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They finally did it. Weezer has finally released the highly anticipated Black Album a month later than it was supposed to be. This could be one of the clear signs that the band wasn’t ready or happy with the end product. Paired with the fact that they released half the album, a handful of tracks that aren’t offensively terrible (but still bad) months before the full album. Not to mention that frontman Rivers Cuomo released an apology and a promise that the next record will return to form the day before the Black Album’s release. Yikes. One can’t help but notice that when you watch the band perform any of the Black tracks live, they don’t smile or have their usual energy, they almost seem to rush through them just to get it over with.
Rumor had it that the Black Album was supposed to be darker, a sort of "Pinkerton Part 2." Fans believed it would have been a perfect companion to the White Album, a return to the famed Blue Album form with its summer-time, feel good, California vibes. However, instead of a "Pinkerton 2," we got a worse version of Pacific Daydream. Don’t get me wrong, Pacific Daydream isn’t great, but at least I can appreciate a handful of tracks that are fully driven by guitars and drums that aren’t electric. Pacific Daydream is catchier, better produced, and it just has a more diverse set of tracks. There’s plenty of hipster pop songs that are clear sellouts, but then there’s songs on there that are actual classic Weezer tracks like "Sweet Mary" and "Mexican Fender."
The Black Album is nothing but pure sellout. I’ve never been on the wagon of calling Weezer sellouts, I’ve always felt they’ve stayed true to form until Pacific Daydream. You might point to Raditude, in which I would politely say “Screw you.” I’m exaggerating, I would honestly just tell you to listen to the demo tapes of the songs on Raditude. Tracks like "I Don’t Want to Let You Go," "I’m Your Daddy," and "The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World" come to mind as classic Weezer-esque tracks. The problem with Raditude was never the song writing, it was the production. These great songs in disguise were produced to sound like mediocre pop tunes, and I urge you to give it another listen. I guarantee it’ll be an eye opener after hearing their latest release. You also might point to Make Believe, in which I will actually tell you to screw off (not really). Come on man, "Perfect Situation," "The Damage in Your Heart," and "Hold Me" are great tracks, reminiscent of the Pinkerton days, just with clearer production quality. A million times better than this new album here, I would much rather talk about and listen to Make Believe than this new atrocity.
I don’t know what it is with Weezer’s bipolar when it comes to losing their identity, apologizing for it, and then releasing a great record: Wash, rinse, and repeat. It has happened at least three times by now. I can only hope that Rivers was serious about their next record, because right now I’ll have to be honest and say that his band sounds like s*** at the moment, and these tracks come to mind.
"Can’t Knock the Hustle"
Yes, yes I can, and I definitely will. Your hustle isn’t that impressive when you have to apologize for it, proving that these lyrics are disingenuous. It’s very annoying, especially when paired with the awful video, and the lyrics are trying too hard to be edgy. It just doesn’t work with what Weezer was built on, Rivers, especially when you try and roast your fans in an uncensored way.
If I’m being honest, I couldn’t sit through a minute of this track. It didn’t help that the top comment was a Minecraft reference. The melody was so uncatchy that I can’t sing it for you after listening to it three times. I could sing "Getting Up and Leaving" after one listen and it was never even released on an official record.
This song is trying way too hard to appeal to the SoundCloud rap crowd. It’s got high schooler trap mixtape written all over it with the mumbly, lazy vocal performance from Rivers. The lack of guitars, despite mentioning in the lyrics that he plays guitar, just feels like a total kick in the nuts.
"High as a Kite"
This song is easily the best song on the entire album. After hearing it once, it was instantly singable. It was smooth, catchy, and calming all at once. Rivers can definitely write a synth-pop song with rock elements, and he should stick with writing one per album if it’s what he really wants to do. I just don’t understand why he felt the need to crap out an entire album of this style of music.
That’s about all I have to say about this album. Any track I haven’t mentioned just didn’t seem worth my time because they weren’t terrible, but just bad enough that I don’t want to talk about them at all. Weezer is my favorite and I can’t help but love them no matter what. There’s just no way in hell I will listen to every album with my own free will. That being said, I’m plenty hyped for their next release.