Weezer : OK Human Review
Weezer is now releasing their fourteenth studio album called OK Human. Weezer is known for its big rock with pop-rock elements, Alternative rock, emo, and pop-punk. However, with OK Human, Weezer brings a new sound to the turntable with its inspiration in the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Weezer’s frontman Rivers Cuomo wrote the music at the piano, and the band spent the summer of Covid-19 in the studio along with a 38-piece orchestra. The masked recording sessions were all done using analog technology until the record was complete. The result is twelve songs packed with some of the best, most personal songs Cuomo has written in the last decade, all of which shine clearer and robustly with an orchestra of strings, percussion, and horns. The orchestrations were done by producer Jake Sinclair and arranger Rob Mathes.
“Aloo Gobi” has a catchy melody based on a motif that is repeated. The orchestration of strings and steady acoustic guitars and piano keeps Cuomo’s vocals and lyrics in frame. This is a classic melody that still has all the elements of Weezer but is augmented with the orchestra’s rich sounds. The instrumental interlude is building and takes the song to the bridge figure that builds and is very much an emotional moment. The break-down and ending chorus is charged with the orchestra’s colors.
“Bird With A Broken Wing” takes the listener bit by bit through a soundscape of well-written lyrics, strings; it’s a Technicolor symphonic spree. This being the first time Weezer has featured a full orchestration on any of their records, it sounds surprisingly natural and unified. With impressive charts by producer Sinclair and arranger Mathes, the band bends its collective sound to the customary Weezer melodies. As for the vocals, they are exemplary; each phrase tells a story with unique sagacity and charisma.
OK Human waxes poetic on themes of loneliness, disconnection, and reaching middle age alongside references to Mrs. Dalloway, Blackpink, the La Brea Tar Pits, Audible, and vegetarian Indian takeout, among others. Weezer shows a profound sound pallet past the alt haze of the 90s, creating a beautiful orchestral pop album with excellent, enduring melodies.
January 29, 2021