For total and complete transparency, I will let you know that when I last saw Weezer in concert, I cried. Yes, this has happened at previous concerts, and, no, it wasn’t because I was being elbowed in the neck and couldn’t see anything. I have loved Weezer for a significant part of my life, and when you become attached to a band over a long period of time, it becomes a little difficult to be critical of them.
Weezer released their newest album “Weezer (White Album)” Friday, April 1 (no, not an April Fool’s joke). In comparison to other releases in 2016, this has received less attention, and I would argue that it has had less attention than their previous album, “Everything Will Be Alright In the End.” But, in many ways, this new album returns to the original sound that I fell in love with so long ago more so than “Everything Will Be Alright In the End” was able to.
Rolling in only 10 songs, this album opens with a classic-sounding Weezer song. “California Kids” has echoes of the “Green” and “Red” albums. But a real powerhouse of this album is “L.A. Girlz.” This song is catchy as hell, and I have woken up many times with the lyrics repeating in my head. Another strong hit is “Thank God for Girls” (have you picked up on a theme here?). It features hit lyrics such as, “The girl in the pastry shop with the net in her hair / Is making a cannoli for you to take on your hiking trip” and “God took a rib from Adam, ground it up in a centrifuge machine / Mixed it with cardamom and cloves, microwaved it on the popcorn setting / While Adam was like ‘that really hurts.’”
While the lyrics are fun and moderately artful, it is hard to get into this album when it is over so quickly. I don’t want to set a minimum number of tracks for an album to be complete, but 10 is just not doing it for me. In comparison, “Everything Will Be Alright In the End” has 13, and “Raditude” has 14; while “Weezer” (this one has the blue album cover, not a white one) has only 10 as well, it features amazingly strong and classic tracks such as “My Name is Jonas,” “Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So.” In order for this new album to pull off being so small, the tracks need to have the same punch as the ones I listed above. Unfortunately, in that area, Weezer just doesn’t deliver.
As excited as I was for this album, I am little disappointed. Weezer has a lot of fun with “Everything Will Be Alright In the End,” but in their attempt to return to an original sound, they don’t make the mark. In the iconic words of the best track on “Everything Will Be Alright In the End,” I think that Weezer needs to return “Back to the Shack.”