Weezer (The Black Album)

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Weezer
Weezer cover
Studio album by Weezer
Released March 1, 2019
Format Digital, CD, LP, Cassette
Recorded 2015 - 2018
Genre Alternative
Length 37:33
Label Crush Music/Atlantic Records
Producer Dave Sitek
Professional reviews
Metascore 53
Weezer chronology
Weezer (The Teal Album)
(2019)
Weezer (The Black Album)
(2019)
Van Weezer
(2020)
Singles from Weezer
  1. "Can't Knock the Hustle"
    Released: October 11, 2018
  2. "Zombie Bastards"
    Released: November 21, 2018
  3. "High as a Kite"
    Released: February 21, 2019
  4. "Living in L.A."
    Released: February 21, 2019
This is for the 2019 album, for other uses of "The Black Album", see The Black Album (disambiguation).

Weezer, also known as "The Black Album", is Weezer's thirteenth studio album and sixth self-titled album. It was initially envisioned as a follow-up album to 2016's Weezer (The White Album). After several delays, the album was released on March 1st, 2019.

Overview

Cuomo first talked about the Black Album when appearing on Zane Lowe’s radio show in February 2016, saying the "White Album is cool ‘cause then next we can do a Black Album and it'll be like super dark. Already working on those songs. I just love contrast."[5]. The frontman followed up in March, indicating that he was planning to work with Jake Sinclair again, who produced the White Album. He wanted to do something radical and said “Jake, our producer, was very much the voice of conservatism, on the side of the old-school fans... He won on [White], and I'm gonna win on the next album, which is the Black Album.” He also stated that he had been working on the record for 6 months.[6]

In April, Cuomo gave more detail about the sound of the Black Album which he said would be coming out in a year. “The next album is going to feel like an urban environment, night-time and gritty and hopefully a lot more modern sounds, synthesized sounds, samples maybe. I like to break away from the distorted power-chord thing but it’s hard ‘cos it works so well”[7]. In another interview in April, he said that the Black Album would “require new psychological techniques, new writing techniques, new places to hang out, like Echo Park and Silver Lake. Psychoanalysis is going to play a big role. It's going to be more R-rated, with maybe swear words for the first time on a Weezer album"[8]. Cuomo later summarized the album's sound as “Beach Boys gone bad.”[9]

Pacific Daydream's announcement in August 2017 drew into question The Black Album's status, but in his talk with Zane Lowe he explained: "Initially, these songs were set aside in a Dropbox folder called "beach" until this folder started growing faster than the Black Album one did, and the album really came together." However, he insisted that the Black Album was still coming and was "pretty much ready." In November 2017, Rivers commented in an interview with Vulture that "if Pacific Daydream was one big step away from Weezer’s history, then The Black Album is ten of those."[10]

On October 9th, a (since removed) Yelp profile was created and shared by the official Weezer Twitter account. All of the reviews contained the words:
"Can't knock the hustle!

Hasta luego
Hasta luego
Hasta luego

adios."

All of the establishments reviewed notably contained the word "black" in their name. Later that day, the profile was deleted. The next day, a tripadvisor profile was created, continuing use of the word "black." These reviews were later revealed to contain lyrics from the album's lead single "Can't Knock the Hustle".

The phrase "Can't knock the hustle" is the title of a song by rapper Jay-Z off his 1996 album Reasonable Doubt. Jay-Z also has another famous album (that was intended to be his last) called The Black Album. It is unknown if this is a deliberate homage.

It was mentioned in an interview with The Woody Show on October 11, that the sound of the album would be a mix of the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Weezer. In January 2019, several music news outlets stated that the album would be officially titled Invasion Of Privacy. [11]. This was reverted later. It is unknown if it was a mistake.

Release

In an interview with Dazed, Rivers indicated a hope that the album would be out in May of 2018 and that it was almost done. On February 2nd, Rivers stated on an Australian Radio show that The Black Album was coming May 25, 2018. He also said that it was very similar to Pinkerton writing wise and Pacific Daydream would be the modern day Homie.

The first song to be released for the album was the single "Can't Knock the Hustle" on October 11, 2018. A second song, "Zombie Bastards", was later released on November 21, along with the album's release date of March 1, 2019. Two more tracks, "High as a Kite" and "Living in L.A."", were released back to back on February 21.

Scrapped tracks

In a November 2017 interview, Rivers mentioned the song "Runner-Up", which he called Pinkerton-esque, also saying "my piano is in there, but then there are all these electronic, dark elements that sound like nothing we’ve ever done." In May 2018, Rivers played a new song at a solo-acoustic set called "Cardigan Disaster", which matched the descriptions of the Black Album as the song includes the lyrics "midnight in the city" and featured swearing. It was later revealed to have been the intended first single for the album. At one point, the video eventually used for "Can't Knock the Hustle" was intended for this song under the new title "Midnight".

Track list

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Can't Knock The Hustle"  Rivers Cuomo 3:41
2. "Zombie Bastards"  Cuomo/Rami Yacoub 4:11
3. "High as a Kite"  Cuomo/Josh Alexander 3:48
4. "Living in L.A."  Cuomo/Jonny Coffer/Jerome Williams 3:38
5. "Piece of Cake"  Cuomo 3:17
6. "I'm Just Being Honest"  Cuomo/Ammar Malik/David Hodges 3:57
7. "Too Many Thoughts in My Head"  Cuomo 4:03
8. "The Prince Who Wanted Everything"  Cuomo/Brian Bell/Luther Russell 3:23
9. "Byzantine"  Cuomo/Laura Jane Grace 4:09
10. "California Snow"  Cuomo 3:32
Total length:
37:39

Personnel

  • Rivers Cuomo – guitars, lead vocals, piano
  • Patrick Wilson – drums
  • Brian Bell – guitars, backing vocals, keyboard
  • Scott Shriner – bass guitar, backing vocals, synthesizers
  • Dave Sitek - production, engineering
  • Lisa Boldyreva - assistant engineering
  • Matty Green - mixing
  • Eric Boulanger - mastering
  • Michael Beinhorn - pre/post production
  • Jason Hiller - additional guitar engineering
  • KoOoLkOkAk - additional production ("Can't Knock The Hustle")
  • Money Mark - keyboards ("Can't Knock The Hustle" & "Byzantine")
  • Jonny Coffer - co-production ("Living in L.A.")
  • Jerome Williams - additional production ("Living in L.A.")
  • Todd Simon and Sam Robles - horns ("The Prince Who Wanted Everything")


See Also