Over the last 23 years, Weezer has been one of the staples in popular music. From their classic 1994 “The Blue Album” that featured iconic songs like “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone,” 2016 finds the band as a popular, yet aging group that has been grasping for straws over their last couple of releases.
For this release titled “Weezer” like most Weezer albums but known as the “White Album,” frontman Rivers Cuomo found inspiration by visiting and living in West L.A. in places like Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Cuomo also downloaded the popular dating app, Tinder to meet with individuals on a strictly platonic level and get ideas for the album.
In an interview with Pitchfork, Cuomo said of the album, “The inspiration behind the songs were my experiences hanging around the Westside of Los Angeles, which has been our home since Weezer began. Hanging out with people in Venice and Santa Monica, the beach, the Hare Krishnas, the Sikh on roller blades with the guitar, girls on Tinder within a 4-mile radius, seeing other bands, the kids from La Sera. I would just tweet out ‘does anybody wanna hang?’ and then I’d get together with people who responded and talk about life. I love California. I wanted the album to make you feel like you were there with us SoCal weirdos even if you’re in Milwaukee in December.”
The social experiment worked for Cuomo as “The White Album” is filled with sunny vibes reminiscent of the Beach Boys combined with the crunchy power chords of vintage Weezer. The entire album is wrapped around the idea of Los Angeles beach culture, with songs like “California Kids,” a back catalog song from years ago, “Do You Want to Get High” that deals with Cuomo’s past drug addiction and “King of the World” which examines Cuomo’s past experience with his marriage.
The concept behind the music is refreshing and songs like “Thank God for Girls” and “LA Girlz” are great Weezer tracks to add to an already impressive catalog. While they might never reach the weirdness of the “The Blue Album,” “The White Album” has a place in Weezer’s discography as a primary color.
Album: “The White Album”
Release date: April 1, 2016