Weezer’s second album since 2014 proved to be extremely underwhelming. As a long time Weezer fan, it’s difficult to deliver this kind of criticism.
Pacific Daydream is ten songs and totals 34 minutes, staying in line with the band’s history of short but sweet albums. However, 34 minutes of overly-glossed, radio friendly, and uninteresting music that falls short of any of their previous albums. Weezer has always done a fantastic job demonstrating the breadth of their abilities, experimenting over the years with interesting and hard-hitting sounds such as those found in The Red Album and Maladroit while simultaneously delivering softer and less experimental sounds such as those on The Green Album. The White Album (released in 2016) channels their classic punk/alt-rock sound and generally met expectations, but Pacific Daydream is a departure from the standard Weezer style and is widely viewed as a great disappointment.
The album begins with the track “Mexican Fender”, which focuses on a man enamored by a woman he met while browsing at a guitar shop. During my first listen, I told myself “it’ll get better”. It didn’t. Each subsequent track blends together with weak harmonies and multi-layered electronic instrumentals. Lyrics that could have been the least bit interesting or meaningful are delivered without conviction. The song “Feels Like Summer” is an upbeat track that encapsulates fun summer vibes, and that’s just about as interesting as any of the songs get, content-wise. It seems like there’s a laziness and lack of depth that carries through each song, leaving the listener quite unsatisfied. If I had to choose two tracks to recommend, they would be “QB Blitz” and “Sweet Mary”. Both songs bear the most resemblance to Weezer’s typical sound, yet still fall short of the benchmark.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Weezer’s lead singer and songwriter, Rivers Cuomo, openly discusses the EDM-infusions and electronic alterations used to create Pacific Daydream. The way he frames it, this album was a way to explore new musical techniques previously unused by Weezer. Nonetheless, I think the band may have lost sight of their true sound in the attempt to cater to current popular tastes. We can only hope that Weezer has recognized the shortcomings of this album and will soon deliver a chart-topper that’s more in line with their true sound.
Recommended Tracks: QB Blitz, Sweet Mary, Any Friend of Diane’s