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Weezer – Pacific Daydream

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from chorus.fm for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Over the span of nearly 25 years, Weezer have come to be known for a lot of things – frontman Rivers Cuomo’s absurdist lyrics, the goofy Beach Boy persona that seems to contradict his well-documented reclusiveness, a series of self-titled albums known by their respective color pallettes – but staying in one place for long has never been one of those things. And so it is unsurprising following the relative critical success of 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End and 2016’s Weezer (White Album) that Pacific Daydream is an inconsistent album by a band whose entire career could be defined by the very same word.

    If Pacific Daydream doesn’t sound like the album fans expected, it’s likely because it wasn’t the album the band originally intended to deliver. Fans of Weezer (White Album) rejoiced when Cuomo spoke of a darker, more experimental follow-up, naturally titled Weezer (Black Album). But that same praise seemed to push the band in another direction as he soon began curating a different project. Pacific Daydream is still dark and, at times, experimental, but only in the sense that it occasionally sheds the aforementioned things Weezer have become known for – the very same things that keep fans interested during the bleakest of times – in favor of generic indie-pop largely targeting the same college radio stations inhabited by bands like Twenty One Pilots and Fitz and the Tantrums.

    This change in direction is even more predictable considering the band worked with Fitz and the Tantrums on Weezer (White Album)’s weakest link, “Jacked Up,” a drab, falsetto-driven piece of piano-pop that would later be remixed for the album’s deluxe edition. A direct line can be drawn from “Jacked Up” to a number of Pacific Daydream’s biggest missteps, and with relative comparisons in mind, the album is perhaps most reminiscent of Weezer’s largely panned millennial breakout/semi-cult classic, Make Believe.

    The first half of the 10-track album, comprised entirely of pre-release singles, is solid enough; opening track “Mexican Fender” and lead single “Feels Like Summer” successfully flaunt a love for huge pop-rock hooks that has persisted Cuomo for the better half of his band’s career. Production on these tracks is clean and compressed thanks in part to executive producer Butch Walker, who furthers the band’s vision by allowing clear vocals and deceivingly crunchy guitars to take center stage (not unlike similar, albeit stronger, rock records released this year by Foo Fighters and The Front Bottoms). Elsewhere, “Happy Hour” and “Weekend Woman” recall something less guitar-heavy and more experimental, employing gang vocals as Cuomo continues to challenge Jimmy Buffet’s legacy for all things tropical. But it’s “Beach Boys” – the strangest and most divisive single on the album, during which Cuomo refers to himself as “cooler than the ice capades” and spits lines like “Turn it up, it’s the Beach Boys/Making my eyes get moist” – that best represents what awaits on the unheard B-side of the album.

    Songs like “Get Right” and “La Mancho Screwjob” are grown from the worst parts of post-2005 Weezer, constructing grating choruses out of current pop trends (chopped and pitched vocals). It’s the kind of filler only Weezer can churn out with almost mathmatical precision. And again, unsurprisingly, the last cubic inch of hope for a redemptive closing track is destroyed when Cuomo namedrops Papa John’s within the first 30 seconds of the song, effectively making it even harder to enjoy what is already a shiny, mediocre slice of power-pop that plays like a discount version of last year’s “Endless Bummer.” Fortunately, however, the album’s strongest moments are sequenced one after the other, seven minutes of bliss that conveniently separates the good from the bad. “QB Blitz” and “Sweet Mary” could have easily held their own on Weezer (White Album), the former a somber break-up song with a classic Weezer melody and the latter an epic midtempo track that evokes Cuomo’s coveted Beach Boys more successfully than anything else on the record, utilizing sleigh bells and staggering harmonies. In a perfect world, it would have been the closing track to a much stronger release.

    Pacific Daydream is unsurprising for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the biggest is that Pacific Daydream is just as calculated as the hundreds of binders that line Cuomo’s walls, documenting every painstaking detail behind every song he’s ever written. The band is now 23 years old, and for the last 12 of those years, Cuomo has longed for some form of breakthrough into the pop world – something more substantial that his co-writing with All Time Low and Miranda Cosgrove, something more relevant than “Beverley Hills.” It is ironic that Weezer’s renaissance is ultimately what pushed them to take one final lunge towards mainstream radio, and it’s a genuinely sad realization that Cuomo might never actually be on the same page as his fans. (After all, it’s only been three years since he claimed that he “forgot that disco sucked.”) But the band’s predictability is also the reason most Weezer fans are content to stick around regardless of the band’s output. We’ve survived far, far worse than Pacific Daydream, and it’s entirely likely that within the next five years, the band will come back with another album strong enough to keep us invested in the curious case of one of rock’s most inconsistent and eclectic groups.

