Since their first album in 1994, alternative rock band Weezer has produced 13 albums of singable melodies and guitar shredding. The band released their 14th album seemingly out of nowhere called, “OK Human,” on Jan. 29, the creative vision of the tracklist creates an album that pushes the boundaries of Weezer’s comfort zone.
Weezer’s ability to ditch their signature guitar-dominated sound for a 38 piece orchestra helped create a personal atmospheric sound throughout the 12-track album. Fans will be pleased to hear the passion and meaning that frontman Rivers Cuomo pours into every lyric.
The opening track, “All My Favorite Songs,” immediately sets the tone for the album. It highlights the many contradictions going on in Cuomo’s head such as: “I love parties, but I don’t go / Then I feel bad when I stay home.” This catchy, radio-friendly track has a quirky chorus that is sure to captivate fans.
“Aloo Gobi'' is another case of Cuomo’s genius ability to create a chorus that will have the crowd at a Weezer concert singing along. The chorus, “Oh-oh-oh my God, what’s happenin’ to me? / Walkin’ down Montana, woah-oh,” highlights one of the best baroque pop songs in recent memory.
The track, “Grapes of Wrath”, showcases the string section of the orchestra with a melodic arrangement. The song itself is about Cuomo’s love for reading a book through his Audible subscription. Cuomo conveys this with lyrics like, “Count on me to show support for Winston Smith in 1984 / Cause battling Big Brother feels more meaningful than binging zombie hordes.”
“Playing My Piano” is the most tuneful track on the album because it sounds like it was out of a musical. The track highlights the feelings Cuomo has when he plays his piano while embracing somber themes like his neglect of certain aspects of life. The track sounds influenced by the classic rock band Queen with its unique song structure and a silky piano tone.
One enjoyable aspect that was present throughout “OK Human” were the beautiful transitions between each song. A perfect example of this was the transition from “Playing My Piano” to “Mirror Image.” “Mirror Image” felt like a finale to “Playing My Piano” with Cuomo realizing that his partner is everything. It truly is an epic finale to the first half of the album, and it’s the perfect song to close a concert with.
“Screens” kicks off the second half of the album, and is the most dull track on the record. While the meaning of the song emphasizes the absurd amount of time people spend on their devices, it lacks the substance exhibited by other tracks on the album.
“Bird with a Broken Wing” sounds like a track that would fit in perfectly with the first half of the album. The track is one of the standouts because the string section and Cuomo’s storytelling creates a beautiful final product. The lyrics are about someone who is down on their luck while being completely content in their current situation..
The tracks “Dead Roses” and “Everything Happens For A Reason” sound like rough drafts that need more tuning.
“OK Human” ends on a high note with two of the best tracks on the album, “Here Comes the Rain” and “La Brea Tar Pits.” Both tracks are the most upbeat lyrically with its positive outlook on the future.
Weezer’s risk to change their signature sound of guitar shredding and catchy melodies to a baroque pop sound paid off immensely on “OK Human.” The album’s personal lyrics and beautiful orchestral sound make this Weezer’s best album in over a decade.