. Cuomo’s voice also seems more apparent than it ever has, in a scorch-your-ears kind of way. His whiny vocals make it hard to appreciate the few instrumental gems that can be discovered.

The opening song to the album, “Mexican Fender” clearly outlines the frustrating simplicity of their lyrics. Though it’s undeniable that the song has some invitingly catchy guitar riffs and percussion elements, this doesn’t completely redeem their identity.

Additionally, the song “Weekend Woman” highlights the fact that though the band took some risks, they weren’t necessarily the right ones. Their retro intention and prominent percussion end up resembling a summer pop song soon to be forgotten.

On the contrary, songs such as “Beach Boys” and “Feels Like Summer” explore a more summery and carefree attitude, with a hint of welcomed melancholy. Weezer also finds redemption in their variety. While some songs in the album are more energetic and powerful, songs such as “QB Blitz” and “Any Friend of Diane’s” embrace a more relaxed and nostalgic mood.

With twelve albums under their belt, most of which did justice to both their fanbase and their identity, this album is no more than a hiccup in the band’s stable career. Past hits like “The White Album” and “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” truly encompasses Weezer’s individuality and exemplify their simultaneous risk-taking and guaranteed crowd grabbers, and it’s prominent that those types of successes are in the near future.

Despite its obvious shortcomings, the album does effectively portray a different side of the band, one that focuses on and experiments with hints of Spanish guitar and a touch of delicacy rarely seen from the band.

Though certainly not their best work, Pacific Daydream should be viewed as a transitional piece, a growth spurt of sorts, and a redefined yet classic Weezer should be on way.

 

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Lost in Daydreams