After an almost two year wait, Weezer has finally released their fifteenth studio album, “Van Weezer”. My hype for this album has faded since its original announcement, but I really enjoyed the singles and I loved their previous record released this year, “OK Human”, so I had pretty high hopes. However, while I do enjoy this project more than most of the records Weezer has released in the past five years, I still think “Van Weezer” is a mixed bag.

The concept of this album is easy enough to understand once you see the title - Weezer dishes out their usual nerdy, power pop sound that made them big, only the twist is they incorporate elements some guitar shredding stadium rock and heavy metal, mainly in the vein of, surprise, Van Halen. On paper this sounds like an absolutely ridiculous concept, but it actually results in some of their most fun music in years. The music works the best when they’re truly committing to the bit, combining their ear for catchy pop hooks and power chord music with arena sized drums, bombastic synths, and Van Halen style guitar riffs and solos that absolutely soar. When the band is truly embracing the idea, the music is fun, catchy, and hard to not love. I’d say the first half of this record is the most successful, and if the whole album was like those songs I could see myself giving this an 8/10, maybe even a 9/10.

Unfortunately, the second half of “Van Weezer” is where things start to go off course. For one, I think the stadium rock elements are dialed back or not as involved during this half, and without those bombastic elements the songs lose a great part of their charm, are harder to get lost in, and frankly make you focus on some of the more imperfect moments. Those moments usually come from Rivers Cuomo, who, while I think he did a solid job writing the first half, just seems to have a lot of lyrical duds in the second half. One big example is “1 More Hit”, where he takes away from an otherwise great and heavy instrumental with a lackluster vocal performance and lyrics that are way too on the nose and just plain cringey, even if I think his intention was to be a little tongue in cheek. I should also point one specific track, “Blue Dream”, that doesn’t really work at all during its runtime and is an absolute mess, but the worst part of it being the tacked on “Crazy Train” sample that really just does not work at all. Moments like I mentioned really bring the otherwise great first half down by a great amount.

Overall, while this album does have a lot of imperfections, I do think Weezer is still on an upswing compared to the music they released 2017-2019. The negative moments do drag the overall experience down, but I would still recommend listening to “Van Weezer” just for the genuinely great first half alone, and I hope that this and “OK Human” means there is more great music to come.

Sign in to comment.
More Reviews by BaddieBaphomet
Weezer - SZNZ: Summer
Jul 5, 2022
Weezer - SZNZ: Spring
Mar 21, 2022
Weezer - OK Human
Feb 1, 2021
Rate and review albums along with the AOTY community. Create an account today.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
More Reviews

AOTY July Playlist