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Album Review // WEEZER ‘Pacific Daydream’

Embracing change and knowing their best side – Pacific Daydream is the 2017 incarnation of Weezer.

Though it’s the biggest departure from the grunge-oriented soundscape Weezer are initially known for, Pacific Daydream carries out their classical elements in a brand new wrapping.

Opening with Mexican Fender, Weezer set the tone of the record right from the start. It pivots back to the golden mean of their craft with heavy distortion and glossed sonics, whilst still encompassing a sense of renaissance.

Whilst Beach Boys’ echoing staccato fails to register as something special, Feels Like Summer possesses a stoic grandness, not only making it one of Weezer’s biggest hits, but mapping out the band for a generation that has yet to feel the earworm hooks of Rivers Cuomo. There’s an eminent swagger drawing on R&B hit codes as well as the pop punk landscape Weezer usually trot. The ballsy combination of elements and seemingly curious approach to new turns colours not only Feels Like Summer, but Pacific Daydream as a whole. Old Weezer-fans may find it outlandish, and yet, it’s incredibly cautious of the band’s core identity.

Their balance between experimental and commercial is still intact, this time around drawing on the current pop tint that colours the music industry in 2017. Though they still manage to capture some 90’s grit within the soundscape, it’s obvious that Rivers and Co. are open to new tricks.

The allusions to R&B rhythms also bleeds into other tracks on the album. Happy Hour glitters with lyrical melancholy aligned with a sleek melody, balancing the edge between happy and sad.

Contextualising Pacific Daydream within the narratives of the pop landscape today, it wouldn’t be considered all that ground-breaking, yet Weezer bring in their eminent experience and edge to the table, attempting to hit a wider spectre than their settled fan base. At times they flourish, yet other attempts, such as Weekend Woman falls a bit flat.

QB Blitz’s guitar base throws in immediate sense of nostalgia, and with lyrical lines such as, “All my conversations die a painful death” the idiosyncrasy of River’s approach to heavy feelings is well and honestly represented. There’s a mature sense to the track, reminding you that despite the catchiness, Weezer are in fact all grown up guys now.

Following the more mellow footpath, Get Right is truly heartfelt, mounting into a dream juxtapose coloured by the sore lyrics and glittering beat.

Rounding off with Any Friend of Diane’s, it feels like a bit of a blunt note to end on. Over all, Pacific Daydream is a hook-filled beacon, drawing on California guitar-pop as much as old-school pop punk. Though the poster-boys for geeky outsider syndrome seem to have taken on the heat of the mainstream, it fits them well and shows an honest growth to the experimental trail that is Weezer’s discography.