STUNNING RETURN TO FORM FOR RIVERS CUOMO AND THE BOYS
Opening with a staccato power chord riff reminiscent of Weezer’s musical nadir – Make Believe’s awful ‘Beverly Hills’ – one shudders at the potential for another tired, ironic dirge. But as soon as the first chorus of Pacific
Daydream drops, it’s clear that the alt.rock icons are back on form.
Undoubtedly, Weezer had a long way way to go to re-establish themselves as a top-notch act.
Part of the problem is that they set the bar so damn high for themselves early in their career.
The Blue Album boasted a series of classic tracks, including ‘Say It Ain’t So’, ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’ and ‘Buddy Holly’.
The latter, of course, was one of the classic alt.rock singles of the ’90s and became a Gen X anthem, with Spike Jonze’s ingenious,
Happy Days-inspired video adding to its iconic status.
Lyrically, on Pacific Daydream,
Rivers Cuomo crafts a nostalgic universe that appeals to the eternal teenager in us all; there are endearing bedroom paeans to seaside revelry, youthful amore, affordable guitars, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In tribute to Pet Soundsera The Beach Boys, the frontman faithfully affects a Brian Wilsonstyle falsetto on several tracks.
Admittedly, if you prefer the edgier Weezer found on albums such as Pinkerton and Maladroit, the unabashed pop craft of
Pacific Daydream might prove hard to swallow. Butch Walker’s production creates a warm, sunny vibe that recalls the band’s celebrated 2001 comeback, The
Delicately tinkled glockenspiels, bright acoustic guitars and jubilant “whoa-ohs” are deployed at various points amidst the chugging pop-rock. Despite its brisk half-hour running time,
Pacific Daydream plays like an endless, blissful summer’s day;
one of those jukebox albums where any of the ten tracks could be a potential hit.
While the band are still channelling their new wave powerpop influences to thrilling effect – successfully invoking the spirit of The Cars, Cheap Trick and The Plimsouls – the album retains a nicely contemporary feel.
Frivolous and fleeting though it may be, Weezer’s latest LP is a thrillingly straightforward and supremely listenable record, and the band’s most pleasurable collection of songs since the celebrated Blue Album.
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