Weezer - “SZNZ: Spring” Album Review

Story posted March 29, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Evan Smith.

“SZNZ: Spring” marked Weezer’s first album of 2022. For many music artists, having one album in a year is a maximum but for Weezer, this is just the start. SZNZ is the name of their four-album series released throughout this year.

This may seem shocking, but Weezer has a history of rapid releases. Just last year, the group put out two successful albums about two months apart. However, quantity does not equate to quality for the band.

Lead-singer Rivers Cuomo has openly been constantly writing music for the entirety of Weezer’s career. Last year he released over 600 song demos to prove that. But when an artist is constantly writing, the music lacks inspiration. That is the case in “SZNZ: Spring.” 

While the name of the album suggests this to be a spring-themed story, the tracks instead focus on a slightly religious tone mixed with the sharing of love.

Let’s start with the positive aspects of the album. Cuomo and Weezer have consistently made beautiful sheet music for their instrumentals, and that remains the case on “SZNZ: Spring.” The tracklist relies on a series of soothing and flashy guitar melodies that keeps the album consistent.

The lead single for the album is “A Little Bit of Love” and it is the best track on the list. The song is a story of a hardworking man finally getting some love into his life. It’s a catchy tune with deep, touching lyrics. “Some Show it, some hide it, but there’s a battle we’re all fighting… a little bit of love goes a pretty long way.” These words are especially impactful in a current day society in which mental health is of utmost importance.

However, that single is the only song on the record that is worth listening to. Every other song lacks any real meaning while suffering further due to the lackluster vocal performance of Rivers Cuomo.

For all the skills that Cuomo has for writing instrumentals, he carries almost none when it comes to writing lyrics. Every Weezer release is plagued with nonsensical wordings and this release keeps on that trend.

“SZNZ: Spring” consists of only 7 songs lasting a total of just over 20 minutes. Yet somehow 17 minutes of that runtime feels like filler songs that serve no benefit to the work as a whole.

No deeper cut on the track-list has any real meaning behind its words.

The leading track “Opening Night” is a frustrating repetitive track that sounds like the background noise to an insurance commercial.

“Angels On Vacation” aims to tell the story of two people escaping their jobs, with a metaphorical take on religious history. The issue is that the stories include eating fries, turning any heartfelt meaning into a joke. The track ends with Cuomo strainingly yelling “Let’s go on vacation” in a vocal tone that sounds almost as painful as it would feel to sing.

The remaining tracks all suffer from these same issues. They’re all songs vaguely based on love and religion filled with so many nonsensical lines that it’s difficult to tell if this is a serious release or a series of songs written in a kindergarten classroom.

Throughout the whole album, Rivers Cuomo sounds as if he is in pain due to the amount of strain he is putting into his voice. This results in a scratchy, squeaking sound that is uncomfortable to listen to. The band threw in many scat-singing moments that extenuated the problem as well. It ruins a majority of the choruses on the album and takes away any replay value in the album.

If this is a preview of the remaining “SZNZ” albums, then Weezer will not be short on nominations for the worst music of the year.

Overall, “SZNZ: Spring” is a pointless 20-minute album consisting of filler music with ridiculous lyrics and an unpleasant vocal performance from Rivers Cuomo. Fans of Weezer will not hear anything unexpected. Those who aren’t a fan of the band are best to stay away from this offering.

Rating: 2/10

Reviewer’s favorite songs: “A Little Bit of Love” “Wild At Heart”

Reviewer’s least favorite songs: “Opening Night” “All This Love” “The Garden of Eden”

Evan Smith is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ers5828@psu.edu