Crush Music · October 27, 2017
[three_fourth]Weezer’s last two albums have been heralded as something of a return to form for them, receiving more acclaim than the vast majority – if not the entirety – of their post- Pinkerton output among critics and fans alike. Many Weezer fans, including myself, felt that the dark age of Weezer was over, and that the band was beginning to go back to their roots and release music that embodies what people loved about the band to begin with. While Weezer’s previous two albums, Everything Will Be Alright In The End and Weezer (the White album), were not masterpieces, they were certainly some of the most solid LPs that Weezer has released since the turn of the millennium. When Weezer announced that they were going to release a new album, expectations were pretty high.
When I first heard the lead single from this album, “Feels Like Summer,” I immediately had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. This was, to put it bluntly, a bad song. It was hardly anything more than a pure pop track which served to do nothing but rehash pop tropes that went out of style five years ago; it had less of a rock edge than even most songs on Raditude. But then I thought to myself, their previous album turned out okay despite having “Thank God for Girls” as its lead single, that wound up being the weakest track on the entire album. I had some momentary reassurance. Then the next single off the album, “Mexican Fender,” came out, and my heart sank a little more. This track was a boilerplate, uninteresting pop-rock track with basic instrumentals and inane lyrics. Rivers literally sings “She loves me, she loves me, she loves me not” in the chorus of the song. At this point, I couldn’t even fall back on the example of the White album again, as White’s second single was the refreshing slice of diet Pinkerton that was “Do You Wanna Get High?”
But still, these were only two songs, two songs don’t define an entire album. ‘This album could still be decent,’ I thought. Then “Beach Boys” came out, and any and all expectations I had for this album were out the door. “Beach Boys” is simply another shallow, musically uninteresting pop song that has next-to-nothing to offer the listener. The song’s lyrics amounting to nothing more than “I like listening to The Beach Boys, The Beach Boys’ music is good.” The song simply does nothing but remind the listener that they could be listening to better music instead. But still, if I were Brian Wilson, I’d issue a cease-and-desist. Interestingly enough, if any of these three singles were on either of Weezer’s previous two albums, I would’ve dismissed them offhand as being filler, as just some half-baked ideas that only saw the light of day because the band wanted to get the album out. But these were not only just the singles, but the first three tracks on Pacific Daydream’s track listing. So, not only did Weezer decide to release these three lazy, underwritten pop songs as the singles from the album, but they decided that these are the tracks that should be placed in the forefront of the album to greet the listener, which was not a good sign.
The fourth single of this album, “Weekend Woman” is just as dull, lackluster, and underwritten as the singles that preceded it. The only thing remotely interesting about this track is a Beach Boys-influenced bridge (Rivers sure loves his Beach Boys), which seems to have been its own independent songwriting idea, as it is seemingly just thrown into the song abruptly with hardly any connection to the main body of the song, musically or lyrically.
The last single Weezer released from this album prior to the album’s release date was “Happy Hour,” which is an interesting entry in the Weezer catalog. The song centers around a laid-back vaporwave-esque electronic beat. However, the chilled vibe of the song disappears as soon as Rivers opens his mouth to awkwardly moan that he’s “like Stevie Ray Vaughan on the stage, high on music.”
The two tracks that follow these two on the album, “QB Blitz” and “Sweet Mary,” are two of the more instrumentally solid cuts off the album. But their instrumentals are still very basic and don’t do anything particularly interesting or memorable. “QB Blitz” is about the ever-relatable topic of being young and insecure about one’s social life. Rivers communicates this through odd metaphors that undermine the sadness and longing that he attempts to convey in this song, such as the prominent football metaphor in the chorus and title of the song.
The remainder of the album – that being the tracks “Get Right,” “La Mancha Screwjob,” and the closer “Any Friend of Diane’s” – are simply garden variety pop rock. Standard basic instrumentals, lyrics that are nothing to write home about, but aren’t overtly terrible (with the exception of the electropop tropes that were seemingly forced into “La Mancha Screwjob”).
Overall, Pacific Daydream was a let down, especially given Weezer’s previous two albums represented a considerable uptick in quality from the majority of the band’s post- Pinkerton output. This album is guilty of many of the flaws that defined some of Weezer’s worst output: uninteresting instrumentals, half-hearted infusion of modern pop sounds, and lyrics that teeter on being downright cringe worthy. This album is not the bottom of the barrel for Weezer (especially considering the fact that Raditude exists), but it amounts to nothing other than just being standard, bland, least-common denominator pop rock, and Weezer has proven that they are capable of being much more than that, even at this point in their careers.
Listen to Pacific Daydream here: