If their self-titled debut, The Blue Album, was the classic and its follow-up, Pinkerton, was the deep fan favorite, then their third, also self-titled, The Green Album, would be the perfect blueprint with which to continue. Weezer have made basically that album every couple of years with some curve balls thrown here and there. There’s no rating these albums after the first three. They’re just all forever tied at fourth place, indistinguishable from one another.
Now, The White Album isn’t a bad album. It’s ten more Weezer songs by Weezer. It’s a situation where using the bland, descriptionless term “good” actually applies. A for effort. Nice job. Good work. We’re proud of Weezer. We admire Rivers. We’re just happy they’re still going. Weezer always get their gold stars. But, it probably won’t often call to be heard in the middle of the night. Red, blue, white, green. For Weezer, it hardly matters what color it is anymore.
Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Scott Shriner and drummer Patrick Wilson stand on the beach for the light whites and greys album cover. The White Album is definitely Weezer’s feel good California dreamin’ album. Something that might kick off a drive to the beach. It fades in and fades out with the sounds of waves cresting, seagulls in the sky and children playing. The sunshine peaks with first song, “California Kids.” Cuomo sings about the aftermath of moving West. “All your own friends / Chilling back in Boston / You never forgot them,” he sings. It’s a jumpy tune unmistakably Weezer complete with background ooh-wa-oohs and one of the best on the album.
The two strongest tracks are the first two singles. On “Thank God For Girls” Cuomo’s teenage nervousness rises to absurd, sweaty heights. It opens on a chilling organ with punchy piano, an instrument featured much more than usual throughout. The song’s chorus falls down with a three-man harmony like the Beach Boys locked in a garage with no AC. Cuomo sounds manic, running out of breath, spewing lyrics about cannolis and the battle between Adam and God over a rib that leaves Adam a lonely dweller of the world. It really hurts, but in that weird Weezer way you just can’t put your fat finger on.
The other great song is “Do You Wanna Get High?” a late-night drug tale. It’s Weezer slow-chugging classically with deep syrupy guitars. Cuomo asks the title of the song over and over like he’s leaning, leaning and about to fall on your carpet. “Don’t need no dinner tonight / I took a trip to Mexico / And scored a hundred count,” he reassures everyone.
The other songs are fine songs, but somewhere past 50 on the all-time great of Weezer’s catalogue. “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing” and “King Of The World” are super duper tunes. They’ll make you wanna walk in the sunshine kicking your foot out in front with each step. Cuomo moans for a beachbum babe over a constant guitar crush on “L.A. Girlz.” He belts out the lyrics so hard that it lacks all feeling. That strained frog-in-the-throat vocal he hits gets more and more unnerving. Then on the piano laden “Jacked Up” Cuomo’s falsetto hits the chandelier. He works within his own range, I’ll give him that. Keep fighting for rock and roll, Rivers.