One could easily debate Rivers Cuomo and company’s right to that title, but it’s hard to dispute another observation that Kondabolu made. When he was 28, he said, he went to a Weezer concert and noticed that everyone around him was half his age. All these kids started looking at him “as if I was the creepy old dude.”
“And then I realized I wasn’t the creepy old dude in that situation,” he added. “Weezer are the creepy old dudes in this situation! They’re 40 year-old men who make music that, somehow, teenagers can relate to. Isn’t that a bit strange?”
Weezer’s latest album, Pacific Daydream, sounds too much like the kind of thing that Kondabolu’s talking about. Granted, its atypically bouncy beats make a nice change of pace from the band’s trademark arena-grunge formalism. Also, details like the job woes and the “scientist in sweatpants and a hair tie” in “Happy Hour” are welcome intimations of maturity.
This white flight sentiment makes the album’s glossy, dance-pop sound feel like a cynical ploy. It’s like Cuomo’s dangling the newfangled music out as bait for the latest crop of teenage album/ticket/download-buyers.
Actually, if Cuomo had said more stuff like this — that is, if he’d turned his lyrical and melodic gifts to some explicit self-reflection — he could’ve made Pacific Daydream truly touching. As it stands, he comes off a bit too much like the creepy old dude that Kondabolu envisions.