WEEZER’S OK HUMAN
Weezer returns with OK Human, a musing on escapism in a society growing in its reliance on technology. In stark contrast with their long awaited 80’s-style hard rock album Van Weezer, set for release May 7th, OK Human presents as a personal, bouncy reflection of a world grown expansive yet boring. Strings and piano shine through instrumentals throughout the album, utilizing a 38-piece orchestra, and masterfully creating a lighthearted air that transcends individual tracks and can crescendo into dramatic declarations.
The opening track “All My Favorite Songs” introduces the complexities and contradictions of life that plague writer and frontman Rivers Cuomo, and expresses his desire to flee, setting the tone for the rest of the album. “Aloo Gobi” follows, named for the basic Indian comfort dish, describing the monotony of life he has developed a distaste for, longing to be a “man on a mission” again.
While track “Grapes of Wrath” discusses a love for escaping boring life through books, there is irony in that Cuomo cites using Audible audiobooks, embracing the technology he yearns to escape from elsewhere in the album. The dichotomy between the classic literature he references throughout and the app he uses to consume them mirrors his own antiquated sensibility that remains reliant on the Internet. Moreover, “Screens” shows Cuomo at his most techno-phobic, referencing memes and BLACKPINK, as he claims “the real world is dying as everybody moves into the cloud.” Though his assertion is well-based, this track sounds like your standard old-head raving.
OK Human is not just a reflection on technology’s grasp on a mundane society and a desire to escape it, but also a self-reflection by Weezer on their own place in the modern world. “Bird With A Broken Wing” looks back on the band’s success and cries that they “still have a song to sing”. This powerful song displays Weezer’s personal growth from their self-deprecating songs of the 90’s to a place of self-assurance—now confident in what their music still has to offer to the world. Closing track “La Brea Tar Pits” has Cuomo relating himself to the long extinct animals whose bones are left on display in the tar. As the world appears to progress around him, the once-resounding force in the music scene is left struggling with his legacy and begging the world to see what he still can do in their 14th album.
While much of this album may sound like the average Gen X midlife crisis, these themes expand to Zoomers and Millennials alike feeling stuck in life. In this era marked by COVID restrictions and isolation, anyone can relate to Cuomo’s need for escapism and his anxiety as time marches on without being able to move himself. This is the perfect album for taking a walk in the park on a spring afternoon and feel like a movie protagonist on the brink of changing their life, or to just fantasize about it during the dead of winter.