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Weezer : White Album (Atlantic, Crush)
Release Date: April 1, 2016
|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
When I first heard that Weezer was releasing their own White Album, I had one big prediction. I thought Weezer would
release a double album and this prospect seemed exhilarating. Weezer, who idolizes or owes a good deal to bands
like The Beatles, Sonic Youth, and Hüsker Dü, would not be unprecedented in creating a huge work that features a bit
of everything a band could offer. In this case, Rivers & Co. could do literally anything they wanted. Of course, that did
not come true and in retrospect seemed really dumb. Weezer’s best albums are not ambitious sprawling masterworks
(well, Pinkerton maybe), but generally it is one crazy great pop song after another. Weezer seems to be going for the
same here on the White Album and the results are mixed, but overall positive.
The first couple songs here, while not perfect, do an adequate job of introducing the album. “California Kidz” could
certainly benefit from more overdrive and less keyboards, but at least I know this is definitely a Weezer album.
Admittedly, the 'ooh-wee-ooh' of the chorus is pretty catchy. “Wind in Our Sail” suffers from the same issues of
“California Kidz” but with fewer redeeming qualities. “Sail” is outright a throwaway with nothing going on of interest
lyrically or melodically. The song isn’t even bad, it’s just forgettable and mediocre.
These first couple songs may not have been so rough if the production was done by someone other than
Jake Sinclair. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, here are some examples of his work. Anybody that played a part
in Raditude should take a good long look at his/her career, but nonetheless Sinclair does not do much to give
The White Album the oomph that would separate it from those dreaded records of the 00’s. It would have been nice
to see Ric Ocasek back at the boards, but the first two songs may have also been doomed from the beginning.
Thankfully the whole album does not behave in the same manner and the White Album takes a turn for the better
To my ears, the middle of the album is the best string of songs. Starting with “Thank God for Girls” and ending with
“L.A. Girlz,” Weezer proves that the rest of their career does not have to be Hurley x10. I initially was not a fan of
“Thank God for Girls” upon hearing it as a single. Within the album, “Girls” is a welcome dose of Cuomo’s weirdness
with the opposite gender. “Girls” is also a lyrical highlight of the White Album that simultaneously berates alpha male
types and reverses roles with “She’s so big/She’s so strong.”
“Do You Wanna Get High?” is surprisingly an album highlight and sounds most like something from Pinkerton.
Of course, Rivers makes light of this with the half-cringey “Queue the feedback” line at the beginning and the line
“Crush up the blue” feels like a condemnation of comparisons to the past. “King of the World,” “Summer Elaine and
Drunk Dori,” and “L.A. Girlz” all compete with “High” for best song on the album and may be some of Weezer’s best
music of the last decade. Unfortunately, the album has to end with two so-so songs. The keys make their return again
for “Jacked Up” with a generic piano line that seems borrowed from 2008. “Endless Bummer” is a good deal better,
but fails to deliver anything interesting.
Expecting Weezer to surpass their early records would be absurd and comparing this album to Blue or Pinkerton may
be unfair, but it is impossible not to hear the ghosts of “The Good Life” or “Buddy Holly” in this album. Frankly it isn’t
as satisfying and if any of White’s songs are placed in the track list of Weezer’s twin classics they would clearly be the
worst songs on the record. Don’t let me get you totally down on this album though. White Album contains
Weezer’s best work in a long time and if you ever need a break from songs about half-Japanese girls or sweaters,
this album is worth a listen.