When you think of dreary college and high school days, Weezer fits in with the soundtrack of the thoughts any day. In recent years, the band has been departing from their old, beaten down sound and adopting a more full, warm vibe, but in their new album, things get a bit blurry. Weezer doesn't know what they want to be in Pacific Daydream, the band's eleventh record.
Weezer, back in the day, was the soundtrack of the underdogs. They still seem like they want to be part of that, but also want to spread out and be on top for once. The band's nerdy charm does still play a big role in the lyrics, like the sweet and charming 'Sweet Mary' and its chiming bells, giving them that underdog vibe, yet in songs like single 'Feels Like Summer,' you get the feeling that the band is ready to take on something more than just being the ones who rise up. The feel good and poppy vibes of the track lend it to a more party-oriented atmosphere, while Weezer typically likes to stick with intimacy and seclusion. Tracks like 'QB Blitz' try to emulate that feeling, but it even feels like the band has lost touch with that side.
In 2016, Weezer released the White Album, their alternative rock flair coming to an all time high with fun-packed songs not worried with who they were supposed to be. That free abandon still kept it feeling like Weezer even if thematically, it wasn't exactly as such all the time. Pacific Daydream feels less personal and more like, well, a daydream. The California dreaming vibes really come out early in the album, 'Mexican Fender' especially as it chants about Los Angeles. 'Weekend Woman' also brings out the sort of big town vibes with its young love dreams being explained in every word of the lyric. Weezer's new sound isn't bad by any means - Pacific Daydream is a very enjoyable album by all means. The dichotomy of the poppiness and Weezer trying to reconnect with the past just doesn't seem to be working it's magic here, though.
Weezer doesn't know what they want to be in Pacific Daydream, delivering some solid music but are prevented from really taking the songs all the way by the friction between form and meaning. It tries to be something it isn't; or, more suitably, something it isn't anymore. There's a lot of gray area on this record, and there's something that needs to be resolved before the next record comes out that really sets the band on a path where they can own their sound without being unsure of it.
Favorite Tracks: Feels Like Summer, Mexican Fender
Least Favorite Track: QB Blitz
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Pacific Daydream on Apple Music: