Weezer – Pacific Daydream
What the hell happened to Weezer over the years? The first two records they made were great. Then they made two records afterwards that were semi-tolerable. Then Weezer dropped off the face of the planet and suddenly reemerged with frat boy fans at baseball games and they just seemed to appeal to the masses, to every possible demographic. Gone was their original niche, the nerd-rock audience they originally played for. Some might call it musical growth, others might call it selling out, but on Weezer’s latest release, Pacific Daydream, I say neither. Weezer sold out a long time ago and they’ve been people-pleasing every which way ever since.
Pacific Daydream opens up with probably its best track, a raw-sounding rock song called “Mexican Fender,” and it suspends the listener’s disbelief just long enough so that they might get a taste of classic Weezer even if only for a fleeting moment. Spoiler alert: you do get a taste, but that’s about it. This very decent “Mexican Fender,” reminiscent of the old Weezer that old-school Weezer fans will love, is followed up by a few very atrocious tracks. “Beach Boys,” “Feels Like Summer,” and “Happy Hour” are all practically the same song back to back to back. They’re the kind of songs that play in the background at the mall while you wait around while your girlfriend takes forever to try on shit she doesn’t need so you decide to go for a little stroll and some Greek guy at a kiosk accosts you and puts some greasy sea salt on your hands when you told him not to. Just like going to the mall, listening to these three songs is an awful experience.
Weezer turns a 180 from the horrendous mall-core we’ve just experienced and tries to get real again, and on the next four songs they succeed. “Weekend Woman” is a decent, in-focus, well-written rock song. “QB Blitz” is the album’s token ballad. What starts off as quite raw gets a little too over-produced by the end, though. “Sweet Mary,” although lighter sounding and way too heavy on the production, has that old-school Weezer vibe. Like these other tracks, “Get Right” like is overly produced, but is done well and very catchy for the kind of rock music that it is.
Weezer switches it up one more time for the last two tracks. They go full-mall-food-court-press with “La Mancha Screwjob,” which sucks a lot. Then they go back to over-produced rock music again, but this time it’s less old-school Weezer and instead almost Beatles-esque on the closer, “Any Friend of Diane’s,” which sucks a little less.
It’s albums like Pacific Daydream that make me go back to my usual Weezer mantra, which is: First Two Albums Only.