Weezer “The Black Album” Review

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Weezer “The Black Album” Review

Nick Evans, Senior Nerd

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Coming off an album of all cover songs, Weezer tries to find their voice on a record that falls flat. Weezer is coming off the Teal Album, a fun cover album that was exactly what Weezer wanted. Being a cover album, the band is able to produce some interesting new takes on classics. For example they did a rearrangement of the hit Toto song “Africa”. Only a couple of months later, trying to use the momentum of the Teal Album, Weezer released the Black Album.

Upon first listen, I was immediately frustrated with the band. Weezer’s first two albums are both gorgeous pieces of art their own respect. “Weezer: The Blue Album” is a perfect look into life as a teenage nerd who struggles finding his niche growing up. This was followed up with the 90’s classic “Pinkerton”, which was a much more angsty and hard rock album but also fantastic in the themes Rivers develops of love, depression, and life purpose. As Rivers Cuomo continues to write and produce music for more than two decades the more stale and uninteresting he becomes. Cuomo has been quoted as trying to write, “the perfect pop song”. He continues to struggle on this album, as most of their tracks on this just seem like the lyrics were written by a second-grader to his crush.

Half of this record is a pure dumpster truck on fire. The track, “Living in L.A.” seems glossy and polished but the chorus of, “This girl, I like” seems disingenuous and a tries to be a catch when it comes off annoying. The track, “I’m Just Being Honest” is quite ironic as Rivers continues with his ploy to get the girl in this next track. Although this could have been an endearing tune, Cuomo’s production and overuse of a “catchy” guitar lick made it seem deceitful to the purpose of the song. Other tracks such as “Too Many Thoughts In My Head” and “Byzantine” are forgetful tracks as they have no purpose to the album and feel like they could be written by any decent artist in twenty minutes.

Although I have seemed quite hateful towards this album there are some decent cuts on the track list. “Piece of Cake” seems like a genuine song talking about Cuomo’s wife, describing her as sweet as a piece of cake. This song reminded me of lighter cuts off Pinkerton. I also enjoyed the song “Zombie Bastards” which comments on the hate the band gets for writing overpopulated music. Once again, it’s quite ironic, because half of this album is just catchy pop music that has no grounds in 2019. The track also has the realization of Cuomo not having much time to write music, so these next few years are important to their legacy. The final track that was beyond decent was “High as a Kite”. This song also seems to be from the B-side of The White Album, as the glockenspiel at the beginning of the track gives a light tone to the track as it crescendos into the chorus. The lyrics seem genuine and the analogy of feeling like your flying when you’re around your significant other is something that is shared by everyone. This track is one of Weezer’s best in years and the biggest redeeming quality of The Black Album.

This album has quite a few lows, but a couple of strong highs. It makes me upset to see Weezer continue to struggle to make a strong complete LP, but with a few tracks being strong, it is nice to know they still have the talent to produce great music.

5/10