By: Sebastian Aguilar, Staff writer
OK Human, the 14th album by ‘90s rock band Weezer was released on Jan. 29, and it’s a big departure from the band’s usual alternative rock, pop and sometimes emo sounds.
Weezer is known for witty lyrics that reference plenty of pop culture, and this album’s name pays homage to Radiohead’s album OK Computer. The 12-song album also employs a 38-piece orchestra, which pairs well with the emotional and introspective lyrics from Rivers Cuomo.
The first song and lead single “All My Favorite Songs” is a brutal self-reflection by lead singer Rivers Cuomo where he realizes that everything he enjoys has negative connotations. The backing orchestra gives each line a more emotional punch than the standard guitar and drums of the band would. The chorus “All my favorite songs are slow and sad/I don’t know what’s wrong with me” exposes the fact he’s still deeply insecure about his music, even with all the success his band has garnered.
The second song and my personal favorite, “Aloo Gobi,” is about how Cuomo wishes he was something more instead of doing dull routines. He expresses his desire to go back to the mundane routines of a pre-pandemic world. The orchestra is featured alone for 30 seconds before the final chorus, and it provides a break from Cuomo’s rants. The final chorus culminates in him belting out of the lyrics, accompanied by a bombastic backing orchestra in the final seconds of the song.
The fourth track “Numbers” calls attention to social media and a culture obsessed with numbers and how likes or followers can wreck one’s self esteem even though they really don’t mean anything. The track starts with a sad violin that’s euphonious and reverberates throughout the track.
Cuomo portrays these numbers as something that we run away from because they don’t have any bearing over us. The orchestra is very prominent in this song,peaking right after the final verse where the lyrics pause before the final chorus, allowingallow the violin solo to reach its peak.
The eighth song on the album “Bird with a Broken Wing” is very polarizing. Some would call it too emo and a bit too much. However I like the song quite a bit. Cuomo is reminiscing on how the early days of the band were full of life.
Lyrics such as “I’m just a bird with a broken wing/ut I’ve still got a song to sing,” show that Cuomo isn’t close to retiring and still has so much more music to share with the world, even at 50 years old. The backing sing-song vocals add a lot of depth to the chorus although some would call it corny.
While the first third of the album is stellar, the second dips in quality a little bit. The final third of the album drops the ball with songs that rehash earlier themes such as technological addiction, social anxiety and loneliness. In my opinion, the first third of the album justifies the listen alone, and the second third isn’t bad either.