Words by Nicholas Parco
It’s no secret that Weezer is a much different band today from the one that turned the alternative rock world upside down in 1994 with their self-titled debut (known by fans as “The Blue Album.”)
Since then, the California-based band has had a somewhat tumultuous history. Following up their debut with the masterpiece Pinkerton. At the time, it seemed as if nobody wanted to give Pinkerton the praise it deserved. This didn’t come until years later, after Weezer took an indefinite hiatus and underwent several lineup changes.
The biggest difference between the songs that made Weezer famous and their recent work is that the new material lacks emotion. Previous albums such as Raditude and Hurley are full of songs that sound more like pop than rock, and are full of collaborations with artists such as Lil Wayne and Jermaine Dupri.
Thankfully, the band takes a step in the right direction on their newest album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End.
The opening track “Ain’t Got Nobody” sounds like a flashback to 1994. With distorted, crunchy guitar chords and a classic Weezer-style anthemic chorus, it’s clear that producer Ric Ocasek (who worked with Weezer on the “Blue” and “Green” albums) had a heavy hand in trying to capture the sound that put Weezer on the map.
Following “Ain’t Got Nobody” is the album’s lead single “Back To The Shack.” Lead singer Rivers Cuomo confesses that he wishes the band stuck to its classic alternative rock sound, proclaiming, “Sorry guys I didn’t realize that I needed you so much/ I thought I’d get a new audience/ I forgot that disco sucks.” In a way, the track sounds like it could be a love letter to the time when Cuomo was making music at home in the early 90s, referenced on “In The Garage.”
“Lonely Girl” is a blend of Pinkerton and “Green Album”-era Weezer. The emotion in Cuomo’s vocals and lyrical subject will take you back to the first time you heard the Pinkerton b-side “Tragic Girl.” The music behind the words is more grungy than the band’s earlier material, fitting in more in with “Hash Pipe”-era Weezer.
Shades of the more forgettable Weezer show themselves in the middle of the album, on filler songs such as “The British Are Coming” and “Cleopatra.” On the final three tracks (which all bleed into each other), things pick up with the band doing their best to recreate the magic of 1994’s “Only In Dreams.”
Cuomo and company still have a ways to go to redeem themselves for the lackluster music they have released of late, but teaming up with Ocasek clearly paid off, as Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the band’s best effort since the underrated, self-titled “Red Album” in 2008. Hopefully they continue this trend going forward.
‘Everything Will Be Alright In The End’
© October 7th, 2014
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