American rock band Weezer’s most recent album, Pacific Daydream, is a refreshing reinvention. A collection of ten songs takes listeners on a tour. Together, they explore enigmas such as love, happiness, death and acceptance. Mainly creating music of alternative genre, Weezer mixes things up by sticking with classic rock instruments and pairing them with synthesized vocals and occasional electronic melodies. Pacific Daydream exerts a 2014 Andrew McMahon vibe: tinges of yearning for the younger days of innocent heartache are accompanied with no real direction in life.
Each song has its own unique melody and rhythm and offers a variety that leaves little room for boredom. While each song tends to have upbeat and carefree tempoes, as mentioned before, the lyricism is much more serious. A great example of this is “Any Friend of Diane’s.” The song is set to rapid, yet soft strumming of an acoustic guitar with electronic undertones, giving it a simple feel. Upon inspection of the writing, however, one begins to feel the emotional depth of the song. Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer, sings of a girl he used to know that helped him on his path to success, and shows his affection for her by including “any friend of Diane’s is a friend of mine.” Near the end of the song Cuomo reveals that the girl, “Diane,” after having been supportive of the lead singer, becomes very ill. He still has the map she “drew,” emphasizing the past tense of the verbiage, and one can assume that the girl has died. This contrast creates a complexity that makes the purposeful.
“Mexican Fender” is another highlight. The song’s intro is reminiscent of the infamous scene in the 1984 film Sixteen Candles, when Sam walks away from Jake at the dance. Essentially, the song embodies awkward young love that really has no beginning, end, or direction: it just exists. Lyrically, “Mexican Fender” paints a story in the listener’s mind as the singer debates the intensity of his romantic circumstance. The catchy repetition of “She loves me, She loves me, She loves me not” captures the confusion of love.
While most of the songs are upbeat with electric backgrounds, “QB Blitz” was strikingly different. The song sports a slow tempo with melancholic lyrics and a soft voice. The theme of the song revolves around the hardships of growing up and learning how to cope with life. It stands out in comparison to the rest of the upbeat album and, therefore, isn’t the most fun to listen to.
The album is full of entertaining beats and tasteful guitar solos, as well as clever lyrics that tell relatable stories. The switch from traditional alternative music to the use of synthetic elements allows Weezer to break the mold from their past and reinvent themselves. This switch will hopefully allow them to reach fans of all sorts of genres, while allowing the aging band to continue in growth.