Weezer’s new album is Weezer (The White Album). It’s the band’s fourth self-titled album, and it arrives after much anticipation. Were the high expectations met? Check out a roundup of reviews of critics.
The alternative rock band based in Los Angeles fronted by Rivers Cuomo has been around since the mid-1990s and throughout nine albums, have made their impact among devotees and critics even if they have been shy of commercial success. Now their latest album, is their fourth self-title album, and its dubbed ‘The White Album’ following in the tradition of previous eponymous titles which similarly have all been given colors, dating back to their 1994 debut, Blue, which was followed years later with Green in 2001 and Red in 2008.
It’s also their first release since 2014’s ‘Everything Will Be Alright In The End,’ which gave the critics much to wax on about. That’s half of the anticipation of each new Weezer release; the discussion and debate that ensues. And, with The White Album, we find this once again. Critics are sharply divided this time around for the album which is considered a concept album, on the themes of summertime and Southern California.
The titles and lyrics of the two singles are firmly entrenched in the nostalgia and iconic imagery of the Golden State, “Thank God for Girls” and “Do You Wanna Get High?” although, naturally, with the unique bent that we expect from Cuomo’s lyrics. Thus we find, for instance, an unusual retelling of the Adam and Eve story involving a centrifuge machine and a microwave.
Now that The White Album album is out, the critics are having their say and, as usual they have plenty to say not just about his new release but what it might mean in the overall context of the band’s evolution as it continues to hold sway even into the second decade of the 21st century. Here’s a roundup.
“….The hooks are warm-weather, the lyrics blithely sentimental, the emotions nostalgic and deathless. The prospect of such a record at this point in Weezer’s career should be some combination of exciting and terrifying for longtime fans, the ratio of which should determine how much you’ve missed the sound of Classic Weerez and how wary you are of the idea of a now 45-year-old Rivers attempting to relive his Wonder Years on record. ….” –SPIN
“…This being late-era Weezer there are of course some erratic songwriting decisions–the dorky half-rhymes of Thank God For Girls–and a fair bit of filler (Jacked Up, (Girl We Got a) Good Thing are entirely unmemorable), but there’s also enough here to stir feelings of nostalgia in anyone who fell for the band the first time around. ….” –The Guardian
“….We listen to Weezer in 2016 largely for nostalgic dog whistles. We listen because Blue retreads like “Endless Summer” and “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” offer Proustian pleasures in spite of their obviously-recycled frameworks, and because the simpering, sweet “L.A. Girlz” is the group’s best single since “Island in the Sun.” ….” –Pitchfork
“….Cuomo seems to have found his commercial home embracing a beach-party rock flavor for California kids who’ll “throw you a lifeline” and “show you the sunshine”, and indeed the beach tone persists through the album. This should be fine and modest, but in Weezer’s hands it’s just too overbearingly gross-sounding to let off that easy. …..” — Pretty Much Amazing
“….All we can hope for now is a batch of good-not-great power-pop anthems to enjoy while driving around with the windows rolled down, but on that count, the so-called White Album (the band’s fourth colour-coded eponymous LP) exceeds even the most optimistic of expectations. ….” –Exclaim
“….The music ranges from Beach Boys baroque-pop to the awkward hip-hop flow of “Thank God for Girls” when not reiterating rote (if pleasant) Weezer crunch-pop anthems. By the time the simple campfire acoustic of “Endless Bummer” smoothly, imperceptibly blossoms into arena rock, “Weezer” has proved that rare bird: an interesting dud…..” — The Boston Globe
“….The only thing to draw from the color choice is the over-exposed California shine that tints frontman Rivers Cuomo’s songwriting. Cuomo has been blunt about his state of residence’s influence on the album, even going as far as using Tindr to meet girls for song ideas, and not hiding the inspiration from the album’s composition choices or lyrics…..” –Consequence of Sound
“….The band’s fourth self-titled record—following Blue, Green, and Red—is something of a concept album, based not around a story but more of a theme: summertime fun. Pretty much every song here relates to the season. The result is a fun, poppy album with several moments that would make Brian Wilson proud…..” –The A.V. Club
As always, with a Weezer album, there’s much to say, and, more importantly much to listen to. Their 2014 release, the aforementioned ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’ debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, continuing in their track record of top five debuts. They’ll be hitting the road this summer in a co-headlining tour with Panic! At The Disco which kicks off in June. And in the meantime, you can see music videos as well as the Weezer (White Album) album cover art below.
Pictures: PR Photos