MONDAY, APRIL 04, 2016 |
Posted by: Mike Montemarano
Weezer's tenth studio album, the self-titled White Album, showcases the band's focus to incorporate all the concepts and musical ideas that garnered their massive following to begin with. Rivers Cuomo returns back to the valiant role he played by letting out all of his deeply absurd and sometimes even morbid ideas through the lens of his geeky, tongue-in-cheek character whose tangents eventually lead to points of earnest vulnerability. It's funny what kinds of mental images they manage to stir up and wedge in between choruses, which especially holds true on "Thank God For Girls."
As is key with any of Weezer's stronger tracks, Cuomo's character is what makes a good Weezer song, on top of some cool, sun-soaked guitar melodies laden with catchy hooks. If there's a special emphasis on one thing in this album that wasn't all there last album, it's Cuomo showcasing his writing abilities to create some poppy vocal harmonies that are reminiscent of the most memorable Phil Spector choral harmonies from the 60s. "(Girl We Got A) Good Thing" is a flawless channeling of that Beach Boys energy turned melancholic with some melodramatic moments of fuzzed-out, hedonistic glam rock guitar.
With all of these concepts injected into Weezer's more typical emo/alt-rock riffs and beats, Weezer's musical direction has delved into more deep, layered tunes that still have the same qualities that keep the tracks punchy and fun.
"Jacked Up" represents a recent peak of Cuomo's habit of wearing his heart on his sleeve to open up about his baggage, in a totally melodramatic, ballad-like crescendo, with "Do You Wanna Get High" being a close runner-up. This album is more than just happy times jam-packed into a handful of uplifting songs...though it exemplifies what Weezer's come to know as their craft: This track and the monologues about depression and childhood abuse on "King of the World" highlight the ways in which Cuomo and the band dramatize things through the lens of summery, upbeat pop in a way that connects to core sentimentality about being vulnerable and opening up.
There are plenty of alternating highs and lows on this album, and moments where pensive introspection about one's own anxieties and inferiority takes place over the sound of gentle, summery melodies only to explode into all-too-memorable choruses celebrating a glam rock-channeled excess. Beyond all else, Weezer has challenged themselves to reimagine and reinvigorate the energy that was present among the band's early beloved records to show that they've still got it going on. The music brings up timeless, sing-along qualities from the chamber pop era and each song bleeds into the next.
"Endless Bummer" encapsulates the album in a quiet, soothing finale with a hooky, bubble-gum pop vocal melody and one acoustic guitar. There's a lot of word-painting within the music itself that just seems so reminiscent of sitting around on a beach somewhere at the end of experiencing the opportunity of the free time and beautiful weather that summer promises, and ungratefully doing nothing with it. It represents one pissed-off end to a season. The White Album exemplifies exactly how to channel a season into an album, and represents one of the band's most well-crafted and extremely focused works to date.