By Tim Coffman, Columnist
Weezer has had the most uneven career arc I have ever seen. The band started out in the 90s with their highly successful eponymous “Blue Album.” After a few years, they dropped “Pinkerton,” which was panned but everyone thinks is awesome now. After the release of decent albums throughout the 2000s like 2002’s “Maladroit” and 2010’s “Hurley,” as well as disappointing albums like 2009’s “Raditude,” the band has been strong recently with the crowdpleaser “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” and their fourth self-titled release, “White Album.”
Going into the release of their newest album, “Pacific Daydream,” I was not sure what to expect, with the band’s shifts in style from 90s emo to pop punk to mediocre pop music. Upon first listen, I found that the album doesn’t have tons of rock influence and is instead going for a pop-oriented sound.
At first this seemed disconcerting, since their last pop outing (“Raditude”) left a lot to be desired.
However, upon further review this seems to be taking the pop production of today and combining it with the classic songwriting of the traditional pop-rock artists of the past 40 years. The first single, “Feels Like Summer,” is an electronic dance rock song which sounds like the happiest song Joy Division may have recorded. There are also songs such as “Weekend Woman” and “Mexican Fender” which show a more modern pop sound that sounds so happy in comparison to the ethereal sounding pop direction that have come from artists like Adele or Drake.
Also, while this album is released the weekend prior to Halloween, this album takes you out of the fall for a half-hour and back into summer with songs like “Beach Boys” and the aforementioned “Mexican Fender.” It seems that the beach pop of their last album “The White Album” has not left quite yet.
While the album is very listenable and enjoyable from start to finish, I don’t think it will hold up as one of the band’s better albums. Albums such as “The Blue Album” and “Pinkerton” are magnificent pieces of rock music, and nothing that the band does on this album can measure up to their peak years.
However, Weezer is a different band than the one we got to know back in the 90s.
For better or worse, the band has grown to become a band that is consistent with melody but inconsistent in tone. They are trying to find variations on writing the three-minute catchy rock song while also trying to keep the music interesting for themselves. While they have suffered from somewhat of an identity crisis in recent years, this seems like a genuine experiment in pop music that the band is trying, and I had great time with it.
For any fan of Weezer, this album will probably be a solid entry in your collection and a good starting point for the anyone who is even mildly interested in the group. Pretty. Solid.