Weezer disappoints with the ‘Black Album’

Weezer
Weezer (Black Album)

Atlantic Records · March 1, 2019

On the whole, the lyrics on the Black Album are immature and meaningless, and with few exceptions the songs will fade into the background without leaving any lasting impression, much like the members’ masked faces on the album cover.


Weezer’s fifth self-titled album is a far cry from their first 25 years ago, and the change is…not great.

Weezer (Black Album) starts off with Rivers Cuomo—now nearly 50—singing in Spanish, “Hasta luego, hasta luego / Hasta luego, adios,” for no particular reason on “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” The opener is a poppy ode to gig culture that also combines mariachi instrumentation and the singer’s odd almost-rap vocals to create a weak start for an album that doesn’t get much better.

This is the band’s second release in 2019, just one month after a covers album (the Teal Album) which was similarly badly received, despite including the band’s viral cover of “Africa” by Toto. Their last few albums, including 2017’s Pacific Daydream and 2016’s White Album, have shown the band’s devolvement from 90s gritty pop rock icons to the harbingers of simple, boring, overproduced songs, and this new release is no different.

Some of the songs on the album are plain lifeless (“Piece of Cake,” “Byzantine”), while others are more confusing than anything else. It’s unclear whether “Zombie Bastards” is about humans caring too much about appearances or an actual zombie apocalypse; “The Prince Who Wanted Everything” seems to be some sort of failed tribute to the singer Prince that sounds more like a Beach Boys Christmas song. Meanwhile, “High as a Kite” feels like what would happen if Mary Poppins finally took a chill pill, which is ironic, as Cuomo name-drops the Disney character later in “Too Many Thoughts in My Head.”

Not all is lost on the album, though. “I’m Just Being Honest” is the high point, with catchy guitars and lyrics that deal with the singer’s difficulty with being well-liked in the public eye. Another leading single, “Living in L.A.,” is a dance-y song that will definitely get stuck in your head.

On the whole, the lyrics on the Black Album are immature and meaningless, and with few exceptions the songs will fade into the background without leaving any lasting impression, much like the members’ masked faces on the album cover.

Die-hard fans will want to cleanse their palate when they’re finished with this release by going back and listening to “Buddy Holly” or “Island in the Sun” if they want to maintain any of the respect they had for Weezer. The album leaves the listener wondering when the band will finally grow up – or give up.

Listen to Weezer (Black Album):

About Trea Lavery 5 Articles
Trea Lavery is a fourth-year journalism major from Boston who never outgrew her middle school emo phase. She spends her days taking photos, growing cacti, and eating entire boxes of mac & cheese in one sitting.

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