This is no April Fool’s Day prank, New In Review this week is killer! This time, I review Weezer who are back at it again with the White Album (I’m so sorry for that). This is the bands 10th album and follow up to Everything Will Be Alright In the End, which was one of my favorite albums of 2014. When the two main singles got premiered from this album, there has been hype from everyone (more on those songs in a bit), and I was right on that hype train when the album officially got announced. Not much else left to say, so here we go!
The album kicks off with “California Kids,” a track that has a huge trace of the classic ’90s Weezer sound that everybody knows and loves. The chorus contrasts the verses beautifully with heavy drums and guitar with Rivers Cuomo singing “It’s gonna be alright.” And the riffs are so heavy, but so melodic, it’s weird to think that this song has a beachy vibe to it. However, knowing Weezer, it really is normal. The second track, “Wind In Our Sail,” is another stellar track featuring Beatle-esque pop piano at the forefront of a really great groove in the rhythm section of Pat and Scott. The bridge in this song is so beautiful that it could be its own song if there was different material written over it. Also, it shows that there are still some different tracks on the album, like the song that follows. That song being “Thank God For Girls,” which was the first single released from the album. I will admit, I thought it was alright when I first heard it. I even thought it was quite alright when I saw the band back in December (hugest singalong ever, by the way). The reason why? Because it was a little different than the songs on the last album. After listening to it over again on the actual album, I’ve come to really enjoy it, especially production wise. I don’t know if it because the radios I’ve heard it on sucked, but on the official album track, it sounds sonically WAY heavier with more bass and guitars pounding in our eardrums. The only critique I will give is that the ending on the radio edit is better because it actually goes into another chorus instead of just ending on “…..thank god”. Other than that, the song itself is awesome.
“(Girl We Got A) Good Thing,” despite the cheesy title, is actually another solid track. The tambourines make sound a little too much like Christmas, but the whole band actually sounds really killer. The composition itself is pretty simple yet powerful, and the guitar solo is a major highlight in the song, even if it isn’t that long. Very bounce, much wow (okay, enough with the dumb references, I promise). The song after that is “Do You Wanna Get High?” which is the second single that was released prior to the album. This song is definitely the one song on the album that sounds like it could’ve been on Pinkerton. That was back in 1996. 20 years ago. How old do you feel now? ‘Cuz I feel old…even if I was barely one year old, but enough of that. The music on this song is as trippy as the title makes it out to be. This is also one of the heaviest songs on the album as well, which makes it all the better! Track 6 continues the heavy with “King Of The World,” and while it is heavy, it is still a love song. This one was the third single released before the album dropped, and it is my favorite of the three main singles for sure. The riff is classic Weezer, and the band is no holds barred about it here. The three part harmonies also contain that classic vocal style that the band has crafted since the ’90s.
Track 7 is “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” is probably the stupidest song title on the album. That being said, the music itself, as well as most of the lyrics, are actually really cool. It is as bouncy as some songs from 2001’s Green Album, but also has a fresher sound than that of the older albums. The guitar solo is also pretty amazing on this song, as well. “L.A. Girlz,” song number 8, is the power ballad on the track. As far as power ballads go, which I don’t think a lot of people do right anymore, this one is one of Weezer’s best. It has the heaviness of Pinkerton combined with the emotional level of “Heart Songs” from 2008’s Red Album. And I actually like that album, so this song’s got my vote. Once again, insert tasty guitar solo here. The next song is “Jacked Up,” and if “Thank God For Girls” had a stepbrother, this would be it. Not saying that this song is a ripoff, because this song is actually pretty cool, it just sounds super similar. The chorus is actually really cool, as it showcases River’s extended vocal range throughout the majority of it. “Endless Bummer” concludes the album pretty well. It starts out as an acoustic jam, to going full band by the bridge. This is not something that Weezer does often, but on here it’s done right. Even if it was just strictly acoustic, it would still be a great song. Then again, it wouldn’t have a cool buildup like it already has. Or another killer guitar solo(s).
Overall, this album is a solid followup from the last one, which I didn’t think it was possible. But once again, the gents in Weezer proved all of us wrong. This album and the one before that is the best “one-two punch” the band has had in their career since Blue Album to Pinkerton, and I am not exaggerating when I say that. What I will say is this: if you are a fan of the band, GO BUY THIS ALBUM. Oh, and I hope you all survive the pranking today…I didn’t.*
Standout tracks: “California Kids,” “Wind In Our Sail,” “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing,” “King Of The World,” “Do You Wanna Get High?”
*Here’s how I got pranked: my girlfriend actually told me today that she got this album in the mail today….she lied…and I got sad 😦
*Second update: I ordered it on my own, anyway 🙂