Weezer (The Black Album)

Weezer

Crush Music/Atlantic, 2019

http://www.weezer.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/18/2019

This is the type of record that makes you wonder if the leader of a once popular band even knows what the hell he’s doing anymore. Weezer has experienced a resurgence in popularity due to their note for note remake of Toto’s “Africa.” The Black Album is something they’ve been hyping for about two years now, and guess what? It sucks!

Weezer’s downhill trajectory began around 2009 and has reached its absolute nadir. The album cover even has a sticker quoting Matt Damon’s character from the now infamous SNL sketch. The opening track and first single “Can’t Knock The Hustle” tries to showoff Rivers Cuomo’s appreciation for hip-hop and trying to be the cool dad at his kids’ school. The damn song is about an Uber driver and the lyrics are useless and pathetic. Where are the guitars? Why have they been replaced by keyboards and drum machines? Why am I subjecting myself to this?

Hate on me if you want, but when I think Weezer, I think of “El Scorcho” and “Undone,” not “Beverly Hills” and “Feels Like Summer.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“High As A Kite” tries to be a decent song, but it doesn’t work as well as stuff from the past. “Zombie Bastards” tries to be cutesy but comes off annoying and irritating. Rivers doesn’t even know what Rivers is thinking right now! This is not the Weezer I grew up, and it’s unknown if we’ll ever get them back again.

“Living In L.A.” has a decent enough chorus, though it sounds better live; here it comes across as cloying and unnecessary. I would love to know what it was that got Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio to produce this mess. Too much danceable pop music has already infected the airwaves ,and somewhere along the way Rivers’ brain was infected as well and he hasn’t been able to switch back to what made Weezer so good back in the day.

“I’m Just Being Honest” is Rivers’ attempt to portray his opinions across in song and unfortunately, it falls flat just like everything else here. You can say that I’m a purist, that I only like old Weezer, and that I’m not giving their new direction a chance. Well, guess what? Their new direction is the lackluster sound of a great rock band going hardcore pop and falling on their faces miserably and publicly in the process.

“Too Many Thoughts In My Head” is the best track here but it’s pretty much ruined by a bombastic chorus that feels unnecessary. Nice Nilsson reference, though. As the record cruises to its conclusion, everything falls further. “California Snow” has the air of a ballad, but nope, it’s just another wannabe rap track with crappy electronics.

Weezer was one of these bands that I grew up loving and then along the way they lost the plot. Aside from a few decent songs here and there, never really recovered their plot. It goes without saying that its relatively hopeless for Rivers and company to come back to their former glories; rather, they will probably go down in flames still fighting for this new sound. Relative to the album’s release, it didn’t even hit the Billboard Top 10, which is a bad sign for an album that’s been promoted as heavily as this one. I managed to survive this disaster and had to listen to a podcast to recover. Fearless reader, I pray for your soul!

Rating: D-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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