OK Human – Weezer
Nick Levy March 18, 2021
By Nick Levy
Weezer will forever be one of those bands regardless of whether you hate or love them, you’re always going to find yourself singing along to their countless catchy songs. In early September of 2019, the bands Weezer, Green Day, and Fallout Boy announced they were coming together for the Hella Mega Tour in 2020, which was going to be a major series of arena shows with three blockbuster names traveling and performing together. However, when the pandemic hit, it placed a major kink in that plan. The pandemic unfortunately lead to a postponement in both the concert tour, as well as Weezer having to delay the release of their upcoming album Van Weezer. With the mass success of Weezer’s single Hero off their upcoming album, many of us were heavily anticipating the next chapter in Weezer’s catalog. Van Wheezer was being highly anticipated to be a much more classic rock take on Weezer’s sound, perfect for arena tours. However, aside from the single “Hero”, 2020 was rather a quiet year for the band.
Yet, we were pleasantly surprised with the release of another one of Weezer’s projects, OK Human on January 29th, 2021. Ok Human shows us that Weezer was quietly staying busy with multiple albums in the works for 2020.
Kicking off Ok Human is their widely successful single, “All My Favorite Songs”, a song that many of us can relate to especially amidst the pandemic blues. While I personally love the song for its very upbeat sound that follows the classic Weezer sound, ultimately, it’s the song’s message that makes me believe this may be one of Weezer’s best songs written. The message is rather quite deep and somewhat saddening. The song is ultimately about the paradoxical feelings of love and hate, feeling a little lost in life, and what it’s like to have contradicting desires in life. A very strong message for a lead single of this album, but ultimately believe it sets the overall theme for the rest of the album.
The following track, “Aloo Gobi” takes you into Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer, reminiscing about a typical social night of his prior to the pandemic hitting, and his realization that he may have taken his pre-pandemic life for granted, as he is now bored and lonely. As for the song following the previous, Cuomo mentioned in an interview with Audible, “Grapes of Wrath” is ironically a catchy song about Cuomo discovering the wonders of listening to audiobooks late at night and how they can truly spark one’s imagination.
The rest of the album slows down and taps much more into the baroque pop sound with the much more melodic style, string accompaniment, and storytelling in place. I felt particularly the songs “Dead Roses”, “Playing my Piano”, and “Bird with a Broken wing” all fit beautifully with the overall tone of the album.
While Ok Human’s sound is much different from what we were previously expecting, Rivers Cuomo only continues to innovate the Weezer sound in new ways with each release. Cuomo always manages to do so in a way that provides a breath of fresh air with each album, while still keeping the familiar and comforting lonely garage rock sound that so many of us have become fond of over the years. In Ok Human, the band displays a much more baroque pop sound featuring a 38-piece orchestra accompaniment to the album. Personally, I felt that while this wasn’t the album we asked for, it most certainly was an album we needed.
Weezer has cemented its presence in the rock world over the course of three separate decades of garage rock and heartfelt melodies that manage to connect with both indie teens and older fans alike. While OK Human is a much different sound from their previous albums, Weezer manages yet again to prove they are continuously innovating and able to produce material that has kept and continues to keep them popular over all these decades.
Favorite songs: “All My favorite Songs”, “Aloo Goobi”, and “Playing my Piano”