September 21, 2022

Weezer - OK Human (2021)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Power Pop
Label Number: 075678645846

© 2021 Crush Music/Atlantic Records
OK Human is a quintessential Weezer title, a joke that camouflages sincere intent. By winking at Radiohead's classic OK Computer, it also acknowledges that this album is inherently human music, a collection of songs that tug at sometimes complicated emotions. Loneliness lingers at the margins of OK Human but the album never feels lonesome due to how the songs are dressed by a large orchestra, their strings softening the edges of Rivers Cuomo's compositions and underscoring their essential warmth. As Cuomo elliptically acknowledges on "Playing My Piano," these songs were largely written on a keyboard, a shift away from his trusty guitar. Occasionally, the instrumental transition results in a different kind of song for Cuomo: moody, contemplative pieces that seem to hang suspended, such as the ballads "Bird with a Broken Wing" and "Dead Roses." Just as often, the orchestral arrangements have the effect of reinvigorating familiar Weezer tricks. Listen closely and it's possible to hear how the four-piece rock band would've barreled through "All My Favorite Songs" or how they would've functioned as a boisterous counterpoint to the riffing misanthropy of "Aloo Gobi" and "Grapes of Wrath," but the lack of a guitar roar helps steer attention to Cuomo's melodicism and how his barbed humor can intertwine deeply with his feelings, resulting in pop songs that simultaneously prick and soothe. Cuomo's dedication to his comfortable tropes means OK Human doesn't sound like a radical departure for Weezer. Nevertheless, the album feels like a departure: with its soft orchestral balm and sweet melancholic undertow, OK Human offers a singular, complete listening experience unlike anything else in their catalog.

tags: weezer, ok human,  2021, flac,


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