Full disclosure…Weezer is one of my favorite bands of all time. I’ve
stuck by them through many mediocre albums for the past years, finding
a song or two on each album to make me feel like they were still a
great band. The fact of the matter is that the past few albums have
been really disappointing. The previous Hurley, Red Album, Death to
False Metal, and even Ratitude have all been subpar efforts. Those
albums really made you question if Weezer still had a good album left
in them. Everything Will Be Alright In The End, gets Weezer back on
the right track and answers that with an emphatic YES! Weezer have
always been the nerds of the rock world and just like a John Hughes
film, you should never count out the nerds.
In the past few months Weezer and critics alike have been hyping this
new album as the baby of the Blue and Pinkerton albums. To be 100%
objective and not a Pom Pom waving Weezer fan, this description
actually is pretty spot on. If you took all their albums regardless
of release date, this album would probably fall in line as their 3rd
album, not 9th! The overall sound and lyrical composition within
EWBAITE fits that time better than even The Green album.
Rivers Cuomo has been quoted as saying they dug deep and made a very
personal, raw album. Hearing quotes like that can scare a fan….see
U2’s latest effort. EWBAITE returns Weezer to Emo lyrics, crisp guitar
solos, power chords, mix in some great harmonies and you have the
epitome of what made/makes Weezer a great band. Their sound is unique
and instantly recognizable as a Weezer tune from the first chord.
This is truly the mark of a great band.
Weezer reunited with Ric Ocasek from Blue and Green album fame to make
EWBAITE. It is hard to find many throw away tracks . If anything this
album works better as a straight through listen rather then shuffling
or picking singles. The narrative begins with a woman telling a
scared child “Go back to sleep, everything will be alright in the
end.”. This is followed by a news feed of “Rock is Dead”
pronouncements. As the first track builds, guitars churning and drums
pounding (sounding a lot like Hash Pipe) Ain’t Got Nobody explodes in
that typical Weezer fashion. Right away I knew this album would be
different. Weezer were returning to form. The question many might have
is, “Will former fans notice or care?” Did Weezer alienate their fans
or casual fans with their past albums? Will they not search out or
take a listen to this new album? My hope is that people still want to
“Rock out like its ’94”, as sang in the 2nd track “Back to the Shack”.
Maybe a new wave of fans are ready to gravitate to Cuomo’s message of
being overlooked by girls, loneliness, daddy issues, kooky lyrics, and
rocking with your friends. They are without question the godfathers
of the now dead Emo movement.
Back to the Shack, is a good tune and it made sense to be a single. It
is a fun nostalgic look back and encourages Weezer to return to their
roots. The band even pokes fun at its self and it’s journey. To fans
it’s an acknowledgement of their missteps that is greatly appreciated.
Many of us stuck with them through their “exploration” or “fun albums”
they were making. Weezer rewarded our loyalty with this album.
While the whole album is a great listen, and to reiterate, a much
better listen from start to finish, here are some of the standouts on
“Lonely Girl” literally sounds like an outtake from the Pinkerton
album. It is vintage Weezer. The guitars grinding/rocking, driving
drums and bass, throw in a little reverb for the guitar solo and
lyrics about a Lonely Girl, just perfect. It feels straight out of
’96, nothing wrong with that.
Another standout is “I’ve Had It Up To Here”. This song brings you a
little further back and sounds like a 1994 Blue Album tune. The lyrics
are awesome. Seems like a bit of an F-you to fans wanting Weezer to
be a certain way throughout the years, but what do I know. (Editors
Note: I’m not big in to telling people what artists are saying in
their lyrics but rather leave it to the listener to interpret for
themselves. I’ve never been a fan of journo’s telling me “that
underneath everything this song is about the artists dead dog.” after
just using it for my first dance at a wedding. Regardless of what an
artist is intending, as fans we have the right to interpret the song
as we see fit to make it our own. Hold me closer Tony Danza indeed.)
The last chorus with the backup vocals is everything Weezer is meant
to be. Great, great tune.
“DaVinci” is my favorite track so far, (only 5 listens so far). It
has that “Across the Sea” feel if you know what I mean. The initial
whistle to kick of the song has a playful touch that Weezer has always
had throughout the years. The chorus is great and you’ll be hard
pressed not to be singing along by the end. “I’m at a loss for
words!!” Where have these songs been Rivers??
The only song or songs I wasn’t crazy about or felt the need to listen
to again was the Ending trilogy of songs. Coupled with the entire
album, it just seemed out of place. It’s not terrible but maybe a
softer touch or just an epic power chord anthem would have been a
better bookend to this great album.
In the end Weezer have reclaimed my belief that bands I once followed
can still produce relevant music that is new but still tips its cap to
their great past. Weezer will be touring to support this album. I
will undoubtedly be hitting a couple of shows, looking forward to
actually hearing new songs! For once a band I have been following
since my youth will have new songs that aren’t designated for a
bathroom break, what a relief.