What was the first line of Weezer’s first single of new music in 4 years? “I’m sorry guys, I didn’t realize that I needed you so much.” This is a surprising admittance from someone who has been giving the middle finger to his fans for the past fifteen years. The “middle finger,” according to the fans, is not remaking the sound found on Weezer’s self-titled debut released twenty years ago (commonly referred to as The Blue Album). Since then, Cuomo and his band of nerds have seemingly been running from that sound with likes of the angry Pinkerton, the embarrassing Raditude, the boring Hurley, and the underrated Make Believe. Now, twenty years since their debut, Weezer is finally realizing something fans have been trying to tell them all along. Weezer needs to sound like Weezer, not Weezer in the twenty-first century. Whether it be by accident or on purpose, Cuomo has seen the light and is rewarding us all.
Produced by Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars and producer of The Blue Album, Weezer’s new record has guitars turned up, air-guitar worthy solos, and Cuomo’s lyrics of full geeky honesty. In many ways, Everything Will Be Alright In The End is a sort-of sequel to The Blue Album. “Back to the Shack” has similar themes to Blue Album classic “Say It Ain’t So.” Cuomo has made nice with his estranged dad (with “Foolish Father”) and would rather “raise some hell” in obscurity than get a new audience. “Eulogy For A Rock Band” is a nerdy rock tribute to a band of the past in similar fashion to “In The Garage” mixed with “Heart Songs” from 2008’s The Red Album. It seems like Weezer has left desires for mainstream attention behind, as evidence by the excellent “I’ve Had It Up To Here,” with lines like “don’t need the whole wide world to love me, don’t wanna win the race/ don’t need my music to be less well known than my face.” If that’s not a gospel for all bands to follow, it’s hard to find another one. Cuomo also leaves space for some new tweaks to the Weezer sound. “Go Away,” co-written and co-sung by Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, has Cuomo being the most sincere he’s been in a long time, only to be shot down by the girl he loves. The songs here have chugging guitars produced kick under Cuomo’s hummable melodies and choruses, which are the catchiest and most consistent he’s ever written (see “Cleopatra” and “Da Vinci”). Cuomo isn’t trying to be the cool hipster he’s been posing as for the past two Weezer albums. He’s back to being awkward, sincere, and proud of being a Buddy Holly look-alike that can shred like Ace Frehley.
Cuomo still throws in bits of weird on the record. After all, this may be the only rock record that turns the story of Paul Revere into a fist-pumping rock anthem (“The British Are Coming”). The last three tracks are part of “The Futurescope Trilogy,” but it’s really just three separate guitar solos for Weezer to go out in a blaze of glory. Everything Will Be Alright In The End is a win for Weezer and their fans, as well as liberation for Weezer after years in chart-baiting embarrassment and relief for fans who have tried to defend Weezer’s relevance in conversation. Not only is this Weezer’s best work since their heyday, but it’s the most fun one can have with a record this year. So come on back to the Weezer team, because all is forgiven.
Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Essential Tracks: “Back To The Shack,” “Go Away,” “I’ve Had It Up To Here,” “Cleopatra,” “Da Vinci”