Weezer

Weezer (The Black Album)

Crush Music/Atlantic

Mar 07, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


When Rivers Cuomo's Californian crew rode the post-grunge wave to glory on their debut Blue Album and heart-worn classic follow-up Pinkerton in 1994 and 1996 respectively, we never could have imagined just how saddening and crushingly disappointing Weezer's career would be over the next 20+ years.

Earlier in 2019 they dropped Weezer (The Teal Album), a selection of covers so boneheadedly obvious and performed with such c-grade wedding band aplomb that we could be forgiven for thinking it was part of some long-form situationist joke, perhaps one that started as far back as 2010, when they began covering Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag" livecoincidentally the same year a group of fans banded together to offer the band $10 million to split up stating "I beg you, Weezer, take our money and disappear."

Disappear they did not, and, despite having committed various atrocities against not only their legacy and fans but to music in general over the years, their sixth self-titled album is a new low, even by their comically slack standards.

There are no good songs on this album. There are not even any average songs that will have die-hards pointing and saying "See, he can still do it when he wants to" as they have on the last seven or eight records.

It's hard to know what's more embarrassingCuomo's utterance of lyrics like the simple "bitch" on opener "Can't Knock the Hustle," his devastatingly earnest delivery of the line "she cut me like a piece of cake" on, you guessed it, "Piece of Cake," or any one of the other lyrical faux pas he commits across these 10 absolutely dreadful songs.

There's a moment on "High as a Kite" where, for just a moment, they sound a tiny bit like actual Weezera hint of a melody line to use as an anchor to attempt to understand the rest of this oblique shamblesbut it swiftly evaporates and we're tossed back into a seemingly never-ending ocean of extremely basic pop production and instantly forgettable non-choruses.

It's hard to pick a least favorite song but the point at which several fans of our acquaintance switched off was "I'm Just Being Honest" (track 6), where Cuomo berates a world in which he can't tell people their haircut is bad or, when a fan gives them a demo, he feels derided for stating "Your band sounds like shit." There's irony, and then there's that.

"The Prince Who Wanted Everything" sounds like a Christmas song B-side from a very bad '70s glam rock band and boasts the lyric "look at him now, oh, his paisley bones" in what has to be the least legit tribute to a dead rock star ever committed to vinyl.

In this vein, much of the album is casually and confusingly cringeworthy"I don't believe in mysticism/Only in what science proves/Like the sex appeal of your sick dance moves" drops on "Byzantine"; "We sacrifice our lives for rock 'n' roll" is tossed out, straight faced, on "Living in L.A."

Let's not give all the credit to Cuomo's verbiage though, let's reserve some scorn for the blindly unimaginative approach to the playing, arrangement, and delivery of these slices of dimly lit banality"Too Many Thoughts in My Head" offers warbling guitar and Flo Rida-lite hooks while "Zombie Bastards" (c'mon now) legitimately sounds like a OPM's "Heaven is a Halfpipe" but sans any appreciable melody.

In simple summary, The Black Album makes The Teal Album sound like The Green Album, The Green Album sound like The Blue Album, and The Blue Album sound like the actual The White Album. The Beatles one. And all of it sounds like Weezer flowering into the absolute worst version of themselves.

If it's a joke, it ain't that funny, and if it's for real, let's get that $10 million offer back on the table. (www.weezer.com)

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