Album Review: Weezer- “Pacific Daydream”

By Emma Wittmann, Featured Photo via Sound of Pen

From the band that brought you power-pop hits like Say It Ain’t So and Buddy Holly, prepare for the overall disappointment that is Pacific Daydream. Released on October 27, 2017, Pacific Daydream is Weezer’s 11th album and continues a trend of underwhelming the general public.

Starting in 1992 through to the early 2000s, Weezer made angsty-but-fun music for outcasts who still wanted to mosh despite the emotional struggle of their parents “just not understanding them”. Their first few albums (The Blue Album (1994), Pinkerton (1996), and The Green Album (2001)) were fantastic, but they have continuously failed fans since then. Pacific Daydream is no exception and, at this point, only looks like a collection of 40-something-year-old men clumsily trying to adapt to a younger generation. Not that we haven’t seen this before, just look at eyeliner-sporting Billie Joe Armstrong or the muscle-tank-enthusiasts of Sum 41. It’s not always bad, but compared to the rest of Weezer’s discography, this album seems out of place and inconsistent with their beloved punk style.

Daydream is very sweet and poppy; it’s as if they’re trying to catch the attention of teenage Tumblr girls with lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s Bad Suns-esque vocals, featuring bubblegum lyrics like, “My summer love, oo-we-oo,” and “Oh she loves me, she loves me, she loves me not,” over and over again in Mexican Fender. Uncomplicated lyrics are not uncommon in punk music, but the vanilla vocals push Pacific Daydream further into the pop genre and make the album sound generic and unoriginal. Classic Weezer themes of romance, loneliness, and personal antics falter as a result.

Electronic influences slip their way into this album as an attempt to make the music hipper and more relatable to young people. La Mancha Screwjob uses some synth and obvious pitch control. Feels Like SummerandHappy Hour employ generous amounts of reverb. These choices seem like awkward shortcuts to fit in with modern popular music. Patrick Wilson’s drumming maintains its simple, repetitive nature like on all prior albums; however, on Daydream it becomes the driving instrument. Along with the other botched shifts from Weezer’s typical style, this makes the instrumental aspect of many songs forgettable.

Despite the overly-pop sound of Pacific Daydream, it is not without its small victories. QB Blitz is a reminiscent gem to fans of the band’s second album, Pinkerton, because of its similarity to Butterfly’s sensitive vocals and soft instrumentals. Beach Boys is a genuinely enjoyable pop song with a catchy chorus that encourages listeners to get up, dance, and sing along.

Overall, Pacific Daydream is a letdown because Weezer fans know that they are capable of more interesting and unique music. It wasn’t awful, but Weezer tries to keep up with modern musical trends and it seems like they need to reconnect with the grittier, more frustrated sides of themselves that brought us The Blue Album and Pinkerton. That’s the music that demands our attention.

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