A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Does Weezer know Weezer as well as Weezer thinks it knows Weezer?

Weezer continues to be a testament to longevity in a music industry that continually seems to capture artists, put them in the spotlight, and toss them off when someone younger comes around.  Weezer’s 10th album, colloquially known as “The White Album”, was released earlier this month to much fanfare.  The album satisfies the listener, but lacks any memorable moments.  The double edged sword of having written good music since 1992 is that audiences expect it.  The bar gets raised, and artists can’t keep up.

Weezer seems to have stumbled on a problem that most artists would never be around long enough to witness.  Weezer no longer sounds like Weezer.  Instead Weezer sounds like a derivative of a band that is a derivative of Weezer.  Weezer hasn’t been able to keep up with the genre they helped establish.  The rambling lyrics of their specific brand of indie-power-punk doesn’t seem novel anymore.  When listening to tracks all you can think about is how the song sounds like someone else.

“[Girl We Got a] Good Thing” belongs on a cheeky Fountains of Wayne album.  The rambling stream of consciousness that has characterized Weezer in the past no longer seems their own.  Meandering tracks like “Thank God for Girls” and “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” could be mistaken as new hits by Panic at the Disco or The Decemberists.

In total, the album is good.  If it was a debut album, critics would praise Weezer and talk about the bright future ahead of them, but in this fast world we live in nobody wants to listen to Weezer anymore.  Their are new bands to listen to who are more progressive, more experimental.  Take for example bands like Wolf Alice or Real Estate, who owe a fair bit to Weezer, yet are developing their own sound that fits a newer audience.

Weezer was revolutionary in the 90’s, no denying that, though like any art, once it is given to the world others will replicate its style until it is once again just pedestrian.  Weezer should either change their style or get out of music.  They have had a good run, but the show’s over.