Text by @KralTunes
Picture it: Small town, U.S.A., 2014 – a young aspiring music journalist is rocking back and forth on the porch, musing about what he should critique next. As he sips form his frosty glass on this early fall evening, he thinks to himself, “Been quiet around these parts…almost…too quiet. Feels like we are due for a hootenanny anytime soon.”
And then it starts…the muted murmur of thousands of screeching entities…akin to a chorus of locusts. It’s a sound he hasn’t heard the like of in damn near 4 years. At first, he thinks nothing of it, but then the sound persists, amplifies…now it’s a chorus of static that he cannot quite comprehend, but the sound is not off-putting, on the contrary, its rather poppy and melodic. And then it hits him…this isn’t just some ordinary sound, this is the sound of…
Yes, like the mighty cicada, WEEZER has emerged after several years of hibernation to annoy us with another heaping of chirping and hissing (or rock and roll, as they would call it), Everything Will Be Alright In The End.
Although, to put it as kindly as humanly (or cicadad-ly) as possible, results have been mixed for quite some time (Maladroit was the last time they impressed me). Yet, it’s always interesting to at least hear what Rivers and the gang have in store for us.
Let’s get down to brass tacks; for all the time I’ve followed them, Weezer albums have met 3 major criteria:
1. The lyrics have always been, for a large part, dumb (I am ready for the rebuttal, but deep down, you know this to be true). Take “Da Vinci”, with words swiped from some 7th grader’s journal:
“Even Da Vinci couldn’t paint you, Stephen Hawkins can’t explain you, Rosetta Stone could not translate you, I’m at a loss of words”
Although we are not talking about NEIL YOUNG or SWANS, it is nice that there are some gems like in “I’ve Had it Up to Here,”
“Don’t want to compromise my art for universal appeal,
Don’t want to be mass consumed,
I’m not a happy meal”
Fortunately, you won’t find too many shining examples of bad verses on this Everything Will Be Alright in the End, a fact that immediately makes it better than the least few albums.
2. However ridiculous said lyrics can be at times, they are/were almost always sincere, so it was easy to give Rivers Cuomo a pass when singing about the contents of his garage or how they were the greatest men to ever live.
With this album, there’s plenty of sincerity to go around, from an apparent apology to his bandmates and fans in “Back To The Shack” (“Sorry guys I didn’t realize / that I needed you so much / I thought I’d get a new audience / I forgot that disco sucks”) to his ever present quest for love in “Lonely Girl”.
3. WEEZER songs maintain traditional themes: loser guy, lonely guy pining over the girl, I’m a big nerd, yada yada yada. Tracks like “Lonely Girl”, “Da Vinci” and “Cleopatra” ensure that there is no shortage here, and while the topics have been extremely worn, the band takes enough interesting turns to make them sound fresher than they should.
While the lyrics to a song like “Da Vinci” are not my thing, they give us a wicked whistle riff to counter the blahness, so who really wants to argue?
What is nice about this album is that the band offers uniqueness in spots. I kind of dig the novelty that lies in the AP History class lesson on “The British Are Coming” and its decent piano melody and vocal harmonies. Metaphorically, “songs like “Cleopatra” work fairly well as Weezer pushes back in the history textbook with references from antiquity.
In addition, Rivers provides an interesting glimpse into the strained relationship with his dad on “Foolish Father”. In fact, the track may have been an effective closer had it not devolved into what I can only dub, of all things, a kick-ass mini rock opera.
Everything Will Be Alright in the End fortunately is a bit more than alright in the end. Musically, the band is almost always a highlight…tons of grooves and hooks to go around, and the lyrics are worth noting.
For me, this album falls under the “American Idiot” category; the kind of album you wish a band that has been around this long would retire on. It’s probably the best Weezer has for a career encore.