Weezer – The Black Album
Released: March 1st, 2019
Rivers Cuomo // Vocals
Patrick Wilson // Drums
Brian Bell // Guitar
Matt Shriner // Bass
When Weezer’s discography is looked at through the lens of history. They will be forever known as a band unafraid to take a creative left turn, their discography will be scrutinised and pulled apart because Weezer is a band, unafraid to fall on their own sword. Ever since The White Album, the guys have seemingly been on a creative rise, this was even more evident on Pacific Daydream, an album, which in this reviewer’s humble opinion, was one of the best albums this band has ever done.
Fast forward to 2019 and Weezer have already released an album of covers. So it’s surprising, so fresh off the back of that, the band has also decided to release another self-titled album. Otherwise known as The Black Album.
Opening with the dance beats of “Can’t Knock The Hustle” the album invokes the kind of instantaneous cool, associated with a night out with friends, the windows down in your car and just this song playing over and over again. It’s simple and yet fun. The soul-inflected influences are a particular delight.
Unfortunately, it’s from this moment onwards, the album slides from “cool” to something downright cheesy and at times, quite frankly cringe-worthy. Take ‘Zombie Bastards’ for example, this song is so by-the-numbers Weezer, you’ll be struggling to find anything even remotely interesting to cling onto. Follow up song ‘High As A Kite’ falls so far on the cheesy meter, it’s going to be a staple of generic romantic comedies for the foreseeable future.
Subsequently, things improve with the infectious ‘Living In LA.’ Complete with an infectious chorus and a bouncing guitar riff, it’s the kind of song that makes you want to reach for the nearest shot glass and ruin your life for a night on various alcoholic beverages.
It’s a shame then, there were no alcoholic beverages on hand when listening to the rest of this album. Since being utterly obliterated might be the only way to enjoy some of the other music on display here. Whether it’s ‘Piece of Cake’ or ‘Too Many Thoughts In My Head’ you just get the sense the songs on this album, are just not quite right. It’s a hard thing to articulate but both seem to evoke pop songs I have heard on the radio at some other point and it’s this association, along with both songs being both lyrically and musically not very interesting.
Nearing the end of the album, all I can say about ‘Byzantine’ is that it’s a dumpster fire.
Ending the album with ‘California Snow’ at least means you’ll not end the album completely regretting your life choices. But ultimately it’s just one of those Weezer songs you’ve heard them do better at some other time.
Ultimately, The Black Album is a huge misfire from a band who have released very consistent albums over the last few years. Take my advice and just pretend this album doesn’t exist. Weezer will no doubt release another album or two next year and we’ll forget this travesty ever happened in the first place.
So see you at the same time next year folks and in the meantime, there’s always Pinkerton!
Weezer – The Black Album tracklist
1. Can’t Knock The Hustle
2. Zombie Bastards
3. High As A Kite
4. Living In LA
5. Piece of Cake
6. I’m Just Being Honest
7. Too Many Thoughts In My Head
8. The Prince Who Wanted Everything
10. California Snow