Release date: 29 January 2021
Let's get this out of the way first: Yes, I listen to Weezer and I do like them!
To say 2020 was weird is an understatement. The endless Zoom calls and the wanton conversations of the "global situation". If there were a point in time where monotony was a large part of our lives, it was the 8-10 months that we all stayed at home. The good thing to come out of that was some really cool albums, one of them being "OK HUMAN" by WEEZER.
This album if anything is a departure from what us Weezer fans are used to. The distorted guitars, the heavy interluding riffs and the ironic lyricism of Rivers Cuomo. This time the band decided to go for a more orchestral and operatic inspiration. The opening song "All My Favourite Songs" is a healthy entree into the palatable 12 songs deep album that delves into the ideas of isolation, alienation and seclusion in the most Weezer way possible.
The intriguing aspect of the album is how the songs seamlessly blend into each other. None of the brash shifts like some other releases of the pandemic season (Fiona Apple's latest album comes to mind, a masterful piece indeed). When talking about the theme of monotony the song "Aloo Gobi" is one that tips the cap to what one may have felt through these times in the lines: "...same old dull routines, same Aloo Gobi". I must admit I loved the seamlessness which was the transition into the song "Grapes of Wrath", though not one of my favourites in the album, is more for the simple lyricism that this song stands out.
If one needs to talk about departure into more operatic elements of the album, "Numbers" is a song that truly captures it. The beauty lies in its plushness and interludes with the orchestra, the blending of the wanton words poured in to interject the chorus as well. It is a piece of great beauty, something that would ring in your ears for a while.
It takes a while for Rivers Cuomo to actually delve into such personal details lyrically. The song "Playing My Piano" is a peek into the daily routine in the Cuomo household. But somehow that song would be as relatable as they come especially considering how we are glued to our Zoom lectures and meetings. The line "Kim-Jong-Un could blow up my city, I wouldn't know", was something I personally related to. The staple melancholy of a Cuomo lyrical masterclass is the song "Mirror Image". Something miserably pleasing if there is such an oxymoron as that.
The melodic opening to "Screens" is what the pandemic has brought to our lives. Screens. The song talks about how we are to move past the fact that we are obsessed with screens that we would probably not even be capable of daily interactions. "Now the real world is dying, we are moving to the cloud".
There are lots of songs on this album that takes you to the zenith of a swoon, Bird With A Broken Wing" could just be that. The ballad takes you to a lasting remembrance into some lost out notion of self. The brilliance of Cuomo's lyrics makes it a really fun sing-along, the much-mentioned simplicity. Another one of those songs that would play for the years to come, Weezer being Weezer I suppose.
If there is a song that would make for a perfect character introduction or setting the mood for your day à la Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing down the street in 500 Days of Summer, that would be "Here Comes The Rain". It does not get catchier than this as it perfectly amalgamates the romance and the joy of a day, looking to something new.
The final two songs on the album settle us into the realisation of the better things to come as it sets for a groovier tone where the attention is taken to the music than the lyrics and if you cannot tap your feet to "La Brea Tar Pits" you really need some rhythm in your life.
The randomness of Cuomo's lyricism and the adventures he takes us on is what this album is made for. A departure from the signature Weezer sound into something like this is the kind of daring that one would expect from a band of the established stature as them. It is engaging, intriguing, and rather refreshing. While the new year brings in new challenges of the overused phrase, "the new normal", Weezer brings in the panache that was missing and much needed. I had a lot to say for this album for it as daring as they come, no trademark Weezer things just pure experimentation for the love of it. The Weezer nerd culture that mixes the authenticity of a rock voice with the foamy lather of a classical and operatic sounding board. It doesn't get better than this.
Featured Image: https://www.bcheights.com/2017/10/29/weezers-pacific-daydream-brings-summer-vibes-nonsensical-lyrics/ Album Art: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/819021882232722699/