California Snow Stereogum track review

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"California Snow"
California Snow cover
Review by {{{Artist}}} by Chris DeVille
Album Weezer (The Black Album)
Reviewer Stereogum
Published September 20, 2018
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Weezer (The Black Album)

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California Snow
Reviewer: Chris DeVille (Stereogum)
Publishing date: September 20, 2018
Rating: Mixed

“California Snow,” the new Weezer song from the Spell soundtrack, begins with a deluge of shimmering keyboards and a massive surge of synth bass that’s just begging for an EDM drop. It appears Rivers Cuomo is back to his old crossover ambitions — and with Weezer’sAfrica” cover getting rotation on top 40 stations, I guess this is as good a time as any for some craven attempt to replicate Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots.

But man, it’s a disrespect to Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots to suggest they’d ever open a song with the lyrics, “Walk soft with a big stick/ I love playing guitar, it’s sick/ This is the definition of flow/ Nobody cold as this.” And yet, there he is, 48-year-old white ur-geek Rivers Cuomo, telling you his flow is sick while riding a tidal wave of electro-rock production. The song, which appears during comedy/drama/thriller Spell’s closing credits, is also accompanied by a campaign promoting the fictional Rivers Haskell Family Therapy, billboard, website, and all. It’s kind of a head-scratcher — both the marketing and the music itself.

I’ll give him this: “California Snow” is as catchy as any Weezer song on record. The hook, “California snow/ Never let me go,” is a monster. And by the time the third verse drops in — Cuomo sing-rapping, “C’mon Judas, gimme a kiss/ I can’t take no more of this,” pianos plinking, low-end rising triumphantly from below, searing lead guitar splitting the difference between “The Blue Album” and The Chronic — I have to admit I find myself acclimated to this latest bizarre stab at ubiquity. I am on record arguing that we should stop trying to force Weezer to be the band they were in the ’90s, although at the time I was defending a much more tasteful set of pop songs than this. Does that mean you should like this? Certainly not; you do you. I guess I’m just saying let Rivers do Rivers too.

— Chris DeVille, September 20, 2018

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