A little known fact about your favorite online reviewer is just how much I absolutely adore the first two Weezer albums. I could never figure out exactly what they got so right on the self-titled and Pinkerton, but these nerds somehow found the perfect blend of the raw emotion of 90’s emo and pop hooks to catch in the casual listener and skyrocket them to insane success. After that they’ve released zero great albums and very few good albums. Pacific Daydreams, their latest offering, is more of the same.
Weezer have gotten successively lamer with each new release lately, and this may be their lamest yet. I listened through this album about 3 times just to find something to love and I couldn’t do it. It all just sounds so forced for top 40 radio, and none of it works. “Feels Like Summer” is about the most tailor made radio jam I’ve heard in ages, and yet something about the band being 40 year olds makes it not work at all.
“Happy Hour” is another offender of this. A lot of the album sounds less guitar and power chord focused than what they’ve been known for, and it’s a damn shame. If this band ever had one strength it was their masterful use of power chords to construct their songs. I can understand wanting to try new things with your art, but when you’re in the process of constructing an album surely someone would have the right idea to tell you this isn’t working.
It’s not all bad, though. “QB Blitz” sounds like something straight off of Pinkerton with its soft guitar and vocal pattern. “Sweet Mary” sounds like classic Weezer and I’m pretty upset this wasn’t released as a single. It’s arguably the strongest track on the album, which isn’t saying a lot but the praise still stands.
I can definitely see what Weezer was attempting to do on this album; invoke some of their more out-there influences like the Beach Boys , R&B, and radio pop. Wanting to experiment like this is admirable, and it works occasionally. But so much of this album is a misstep that I can’t recommend this album unless you’re some sort of Weezer obsessive. In which case, please find a new favorite band.
I give Pacific Daydream a 3/5.