Weezer is a band that follows the trends of Beck as an example. When you first heard them you were blown away by the simple rock then when you heard their second album Pinkerton you may have loved the intimacy, though it was dogged on when it was released. But after years of the same ol’ same ol’ you’ve come to realize that not all that they release is golden. If you’re not stuck in the blue album then you accepted that Maladroit was an epic release and that the white album was equally as solid. Then if you’re that honest, you can admit that Raditude and the red album left little to be desired.
Which brings us to the dilemma of their latest album OK Human. The album shows a dramatic shift from rock pop band to a more singer songwriter feel. While in some ways the sound is a welcomed change, in others it’s something that feels dated. As the band searches for an identity in a sound that’s swollen our ears over the past decade, this is the beginning of Weezer following trends rather than setting them. However what you get is far from different, but rather what you’re used to presented in a different package.
For starters, the album isn’t terrible and we’re always happy to hear a band take a new step in a different direction. The opener “All My Favorite Songs” is a great place to start, and it opens the album. Utilizing stringed instruments along with th traditional instruments, you realize quickly that the instrumentation is definitely not what you’re used to from the band. But honestly, that’s it. This is the same sound Weezer has had for years but with a different presentation. No risk music made for the masses.
“Grapes of Wrath” offers pop music with strings. “Mirror Image” attempts to go into a Paul Simon vein but really just stays within the realms of what the band always does. And “screens” is a close representation of that snappy upbeat bop that all Weezer albums contain. But that’s it really. For all of the guise that this is a different sound, or that it falls into a singer songwriter tone, it’s just Weezer with a different sheen on it. The only actual stand out of the album comes on “Dead Roses” where Cuomo sounds introspective. In actuality it’s another feel good album from the same band writing the same safe music. So don’t worry, the flying W won’t go away just yet. It’s still there just now it’s made of wood.
OK Human can be purchased directly from Atlantic Records. It’s also available to stream or download from all digital services. Weezer will be on tour beginning June 07 in Berlin, Germany at Wuhlheide until August 25 in Commerce City, CO at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Their tour dates can be located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Shawn Murphy.