Toto drummer Steve Porcaro told KROQ, “You know, we listened to ‘Beverly Hills.’ I wanted to maybe even do a real ‘Africa’-type version of that, I was thinking about for a minute. But you know what? We wanted to make it different, but we wanted to do something rock ‘n’ roll. I wanted to show everyone what a good rock ‘n’ roll band we can be. I love the band. I love their music. [Lead singer] Joseph [Williams] and I were listening to different ones trying to figure out which ones he’d like to sing and we settled on ‘Hash Pipe.’”
Weezer have hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their cover of “Africa.” Their version of the Toto classic, in at No. 89, is their highest charting song since “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” reached No. 81 in 2009.
“This other album just kind of materialised,” he said. “I had two folders on my Dropbox: one was ‘The Black Album’, and it didn’t get filled as quickly as this other folder, which I temporarily titled ‘New Folder’. That one filled up with ten songs that were definitely different, but not quite as different as The Black Album. So, we put a name on it – Pacific Daydream – and put that out first.”
Over the span of nearly 25 years, Weezer have come to be known for a lot of things – frontman Rivers Cuomo’s absurdist lyrics, the goofy Beach Boy persona that seems to contradict his well-documented reclusiveness, a series of self-titled albums known by their respective color palettes – but staying in one place for long has never been one of those things. And so it is unsurprising following the relative critical success of 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End and 2016’s Weezer (White Album) that Pacific Daydream is an inconsistent album by a band whose entire career could be defined by the very same word.
If Pacific Daydream doesn’t sound like the album fans expected, it’s likely because it wasn’t the album the band originally intended to deliver. Fans of Weezer (White Album) rejoiced when Cuomo spoke of a darker, more experimental follow-up, naturally titled Weezer (Black Album). But that same praise seemed to push the band in another direction as he soon began curating a different project. Pacific Daydream is still dark and, at times, experimental, but only in the sense that it occasionally sheds the quirks Weezer have become known for in favor of generic indie-pop largely targeting the same college radio stations inhabited by bands like Twenty One Pilots and Fitz and the Tantrums.