Published Mar 30, 2016It's now been 20 years since Weezer released a classic album, and even their most devoted fans have doubtless given up hope that they will ever be able to recapture their past glory. All we can hope for now is a batch of good-not-great power-pop anthems to enjoy while driving around with the windows rolled down, but on that count, the so-called White Album (the band's fourth colour-coded eponymous LP) exceeds even the most optimistic of expectations.
This is excellent news for anyone who was turned away by the ghastly lead single, "Thank God for Girls," a rap-rock monstrosity with head-scratching lyrics that careen between gender stereotypes, references to online dating and gluttonous fantasies about Italian pastry. Fortunately, this is the worst song on the album (with the possible exception of the joyless piano rock dud "Jacked Up").
For the most part, these ten tracks are a welcome throwback to the summery fun of The Blue Album and The Green Album. Opener "California Kids" captures frontman Rivers Cuomo's knack for mixing pop-friendly sweetness with nerdy melancholy, and its transition from chugging verses to thundering half-time choruses makes it a strong contender for the title of Weezer's Best Song Since "Island in the Sun."
Elsewhere, the feedback-soaked guitar leads of "Do You Wanna Get High?" are pure Blue Album, "(Girl We Got a) Good Thing" is charming, honey-dipped retro-pop, and "L.A. Girlz" is a ray of sunshine despite its patronizing requests for the titular women to "please act your age."
Deep in these songs are distinct glimmers of the band's former greatness, making The White Album another positive step forward after 2014's actually-kinda-decent Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Having sufficiently lowered our expectations over the past two decades, Weezer are finally back on a winning streak. (Independent)