Pacific Daydream is the latest release from Weezer following The White Album that dropped last spring. This latest release tries to capture a similar vibe to its predecessor but unfortunately lacks the same punch.
Album Title: Pacific Daydream
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Atlantic Records / Crush Management
Weezer for me have always been a band on the periphery after their 3rd release. Their first few releases were the terrific Weezer (The Blue Album), Pinkerton (arguably their best release) and of course, Weezer (The Green Album). The kids from LA were really onto something with their brand of Alternative Garage Rock with their scratchy guitars and fluttery solos, steady driven beats and solid bass riffs (‘Hashpipe’ being a stellar example).
Between The Green Album and their latest release, Pacific Daydream, the only other two albums I’ve taken the chance to listen to are Everything Will Be Alright in the End and The White Album. Both of these sported a refreshingly ‘Weezer-esque’ sound, albeit Everything Will Be Alright… felt forced. Weezer’s fan-base were screaming out for a record that the band had apparently forgotten how to make and with their 2014 release, despite having a lot of reminiscent qualities, it fell a touch short of the mark.
The follow-up, The White Album, had a more laid-back, beach rock vibe that made the album incredibly accessible. This was truly a return to the golden era of Weezer, with a sense of maturity and self-assurance. It’s catchy, fun, and an all-round good record.
Pacific Daydream is accessible too and an easy-listen. It maintains this sense of freedom and laid-back attitude that the band were able to capture on The White Album. However, unlike its predecessor Pacific Daydream just doesn’t feel like it has the stones to remain unforgettable. I got halfway through it before ‘Weekend Woman’ jumped out at me with a bass riff you would expect to find on a Beach Boys record. The only other special moment for me on this as well is the roll Pat throws in towards the outro of ‘Any Friend of Diane’s’ – but even that felt fleeting as the song just sort of ends. The rest of the track listing on this record is fine. There are some cool guitar hooks and Cuomo’s vocals are perhaps the main highlight of this otherwise fairly inoffensive album.
The whole thing feels incredible safe, and it boasts a production sheen on it which is almost sickly. The incorporation of Pop-Electronica and brief flashes of generic Pop tropes bother me as well. This record, although pretty solid from start to finish, is just that. It’s like watching water run out of a tap… there’s not really a lot to it. Where are the heavy bass riffs? Where are the driven beats and clever drum fills? Where are the screechy, fuzzy guitar solos!?
I appreciate that over time bands change and refine their sound, but this doesn’t feel like that at all, as this record just feels flat and lifeless. Personally, I think the boys should go back to the garage, crack open a beer and turn the distortion back up and the reverb down.