Pop-rock greats redefine themselves in black on well-evolved thirteenth full-length
Laviea Thomas

16:39 1st March 2019

Having recently dropped their Teal covers album, Weezer are back, but this time with their own material. On the innovative Black Album, the pop-rock greats serve us a selection of well-evolved bangers. 

Their thirteenth studio album, Black Album offers a fresh playlist of new music with great track titles, including ‘Zombie Bastards’, ‘Byzantine’ and ‘High As A Kite.’ Opening with warped funk track, ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle,’ Weezer punch first with a strong upbeat cut that features prominent bass wobbles and hook-ridden riddles on the saxophone, making for a playful listen. 

In contrast, ‘Living In L.A.,’ ripples with a more cliché, indie-pop sound. The simple chord patterns, alongside singer Rivers Cuomo’s stapled vocal sound showcase a very fruitful and mainstream indie sound. The repetitive “ooh,” harmonies bounce on top of what sounds like a looping tap on a tambourine, creating a joyous pattern throughout. 

Following track ‘Piece Of Cake’ is definitely an interesting one: instrumentation implies a sombre, meaningful ballad, but the first line challenges us: “let’s do hard drugs, fix our problems,” Cuomo sings. A fluent theme woven through the album is Weezer’s harmonic loop of backing vocals, and whilst ‘Piece of Cake’ flows a lot lighter than the rest of the track-list, its witty lyrics are standout in comparison.

Whilst the band’s Teal Album landed - to much delight - in January this year, the Black Album has been eagerly-anticipated. Up in the air for three years as the band speculated release dates and themes, it’s finally here, having settled on ideas that pull from social media, the Bible and a dose of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 novel. 

Closing with electronica, and an unfamiliar rap/spoken word vocal, ‘California Snow’ wires in prominent guitar riddles and a dash of piano work. And with that, Weezer finish up an LP that has been years in the making, and that has easily redefined Weezer as one of the greatest pop-rock bands we have.