After two decades of underachievement, last year’s self-titled “White Album” at least marked a partial return to form for Weezer. Its Beach Boys influences are revisited here, then given a modern R&B twist courtesy of Rivers Cuomo’s co-writers, whose credits include Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jessie J songs. The crunching guitar of Mexican Fender, the harmonies of Weekend Woman and (the lazily titled) Beach Boys, and the pop smarts of Feels Like Summer all shine on a front-loaded collection. But the quality control flags badly later on; the wearyingly anodyne La Mancha Screwjob and Get Right, in particular, are buffed to the brink of featurelessness.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine