Weezer Devotes New Album ‘Pacific Daydream’ to The Beach Boys
Eleven albums in and Weezer is still crooning about California love – this is a good thing. With their latest effort, “Pacific Daydream,” lead singer Rivers Cuomo dedicates much of the sonic choices to one of his obsessions, The Beach Boys. It was only a matter of time before the two West Coast disciples met by way of a new Weezer album. Out Oct. 27, “Pacific Daydream” is a genuine love letter to the sounds of sunshine.
It’s no surprise Weezer’s lead singer was widely influenced by California devotees The Beach Boys. Not only is the album title something Brian Wilson and company could totally relate to, but the brightly-colored soft-rock that flows through the veins of the band’s eleventh studio effort follows the same sonic delivery and innocent romanticism as they did in the 1960s. Weezer even made an effort to name one of the singles after them. “Beach Boys” finds reverbed guitar leading to praise as Cuomo mentions a “gorgeous four part harmony” before hitting that famously high tenor that Wilson used to showcase during “Pet Sounds.” There’s more to pull from this tune, however, as Cuomo sings an interesting segment calling out the modern obsession with hip-hop which has subsequently pushed bands like The Beach Boys – and Weezer – to the wayside. “Everyone wants to be cooler than everyone else,” he posits, “It’s a hip-hop world/And we’re the furniture.” That said, the band clearly finds a way to inject elements of hip-hop into “Pacific Daydream.” Both “Happy Hour” and “Feels Like Summer” elicit subtle rap beats with the latter even showing Cuomo’s pseudo-rap skills. Don’t get it twisted though, both songs still maintain the uppity pop vibrancy that Weezer is known for. The album’s producer, Butch Walker (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift), is one of the reasons for this professional sounding effervescent, and also one of the reason “Pacific Daydream” feels so cohesive.
The distortion-infused guitar on the album-opening “Mexican Fender” changes pace from mid-tempo to charging rock during the bridge which romanticizes, well, California romance. It’s said that the song was written about La Sera front woman Katy Goodman. In a move that shows Cuomo’s true creative approach to all things music, he took to Genius, the lyric-explanation website, to post screen shots from his phone to reveal tidbits about lines in this song. Next to the line “Ever since you came ‘round,” the notation from Cuomo shows a very meta email, presumably to be Katy herself, asking if she would be cool with him posting to “the lyric-explanation site, genius.com.” He went on to ask “Or would you rather keep all of this a secret?” This album is full of cheeky tidbits like this. “La Mancha Screwjob” apparently takes its title from a RadioLab episode, something podcast listeners will appreciate. “QB Blitz” uses football terminology to reference loneliness while “Weekend Woman” reworks both “Burning Sun” and “Weekend Girl” from past Weezer albums to craft a fresh take on lost love via happy-go-lucky bell ringing.
“Pacific Daydream” is exactly what you’d expect from a band who has always adored love songs, more specifically California love songs. The charming lyrically prowess of Cuomo alongside his seasoned bandmates have made this album yet another in a long line delightful gems. Cuomo has said he wanted to make a “different-sounding” record this time around. But what he ended up making was simply another really, really good Weezer record.
“Pacific Daydream” is available Oct. 27 on Apple Music.