Weezer return with their fourteenth studio album “OK Human”. The band has been teasing this album and another album “Van Weezer” since 2019. “Van Weezer” was originally supposed to launch before “OK Human” however, the album suffered long delays due to COVID-19 and as a result. “Van Weezer” is currently slated to release on May, 7th 2021. The time between announcement and release for “OK Human” was very short, the band announced the album’s release just 11 days before its January 29th release date.
On January 21st, Weezer dropped the first and so far, only single off the album titled “All My Favourite Songs”. Despite being accompanied by beautiful orchestral pieces and some of the most powerful vocals that frontman Rivers Cuomo has recorded in his career, the often poor and repetitive writing manage to disappoint throughout the album. Cuomo says that the writing process for this record began back in 2017, and apart from the title track, all of the songs are written by himself. While “All My Favorite Songs” is not a bad song, I find it hard to believe that it took four people to write “all my favorite songs are slow and sad, all my favorite people make me mad, everything that feels so good is bad, bad, bad, all my favorite songs are slow and sad”.
The tracks on “OK Human” seem to lack variation, this usually would be considered negative when talking about any other album, but in the case of “OK Human”, it is a double-edged sword. The flow and transition between tracks on the album are seamless as a result but the lack of variation seems to be a source of frustration and disappointment for many listeners.
One track I’d like to highlight is “Screens”, which offers what are easily some of, if not the best vocals and instrumentals on the album. My main issue with “Screens” is with the lyrics. technophobia seems to have been a big point of focus for Cuomo when writing this album, which is fitting considering the album title is a play on Radiohead’s “OK Computer” from 1997. “Screens” seems to be an attempt to provide an exaggerated view of our modern technological society, but instead it makes Cuomo look out of touch with society and can be simplified down to just being another “phone bad, boomer song”. I think there is a sense of irony in the opening chorus, where Cuomo sings about a young girl who is losing track of time listening to BLACKPINK, he talks about the girl spending her time listening to BLACKPINK as if this is a bad thing, but to get lost in music is not something that is a new concept or a result of recent technological advancement.
“Bird With A Broken Wing” is easily one of the strongest tracks on this album and contains some of the better writing too. This song seems to attempt to tell a story of mental health struggles through the metaphor of the bird. The bird with the broken wing seems to represent a person who is damaged but despite their pain, do not want the people around them to worry. “Don’t feel sad for me, I’m right where I wanna be”. Although the person in this song seems to be damaged they still do not give up, they strive to keep moving and to keep living their life and telling their story, “I’m just a bird with a broken wing, and I still have a song to sing”.
I Have to give an honourable mention to “Playing My Piano”, which has some of the worst writing I have heard on a song in a long time. At one point in the track, Cuomo talks about wanting to be isolated as he is playing his piano, and uses the line “Kim Jong-un could blow up my city, I’d never know” this is easily the most out of place line in the whole album and greatly disrupts the whole flow, although there is not much to distract from on this poorly written song anyway.
Although the lyrics on this project are at times laughably bad, the album also has some great moments. Technically “OK Human” is very solid, the songs all majorly benefit from the orchestral instrumentals and Cuomo’s emotive vocals represent his dedication and passion towards the project.
Overall I give this album a 7/10.
Words by Alex Herron.