Rivers Cuomo is 46 dude, that’s like, 4 less years than my dad. Rivers Cuomo is old enough to be my dad, man. Hold me.
Unfortunately for bands like Weezer, escaping the shadow of their earliest efforts (in this case the eternally vulnerable Blue and Pinkerton) proves very difficult. See, it’s hard to place a 46-year-old in a teenager’s shoes these days, and it seems fake to do so. Weezer have lost their piss and vinegar; they aren’t discontented anymore, which is what made their early albums ‘classics’. Knowing also that Rivers Cuomo is worth a neat 30 million also helps to undermine the sincerity. This fact makes it difficult to suspend your disbelief when they sing about eternal love and subsequent heartbreak.
There were quite a few moments on this thing which made me screw up my face and cough in disgust. Not least of which is when Rivers starts rapping about Cannoli’s and the like on “Thank God for Girls”. In this track Weezer are caricatures of a group of dads sitting in a room with a whiteboard brainstorming what the kids are into these days. It’s not even a good rap – in typical Weezer fashion they force lyrics out that don’t fit the rhythm of the song, and instead of being necessary as they have felt in previous offerings, they feel forced.
It’s also not a very technically proficient album. Most of what’s here is basic – four chords in a standard time signature. The songwriting process is lazy. Of course, writing four chord songs in standard timing is not a musical crime – most of the best music is written in such a way. However, when you do this, you better make damn sure you at least do something interesting. On this effort Weezer don’t do anything interesting; the lyrics are by the numbers and the instrumentation is very simplistic. Especially when compared to albums like Pinkerton – which has far more interesting instrumentation and a relatable concept that allows for actual individual self-expression as compared to the generalised dreck found here – The White Album falls woefully short.
Review by Eamonn Kelly