Weezer – “Feels Like Summer” Track Review
Fresh off the release of their most pleasing album in quite some time, a lot is expected of Weezer going forward. It’s not so much that the veterans rediscovered their mojo on 2016’s The White Album (they’re always releasing great pop songs), more that they managed to satisfy the entire breadth of their fanbase with a single LP. Those looking forward could wrap their heads around Rivers’ new enigmatic song writing style (“Thank God For Girls”), those looking back could recall the Pinkerton glory days while sparking up (“Do You Wanna Get High?”) and everyone else could enjoy the band at their most melodic and soulful (“L.A. Girlz”). So what next? Anyone who has followed the latter half of the band’s career knows better than to guess, let alone expect more of the same.
Fittingly, “Feels Like Summer” certainly appears a radical side step. Rivers Cuomo’s vocal is thrust so far into the foreground on this bombastic pop offering that it feels like an active attempt to compete for radio airplay with the likes of Imagine Dragons. The chorus is more shocking still, recalling Chris Martin’s experiments with dance music (Mylo Xyloto), a sustained high note ushers in a faded drop. There is a sardonic twist, while the arrangement is shocking conventional and even slightly dated (the pre-chorus is straight out of 2013), there is despair lurking beneath the euphoria.
Weezer might be throwing their hands up in the air like they don’t just don’t care, but in actuality they are clinging on to their lover (and reality) for dear life. Exposing the hurt beneath the headrush certainly has its merits, but there is no escaping the fact that “Feels Like Summers” is almost entirely cribbed from other artists. Pop music moves a lightening pace (even in this nostalgic age) and there’s no two ways about it: this single is both dated and uninspired.
Every tone and each twist feels frustratingly familiar, largely because Weezer are not imitating the proud pioneers of pop and electronica, but the rockstars who pinched their dynamics to make chart smashes several years after these sonics ceased to be revolutionary. The desperation inherent in the cry of “stay with me a while” might prove effective, but its hard to warm to this catchy, but lightweight Xerox of a Xerox.
Regardless, there’s plenty of room for optimism. “Thank God For Girls” wasn’t typical of The White Album and “Feels Like Summer” might well be a lead single that ends up sticking out like a soar thumb on a well rounded LP.