Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Weezer

Island, 2014

http://www.weezer.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/20/2014

Weezer fans have called this the band’s best album since 2002’s Maladroit, and they are not wrong. Part of that is the return of strong songwriting free from a lot of outside intervention and striving for relevance clutter, and part of it is nostalgia for the band’s first few albums, to which this is comparable.

That is by design, which Rivers Cuomo makes clear at least three times throughout the record in lyrics and several times musically. Nearly apologizing for Raditude and Hurley on the second song “Back To The Shack,” Cuomo sings “Sorry guys, I didn’t realize that I needed you so much / I thought I’d get a new audience but forgot that disco sucks / I ended up with nobody and I started feeling dumb / Maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums.” Granted, this is probably the most self-aware lyric on a disc (and career) full of them, but it’s also a paean to fans: Come back. We’re not that cool and we know it, but you loved us before, and you will love us again.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

To that end, producer Ric Ocasek is back on board, giving these songs the same shiny pop rock sheen as before. Chunky opener “Ain’t Got Nobody” roars out of the gate with some of the crunchiest guitars ever on a Weezer record, a one-note monster chord that gives way to four chord power riffing, an expected solo and a couple minor-key verse breaks. It’s what this band does well, and it’s good to hear it again.

“Back To The Shack” and “Eulogy For A Rock Band,” as said, are the most overt self-referential pieces, and while neither is a great song, fans will probably appreciate the sentiments. The disc then moves through more loud, confident and not terribly memorable power pop, rarely pausing for air but always having fun (the whistling that starts “Da Vinci” and the Bethany Cosentino duet “Go Away” are examples). “Cleopatra” is a highlight, an insistent acoustic strum giving way to a somewhat melancholy yet energetic pop song, punctuated with an out-of-place headbanging riff coming out of the chorus.

Closing the disc, of all things, is a three-part suite entitled “The Futurescope Trilogy,” which isn’t nearly as prog rock as it sounds but which features a lot of jamming, giving Cuomo a chance to play guitar hero with nods to hair metal and prog metal filtered through a pop sheen (so, Queen). If Pinkerton ever gets made into a Broadway musical, this suite would be the opening cut. It’s a bit ridiculous and a lot of fun, proof that Weezer is back where they belong.

Unlike previous outings, there really is no obvious choice for hit single, nor is there a ballad like “Say It Ain’t So,” and while many of the songs are hooky and immediate they don’t leave much of a lasting impression the way Weezer’s best songs do. But it’s an album of energy, attitude, a hint of ambition and a call to longtime fans who forgot about these guys somewhere around 2003. It’s not a great album, but a fun one and certainly Weezer’s best album in a decade.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


Comments









© 2014 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Island, and is used for informational purposes only.