Weezer – Weezer (The White Album)

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Apr 5, 2016.

  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.


    This is not Pinkerton.

    Now that we have that out of the way, let’s examine where this 10th LP (fourth self-titled) fits within The Curious Case of Weezer.

    To many, Weezer are hacks; they’re notorious for “selling out” (whatever that means), a band who’s switched not only styles but a frontman who famously experimented with hundreds of songwriting methods just to reach the heights of the band’s classic debut, Weezer (The Blue Album). But it’s what’s happened between the time of The Blue Album and now that makes the band (and their enigmatic frontman, Rivers Cuomo) so endearing. There was critical success followed by critical failure; addiction followed by isolation, all in the name of goofy songs like “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun.” There was celibacy, meditation, marriage, divorce, a Lil Wayne feature, and a “return to form” all in the past two decades.


    But this could be any band’s history. When you’re around for 20 years, you’re bound to experience changes in your personal life that affect the songs you write, hopefully in a positive way. All of this information might be irrelevant if we were talking about another band, but it’s Weezer’s ties to the scene that keep even their harshest critics coming back album after album. Most of it has to do with Pinkerton’s status as a pillar of modern emo, but reflections of the band’s entire discography can be seen in wake of other scene favorites, from indie all-stars like Brand New and Manchester Orchestra to looser, pop-driven acts like Fall Out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack (R.I.P.).

    So where does this leave the Weezer of 2016? Coming off the heels of Everything Will Be Alright in the End, a surprising return to form, what are fans to make of The White Album? Simply put, The White Album is a fun one, a light-hearted companion piece void of the darker lyrical themes of its predecessor. In fact, if EWBAITE was almost total fan service, The White Album strikes a near-perfect balance between what fans want from Weezer and what they’ve come to expect from Weezer in 2016.

    Inspired by friends and strangers found on the beaches of California, The White Album tips its hat to The Beach Boys nearly as often as it does the band’s back catalog. This is never more apparent that on “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing,” one of the poppiest songs Rivers and co. have ever written. Oddly enough, much of The White Album calls back to the low points of Weezer’s discography — Make Believe, The Red Album, etc. — presented now with 100% more purpose and conviction; polished guitars, bouncing pianos and sleigh bells lead the song’s standout chorus into verses filled with chugging guitars and a solo-centric bridge.

    The songs here are sonically split between singles like the album’s crunchy opening track, “California Kids,” (complete with a grin-inducing allusion to Pet Sounds in its opening glockenspiel notes) and the polarizing weirdness of “Thank God for Girls.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s songs like the former that stand out upon repeated listens, though the band’s experimentation with piano-driven pop does have its place. And when the two blend, the music is truly irresistible; it would be silly for a song like “Wind in Our Sail” not to be the next official single, because in essence, it combines everything current fans love about with just enough of the aforementioned elements (and unexpected vocal play from Cuomo) to best represent the album’s stylistic ambitions.

    So where does The White Album fall short? Despite its flashy, rejuvenated energy, these songs simply lack the substance present throughout EWBAITE. I know what you may be thinking; Weezer has never been a lyric-driven band, and they’ve certainly never been a band expected to write about death and divorce all of the time. Put simply, the fun-loving fantasy lyrics featured here don’t reach the emotional heights of a line like, “That’s human nature/We fail each other/And keep on searching for another” (from “Ain’t Got Nobody). Still, Cuomo manages to dig up a tense anecdote about addiction (the Green Album-referencing “Do You Wanna Get High?”) and, much like a similar album released by The Front Bottoms last year, some engaging observations on masculinity and gender roles (“Thank God For Girls”). In fact, Cuomo even took the time to annotate these songs himself. “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” remains memorable for it’s grungy guitar riff and sudden key changes, but the album’s penultimate number (“Jacked Up”) is regrettably anti-climatic, bringing an unremarkable close to an otherwise charming listen.

    Somebody asked me a few weeks ago whether or not I thought “Weezer was back,” and truly, I’m not even sure I know what that means. So much of songwriting is subjective; I tend to think Make Believe is a better album than most because it was my first Weezer album. And you know what? I think The Red Album is really, really bad for the most part. But what I can say for certain about The White Album (and its predecessor) is that for the first time since 2002, it sounds like Weezer are not only enjoying the music they’re making, but living up to the admittedly impossible standards some Blue Album and Pinkerton purists tend to hold. With The White Album, Weezer solidify their place as a more-than-capable modern pop-rock band, and if that means as much to you as it does to me, we’re left with hope that Rivers and co. will continue to grace us with as many sonic experiments as they have left in their KISS-worshipping bodies.

    The post Weezer – Weezer (The White Album) appeared first on chorus.fm.
     
