Weezer have been around for so long that they’re basically stitched into the fabric of the universe. They’ve partied with Hugh Heffner in their video for their 2005 hit ‘Beverley Hills’, and have outlasted some bands that that cite them as a key inspiration. So, the fact that their eleventh album, ‘Pacific Daydream’, is a pop-heavy, meandering, and ultimately toothless effort won’t trouble them a bit.
The album kicks off with ‘Mexican Fender’ – a solid ode to summer love and teenage feelings. Any band would be happy to have written this one; it’s got a fresh feeling, and enough references to pedometers and meet-cutes to belong squarely in 2017, but it’s knocked off-balance somewhat by the jaunty nostalgia-fest that is track two, ‘Beach Boys’.
The album mostly devolves into pop after this point. ‘Feels Like Summer’ sounds like it was written by a computer built by the Coca-Cola corporation, and ‘Happy Hour’ will be played in the final scene of an episode of New Girl any day now.
Later tracks, ‘QB Blitz’ and ‘Any Friend Of Diane’s’, are a return to form for the band – free-flowing and tinged with an acute sadness, though the former still has strange references to high school days (“I can’t get anyone to do algebra with me,” sings Rivers Cuomo at one point). ‘La Mancha Screwjob’ has all the makings of a Milky Chance song, which makes it probably the best track on the record.
Let’s be fair, none of these songs are bad. Eleven albums in and Weezer are the world’s mother-in-law – still making summer jams, almost unstoppably. The tracks are all catchy, fun, almost all concern an ongoing love affair with that oft-overlooked state called California. But, while we’re all bearing witness to the magnitude of a band who are essentially timeless, is Earth ceasing to quake in their increasingly-polished wake?
Written by Chris Yeoh (@Chris_Yeoh)