On Weezer‘s eleventh studio album, Pacific Daydream, the band explores summer nostalgia against girl troubles for the perfect rock record of a new teenage era. Coming off their successful tour with Panic! at the Disco last summer, Weezer have continued their steady cycle of releasing a record, touring, recording, and then hitting their fans with another record before giving them a chance to breathe. It’s this newfound hot streak that has paved the way for Weezer’s evolving style that maintains the appeal of their origins. Pacific Daydream may be another chapter to Weezer’s discography, but it’s definitely a highlight of their recent releases.
“Mexican Fender” opens and sets the tone for the album, as Rivers Cuomo incorporates the classic “She loves me, she loves me not” line into the electric guitar-heavy chorus. The track narrates the highs of a past summer-fling, which seems to seep its way into numerous other songs as the record develops. Tracks like “Mexican Fender” may appear upbeat at the surface, but Cuomo has creatively intertwined his existential dilemmas with his craft for weekend anthems. “Beach Boys” follows this pattern, as Cuomo professes his love for the boy-band group in an intimate way, singing,” Turn it up/It’s the Beach Boys/Making my eyes get moist.” Juxtaposing the positive memories of belting Beach Boys lyrics with his aspirations to impress a girl, the audience gets a glimpse into Cuomo’s hopeless-romantic attitude that he seems to sweep under the rug.
“Feels Like Summer” and “Happy Hour” compliment each other unlike other tracks on the album, as both served as stand-out singles before Pacific Daydream‘s release. “Feels Like Summer” carries the message of the song in the title, as Weezer produces a track that could easily serve as the opening to a 90’s cult classic film. “Happy Hour” flips the mood of “Feels Like Summer” on its head, however, as Cuomo portrays his attempt to have a night on the town, but ultimately fail in his pursuits. The two tracks set up the dreamy presence for “Weekend Woman,” where Weezer provides the perfect song for any innocent schoolboy crushes.
The second-half of Pacific Daydream delves into the more intimate aspect of the record, as “QB Blitz” and “Sweet Mary” show how vulnerable Cuomo remains without his love by his side. It’s refreshing to hear Weezer tackle past relationships with a slower-tempo, as fans are used to their whacky lyrics and up-beat guitar productions masking the true meanings of their work. In fact, “Any Friend of Diane’s” completely breaks this past trend, closing the record with a gloomy spirit. The lines, “I became a big shot/And she got sick one day/I still have the map she drew for me/I’d be lost without it,” showcases Cuomo’s devastation over the loss of a lover, making the record more accessible and relatable to audiences.
Overall, Pacific Daydream is a refreshing addition to Weezer’s catalogue that not only satisfies fan desire, but also recruits the lonely listener to feel content in its arms. With summer sounds and vulnerable lyrics, this record encapsulates Weezer’s timeless persona that thrives in any season of the year.