Weezer: OK Human (Crush Music/Atlantic) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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OK Human

Crush Music/Atlantic

Feb 03, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If you had told a Weezer fan in the ’90s that in 2021 Rivers Cuomo would be singing “I’m gonna rock my Audible headphones, Grapes of Wrath” over 20 years later, they would first ask “What’s Audible?” and after you, the time traveler, explain the audiobook software, I don’t think they would believe that a band that just wrote Pinkerton would be singing about audiobooks (and participating in product placement).

In the almost 30 years that Weezer has been a band they’ve released 14 studio albums, with a 15th Van Weezer supposedly on the way. Throughout this time Weezer has changed, expanded upon, and sometimes stepped backward in terms of lyrics and sound, oftentimes looking to create something uniquely Weezer-y—or Weezer-esque if you will—whether that thing was cringey or innovative, and sometimes even both. On OK Human however, they’ve managed to yet again change what a Weezer album can sound like.

Lyrically, the album sounds like Weezer in a way that showcases a natural progression in Cuomo’s songwriting. While other albums have songs that have layers and layers of double meaning dripping in irony—often to the point that even the above-average listener struggles to pinpoint which meaning was intentional—OK Human is upfront and subtle in all the right ways. “Playing My Piano” muses on the pain of Zoom interviews, “Screens” questions his daughter’s inability to look away from her phone, and “Numbers” talks about social comparison through numerical figures. Much like what ends up being Weezer’s best material, Cuomo tells specific stories with larger meanings existing within them. OK Human succeeds lyrically because it’s not Cuomo trying to remake Weezer’s early hits, it’s him talking about more-relevant-to-adult-life topics in his own way.

Musically the album is far off from anything Weezer has done to date. The producer Jake Sinclair, who also worked on their 2016 LP Weezer (The White Album), has helped make some of their best work in the past 10 years. For OK Human, Sinclair suggested the band hire a 38-piece orchestra, a move that pushed the album away from some of the typical cheesiness a Weezer album usually contains. Coming in at just over 30 minutes, the songs are also shorter than that of other albums, which allows for sharper, more polished tracks.

When talking about Weezer albums there have often been more misses than hits. OK Human however, positions itself more toward the latter. Although the album is fresh, it’s still distinctly Weezer-y and may not necessarily be for non-Weezer fans. The record isn’t groundbreaking material, but it’s definitely nice to have a new Weezer album that isn’t trying to recreate their old material and instead looks to the future of their sound. (www.weezer.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Logan Jones
February 4th 2021

I think that this is a good album. Being only 15, I haven’t been around for Weezer’s earlier music however, I became a huge fan of their first album along with Pinkerton. This album is very different and unique. I really like the orchestra. I think it adds a whole lot more that gives the music more depth and really makes it more complex. It has a lot of great tracks. I personally don’t think it will go down as one of their more popular albums but it is definitely a good album. 7/10