Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weezer made another great album? Say it ain't so!

Ha. Clever, but now outdated. (Hat sold by this guy.)
These days I mostly listen to podcasts, but for a long time now I've silently lamented that I no longer consume music like I did in high school and college: endless listens, memorizing lyrics and liner notes, studying the artwork. I'll still like new music by artists old and new, but I just don't devour it like I used to.

And then Weezer put out The White Album.

I swear, I have had this thing on repeat for the past couple of weeks, letting new episodes of most of my podcasts pile up. The album is really, really, REALLY good.

I'm not going to be one of those guys proclaiming "Weezer is back!" because for me they "were back" with 2014's Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Its release was a refreshing return from years spent in the pop music wilderness. There are plenty of catchy tunes on it. So that album, too, is much worthy of your time. But folks, this one is even better.

And I'm going to stop short of saying it's as good as their debut and its follow up. The Blue Album was a lightning bolt guitar strap in a bottle, perfectly capturing a moment in time for the Alternative Nation. As for Pinkerton, I doubt Rivers Cuomo is going to get that personal ever again. So don't set your expectations that high. (Heck, I'm a staunch Green Album defender and White *almost* matches it. Your mileage may vary.)

Weezer's White Album is a lean, Beach Boys-influenced ode to California. Harmonies abound. There are pianos and surf sounds. It's got earworms for days. It starts, throws out ten fuzzy pop gems, and then leaves before it wears out its welcome with ill advised genre experiments and Lil Wayne cameos.

I flip flop when it comes to my favorite new song of theirs. For a while it was "Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori", with its effortless singalong chorus. (Pro tip: listen to Rivers explain the writing and recording of that song here.) Right now it's "L.A. Girlz". Oh, that sublime bridge! Check back with me next week and I'll have a different one I'm obsessing about. Probably "King of the World".

The point being that if you fell off the Weezer train sometime over the past 15 years - believe me, I wouldn't fault you for that - give them another shot. You'll probably like what you'll hear.

And given the choices we have during this election season, we're going to need all of the clever sunshine alt rock pop we can get. Weezer 2016!