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Album Review: Everything Will Be Alright In the End - Weezer

This album is solid as a rock, front to back, and represents a confident return to form without repeating what has already been sung. There is power and confidence in the build-up between sections, experimentation within genre boundaries and strong melody lines that both soar above and float low near the ground. I think what I’m trying to say is that the new Weezer songs are comfortable sticking around melody lines that are just catchy enough, and confident when modes switch into bridge sections. And still, in my opinion the way that the album really proves itself is in the lyrics, and the dedication to the band’s bond with its listeners in style and lyrical content. The song “Back to the Shack” is tied to the story of getting back to The Village recording studio in Los Angeles, lovingly referred to as the shack. The song opens with the words “Sorry guys, I didn't realize that I needed you so much” and continues to declare what went wrong, what they did to fix it, and how they feel like they are back where they belong. The producer (Ric Ocasek) that helped them for “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” also helped them produce the albums “Pinkerton” and “The Blue Album”, featuring many songs that are widely considered to represent Weezer’s glory days, and it shows. This album draws from the hopeful future as well as the past, and what made the band first sound good. Guitar chords are well chosen and have a meaty quality. Song structure doesn't off-put the listener and still varies enough to not feel painfully straight-forward. Songs like “I’ve Had It up To Here” demonstrate the vocalist’s (Rivers Cuomo) fairly impressive vocal range and comfort that is expressed throughout. No one band member fades in the background; they all have equal presence and representation in the music at different times.

                It seems difficult to feel that I can create a knowledgeable and earnest critique about this Weezer album, since I’ve never been a large fan of the band despite being surrounded by roommates and friends that have been. The redeeming quality of this album and the band’s growth over time falls somewhat on my deaf ears. Perhaps with my inner radio friendly song critic I can make rock songs into easy targets, but I’m making sure to judge the band’s music for what it is. Music has a niche and effectively fulfills a purpose, and I am under the impression that Everything Will be Alright in the End does everything that is supposed to do and more. It presents a new face of the band that is familiar but not a copy of the Weezer from the 90s, and it looks fans right in the face and says; “sorry for all that strange stuff in the past, here’s some stuff that might make it up to you”. They even decided to release “Back to the Shack” as the first single before the album release, perhaps explaining the urgency of the message they needed to share with listeners. I have respect for strikingly personal statements such as: “We belong in the rock world / There is so much left to do / If we die in obscurity, oh well / At least we raised some hell”. Maybe I’m not knowledgeable of old school Weezer tracks, and just didn't find the ones that I can appreciate (because there aren't many in that category so far) but I can attest to the direction that they are moving towards now.  ★★★★☆

Review by Travis Strong

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