In recent times, Weezer have been viewed as a nostalgia act; a band whose recent creative output has been foreshadowed by their previous work. This is a particularly apt description of River Cuomo’s trope, considering the band has not released a truly great album since 2001’s Green Album. In this regard, Weezer’s latest self-titled The White Album can be seen as a return to form, in that it is the best collection of work the band has released in 15 years.
Songs like ‘Do You Wanna Get High’ and ‘King of the World’ will undoubtedly become live staples; simple and poppy in structure, they are punctuated by giant choruses. Like much of this album they perfectly seem to capture the atmosphere of summer, as well as the life the Los Angeles beaches. Most songs on the album follow this pop formula with only ‘Endless Bummer’ lasting more than the 4 min mark, meaning this simplicity never seems to outstay its welcome. The only real misstep is the regrettable ‘Thank God for Girls’ which, despite its great chorus, is held down by the presence of a cringe-worthy hip-hop influence.
While the album is at its best infectiously catchy and blissfully feel-good, It suffers backhandedly in some regards. In order to pry back their 90s glory the band have produced a record that has embraced almost every cliché often attributed to the band. Nerdy, anxious and revelling in its own simplicity, the album feels very much like typical Weezer, and appears to have neglected some of the better parts of the bands development in the last decade in order to capture this spirit. While this is no means a bad thing (the earlier records are better than the later ones), it seems to limit the overall longevity of the band, as well as it being disheartening a compromise in artistic vision in favour of fan service.
That being said, Weezer has proven to succeed in this goal; managing to craft an album full of catchy and entertaining power-pop songs.