It takes a certain wild-eyed hope to be a Weezer fan in 2016. The constant cycle of new album, convincing yourself that it’s good before finally accepting that it is actually a bit rubbish is tough to live with. Particularly when you have to stand them next to that back catalogue. So it is with a slight nervousness that you press play on The White Album for the first time.
So is it good? Well quite frankly, yes. Yes, it is. And not in a way that takes some self-convincing. The White Album is the best thing Weezer have put their name to in years, and it may just be a sign that there is some fuel left in that tank yet.
You can almost tell that from the first track, with ‘California Kids’ sweeping over you like a warm bath. It has everything you want from a Weezer song. That nerdy almost uncomfortable feeling that gives it a bit of edge but more importantly the fact that half way through your first listen you are going to be singing along with every word. It’s a song that makes you feel like the wind is blowing through your hair and maybe you would like to learn to surf.
Which is an indescribable feeling really, but one that permeates all the great Weezer albums. It’s the Beach Boys for a socially awkward generation, and this is the album where they’ve finally nailed that feeling again. Most of Weezer’s recent releases have sounded like a band trying to copy Weezer. An attempt at that slightly quirky feel that Rivers Cuomo (who is still one of the best lyric writers out there) made his own but then managing to overdo it and forget that sometimes simple is better.
This is an album made for summer days. For walking around town with your headphones in and a skip in your step. You can’t turn it on without feeling a bit happier than you did before pressing play, and there is not a dud track on it. Weezer might just be back and this time, it really is true.