  2. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    @Aaron Mook

    Your first published review on chorus!
     
    Aaron Mook likes this.
  3. ALT/MSC/FAN

    It's chaos. Be kind. Prestigious

    I love the "recommended" tag that reviewers can use now.
     
  4. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    Me too! :teethsmile:
     
    Serenity Now likes this.
  5. Aaron Mook

    @avmook Moderator

    Dirty Sanchez likes this.
  6. ncarrab

    Trusted

    The more and more I listen to this album, the better and better it is. Between this and EWBAITH, their comeback has truly been astonishing.
     
    lava890 likes this.
  7. will_000

    funny you should ask.

    need to give this a listen, forgot how much I liked their previous record.
     
  8. fluxyjoe

    the inner machinations of my mind are an enigma Supporter

    Great read, @Aaron Mook ! Always enjoy reading your contributions.

    Now that The White Album has surpassed my expectations, I'm even more curious and excited to hear The Black Album than any other Weezer record thus far.
     
  9. Blake Solomon

    Mr. Emeritus Prestigious

    im prob being real dumb here, but when i look at the review on the forums, it starts to grey out. is there a way to see the whole thing in this forum, or do i have to go to the home page to view it all?
     
  10. Why Bother?

    Still bothering.

    Good witch or bad witch, God is a woman
    I wish I hadn't played the prude
    She touched my ankle, Paranoid Android
    I felt it in my molecules


    This part has been stuck in my head for days. So so good.
     
    Aaron Mook likes this.
  11. Blake Solomon

    Mr. Emeritus Prestigious

    also i think this is their best album since like forever, and i liked ...Alright in the End quite a bit.
     
  12. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    That's on my list to do to change in the near future. I did it for a few reasons right now - some technical (there's much more formatting in the new news articles (like the table effect I put on tour dates for example) and I'll have to do some testing of articles and what gets pulled in and how and what it looks like and what kind of extra style stuff or stripping I need to do. I need more news imported first before I can do all that and the test cases. I also need more time - haha. But shoving the entire post into the forum was really, really gross and unbecoming.

    The other reason is a byproduct, and kind of selfish. I want people to get in the habit of checking the homepage for news right now instead of just browsing that forum for headlines. I really like the homepage and put a lot of time it being a great place to read news and articles and I really want that to be where people first read things and not in a forum post - if that makes sense - especially long form stuff.

    Long story short: I plan to fix it in some way soon to handle all this better, expanding the blurb, and handling different styles. But it may take some time.
     
    Aaron Mook and fenway89 like this.
  13. Connor Apr 5, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 5, 2016)
    Connor

    we're all a bunch of weirdos on a quest to belong Supporter


    Whatever changes you make to it, I am definitely of the opinion that the whole post shouldn't end up over here. I dig checking out the main site and then jumping over here after to discuss it. I think it makes perfect sense to keep them separated!
     
  14. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    Curious...what are the other distinctions for reviews besides "Recommended"?
     
    perceptrons and Aaron Mook like this.
  15. Aaron Mook

    @avmook Moderator

    @Jason Tate out of curiosity, have you listened to this? I know you've never really been the biggest Weezer fan, but I was wondering if the general reception to this/poppier direction made you curious about it. Would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
     
  16. Aaron Mook

    @avmook Moderator

    "Highly Recommended," "Recommended," "Neutral," "Not Recommended," and "Stay Away" iirc haha
     
    perceptrons and Jason Tate like this.
  17. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    I have yet to find a free minute. Hahaha, so not yet. I will though at some point.
     
    Aaron Mook and Dirty Sanchez like this.
  18. Aaron Mook

    @avmook Moderator

    Oh, I'm sure haha definitely let us know what you think!
     
  19. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 3.49.10 PM.png
     
  20. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    fenway89 likes this.
  21. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    Only if @Thomas Nassiff reviews it.
     
  22. Fox83

    Regular

    I know you won't like hearing this, but I pretty much check this forum for news so I can go straight to the discussion after reading. Please don't be mad!
     
  23. CMilliken

    Regular

    I'm really enjoying this album. I might even enjoy this one more than EWBAITE. Great review. We seem to have the same views on Make Believe (which I think is one of their best albums.) And the Red being my absolute least favorite.
     
    Aaron Mook likes this.
  24. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    Fine by me as long as you're reading it! Haha. I'm cool with there being more than one way to browse it depending on preference. :-)
     
    Aaron Mook likes this.
  25. Fox83

    Regular

    I always read. I just like digesting what I've read with discussion afterwards. Going straight to this forum saves me a few clicks, but I'm sure it's better for you that the homepage gets those clicks.