     
  2. RileyWitiw Oct 26, 2017
    (Last edited: Oct 26, 2017)
    RileyWitiw

    more like absolutepop.net Supporter

    Still need to listen to this, but you're so right about inconsistency being a central tenet to this band's existence. Although I actually really enjoyed Jacked Up. The White Album was fantastic in general imo.
     
  3. Maybe this will be more up your alley then!
     
    RileyWitiw likes this.
  4. RileyWitiw

    more like absolutepop.net Supporter

    Cool! Even the worst Weezer albums usually have a few bangers, so I'm sure there will be something on here I'll be into.
     
    CMilliken and Aaron Mook like this.
  5. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    This album is so weird. I legitimately love "Mexican Fender" and "Sweet Mary." I wish the rest of the album was like those songs.
     
    Aaron Mook likes this.
  6. Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    I’m right there with you. Loved the white album and Jacked up was my favourite song I think haha. That and “good thing”.
     
    RileyWitiw and Aaron Mook like this.
  7. "(Girl We Got a) Good Thing" is soooo good
     
    Anthony_ and Mr. Serotonin like this.
  8. Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    Straight beach boys and I love it.
     
  9. AshlandATeam

    Regular

    Weezer is my first favorite band, and the reason I like so much of what I like - discovering the Blue Album at 10 was legimately life changing.

    I have no idea what to do with the band most of the time. They're capable of so much more than they do most of the time, and yet I generally find something that sticks in every record.

    An interesting quirk of the schedule: they release this the same day as Julien Baker (my favorite current songwriter not named 'Fallon' or 'Adkins') and Slaughter Beach, Dog (maybe my AOTY) - two artists doing exciting things in exciting ways that make me feel the same things Weezer did, at their best. That the type of music Weezer used to make me feel feelings about is still being made and released at this exact second makes it all the more obvious that Weezer isn't just inconsistent - they're a giant missed opportunity.

    I bought it, like every Weezer record. I'll like it fine - less than others, more than Raditude (surely). And I'll always love Weezer in a way. But I'll also always be sad I'm not living in the alternate timeline where Rivers and Pat and Brian reach their potential.

    Really good review, Aaron.
     
    RileyWitiw likes this.
  10. Walkabout

    Regular

    Radi2de.
     
  11. Steeeve Perry

    Regular

    Seeing them next year, going to have to give this a listen. But to be honest I'm legitimately fine with Blue, Pinkerton and a dozen good tracks since.
     
    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  12. AshlandATeam

    Regular

    Well, having given it a listen, I think I like the second half better than the first. I think it's good. Nothing special or world shattering, but it's a fine collection of pop songs.
     
    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  13. CMilliken

    Trusted

    Kinda like that they don’t put out the same sounding Blue/Pinkerton albums that most fans cry for. I’m always down for more Weezer no matter what it sounds like. Ive only listened to this album once but it’ll be something I can throw on and enjoy. Plus needed something a little more light hearted after listening to that Julien Baker album.
     
  14. Bartek T.

    D'oh! Prestigious

    I'm with @CMilliken hahh, after a few spins of "Turn Out The Lights" I think I needed something as dumbed down as this... and still, seeing as it's so soon after White Album I didn't expect much, and this album is quite enjoyable all in all. Albeit, the review's probably more spot on than I could admit. Aaron, check some of the prepositions etc. for spelling, if I recall it correctly, there might have been some errors or maybe I didn't get the meaning.
     
    CMilliken likes this.
  15. Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    The frogs at the beginning of La Mancha make it sound like Misfits by 3eb is about to start :crylaugh:
     
  16. The Format

    Regular

    The only bad Weezer Album is Death to False Metal. I can get in to everything else. :-O
     
    CMilliken likes this.
  17. Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    This wasn't bad. No absolute standouts for me though.
     
  18. CMilliken

    Trusted

    Same and that’s even more of a collection of b-sides I think. Not sure if they really consider that an official album. It’s a rough listen and has been years since I’ve attempted to listen to that one. Might have to this weekend sometime.
     
  19. RileyWitiw

    more like absolutepop.net Supporter

    I think I gotta give it to Summer Elaine and Drunk Dory. Such a well written song.
     
  20. Drewski

    Maybe so, maybe not.

    Aaron Mook likes this.