THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2016 |
Posted by: Don Saas
Is there a more frustrating band of the last twenty five years than Weezer? If any musician of the last three decades knows his way around a power pop hook/riff better than Rivers Cuomo, I don't know who it is, but Weezer is also a band mired in juvenile obsessions, rampant misogyny (looking at you Pinkerton), and a total unwillingness to evolve/grow. But even on the worst Weezer albums (*cough*Hurley*cough*), you see flashes of the brilliance that bowled you over the first time you heard "My Name Is Jonas" or "Say It Ain't So." And that leads us to the roll out for their latest record, The White Album.
I think "Thank God For Girls" and "Do You Wanna Get High" are the best Weezer has sounded in literally a decade. "California Kids" is also a dope return to form for my generation's defining nerd rock band. But if I actually listen to the lyrics for "Thank God For Girls" or watch a second of any of the music videos for the new album cycle, I become immediately embarrassed to have ever been a fan of this band. It's really time for Weezer to grow up.
They just dropped the video for "California Kids" and it's, for lack of a more polite description, a complete disaster. This weird, vaguely phallic cannoli obsession that Rivers Cuomo has developed is taken to a disgusting extreme as he lazily creates facsimiles of moments from the other videos in this album cycle and then there's this weird, half-assed homage to Fellini with a half-naked female bodybuilder on the beach that seems to exist just to have a lady's ass be overly visible.
Weezer, aren't you tired of being the band where everybody talks about you like a football team that won two Super Bowls twenty years ago but hasn't even had a winning season since then? You aren't lacking talent. I could listen to your reinterpretation of Cheap Trick and Big Star guitar riffage probably for the rest of my life, but at some point, you have to recognize that you're in your mid-40s now. You aren't kids anymore. Make every part of your sound as propulsive and memorable as your instrumental craft. Because until you can do that again, you will forever be music's most disappointing has-beens.