Weezer - Weezer (Black Album) - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Weezer - Weezer (Black Album)

by Kyle Kersey Rating:3 Release Date:2019-03-01
Weezer - Weezer (Black Album)
Weezer - Weezer (Black Album)

Dressed is their finest Pulp Fiction gimp cosplay, one must wonder if listening to the Black Album all the way through is a form of sadomasochism.

Start with the formidable “Can’t Knock the Hustle”, the only tune that displays any gusto – if only in how the band attempts to be “funky” and “soulful” in a way that evokes old blaxploitation film themes. Maybe he’s gifted us the theme for the new Shaft film (Isaac Hayes, rest in peace). Maybe its message is a defense of the group; after all, you’ve got to admire their prolific release output in the face of overwhelmingly negative response. Say what you will about the quality of said albums, but you can’t knock their hustle, right?

Oh, what am I saying, there’s no message to any of this. What “Can’t Knock the Hustle” displays in at least attempting musical diversity goes by the wayside by track two, “Zombie Bastards”.  It’s from here that our greatest fears are realized; Pacific Daydream pt. 2. The same bullshit hooks (see “Piece of Cake” and it’s “doot do do do do do doot” for more on that), the same overly-clean production, new bondage-themed package.

Whether it’s being a dick to people (“I’m Just Being Honest”) or a hackneyed AC/DC reference, Rivers Cuomo hits rock bottom. At least Pacific Daydream had the sweet loner nerd-anthem “QB Blitz” or the heartwarming “Any Friend of Diane’s”. There’s no heart in this. There’s no joy. This is a black hole.

What’s most frustrating about the Black Album and, more to the point, Pacific Daydream is that I thought we were over this; the vapid songwriting and trend-chasing. 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End felt like an affirmation that the worst was far behind us, an album titled as a message to longtime Weezer fans who stuck through the abysmal Raditute and “Beverly Hills” years. It came to a head with the precise pop-rock of the White Album, the band’s best work since the 90s and one of the best rock albums of 2016. The Black Album was supposed to continue that upward trend. I remember how excited I was when it was announced a few years back. “Maybe it’ll present a darker direction for the band sonically”, I thought. “Maybe it’ll be like a return to the harsher roots of Pinkerton, a break from the soft pleasantries of the White Album.”

How foolish I was. Years of anticipation have led to one of their worst albums or, if nothing else, their most disappointing. Think the Star Wars Prequels. I guess it’s darker because Cuomo says “shit” a few times. I don’t know.

Should’ve just covered Metallica.

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