By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
Key Tracks: “Mexican Fender”, “Feels Like Summer”, “Weekend Woman”
Welcome to the most unnecessary album of this year. Weezer, the band that brought us classics like “Buddy Holly”, “Beverly Hills”, “Say It Ain’t So” and “Island in the Sun” has created their most and over-produced album yet. Pacific Daydream is a collection of radio-ready boring songs that are missing an edge. Not a single track on this album stands out, and all of them carry a summery and catchy feeling without ever saying anything that distinguishes them from any other pop outlet.
You may be thinking, “Weezer is supposed to be goofy and fun! Lighten up, the “Pork and Beans” music video is just a meme compilation!” Sure, okay, but there is a difference between a fun and well thought out album and this shallow display of uber-simplistic melodies and lyrics that may as well have been written by a middle schooler. It’s missing essential signature Weezer sounds too and keeps you wondering if this is even Weezer at all.
The album opens with “Mexican Fender”, a track that is mostly driven by a crunchy guitar riff and shimmery backgrounds. It’s supposed to feel like a hot summer night, but that night is not as sexy as it promises to be. This is followed by a pop ode to the Beach Boys that disses the “hip-hop world” and yearns for the sweet melodies of the West Coast. It’s syrupy but also goes into weird, almost hip-hop like beats, the ones that the track claims to want to get away from.
“Feels Like Summer” is one of the better tracks on the album, with background beats that are a little more interesting than the rest of the album. It actually feels like summer. It’s probably about a girl. It’s radio-ready, sure, but a Weezer classic? Eh. “Happy Hour” has a similar thing going on, but a little more drunk and poppy. It’s built for a bar or a Corona commercial.
“Weekend Woman” is honestly up in the air. It’s not awful, and the chorus and basic melodies are catchy and upbeat. The lyrics chronicle the feeling of never being able to reach a point where they can relax. After these first five tracks, the album drops off into a set of tracks that almost feel like filler. They are indistinguishable from each other, with some being ballads and some up-tempo, but most of them not worth your time.
The album ends with the simple “Any Friend of Diane’s”, which is fine, but just not a brilliant closer. The over-repeated lyric for this one is “Any friend of Diane’s is a friend of mine” as the song tries to tell her story. It has a pretty nice and comfortable instrumental break that is genuinely pretty nice, but it closes with snare and chimes and just fades away.
Pacific Daydream is not old Weezer. It wasn’t going to be, it’s not the ’90s anymore. And that’s fine, but this album lacks personality and plateaus with music that is forgettable and too sunny for its own good.