January 28, 2021 Weezer – Ok Human (Album Review)
Seemingly out of nowhere, the California dreamin’ boys of Weezer announced a surprise new album, Ok Human, would be released on Friday, January 29, 2021 via Crush Music/Atlantic.
On January 18, 2021, a mere 11 days before the set release date, Weezer announced it would be dropping Ok Human, the follow up to 2019’s Weezer (Teal Album) and Weezer (Black Album). Originally, Weezer’s next album was set to be released in the Spring of 2020 and entitled Van Weezer. Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic put new releases on the back burner for Weezer and many other artists. While Van Weezer will now be released on May 7, 2021, what fans didn’t know was Weezer had a fun sidebar album in the works ever since last year.
Sometime before the pandemic, Weezer frontman and lead songwriter Rivers Cuomo felt the urge to record the most different Weezer album in their history. With no heavy guitar or anything you would expect, Cuomo wrote Ok Human to be very personal record alongside a 38 piece orchestral setting of piano, horns, and woodwind instruments. Honing in on his most personal thoughts, Cuomo was inspired by albums of his youth like the classic Beach Boys album, 1966’s Pet Sounds. Even the title Ok Human is a bit of a nod to Radiohead’s 1997 album Ok Computer. Throughout Summer 2020, Cuomo alongside Guitarist Brian Bell, Bassist Scott Shriner, Drummer Patrick Wilson, and their orchestra worked with Grammy nominated Producer Jake Sinclair (Train, Fall Out Boy) and Arranger Rob Mathes to put the finishing touches on Ok Human.
Pushing play on fresh new music from Weezer, Ok Human is lead by the single “All My Favorite Songs.” Right from the very first note, the sweet symphonic melody and endearing voice of Rivers Cuomo tugs at the heart strings. Really expressing himself, Cuomo dives deep into his emotions both deep and silly with a comforting “Aloo Gobi” and an ode to perhaps a favorite book on tape via “Grapes Of Wrath.” Set to somber violin, it is the stand out track “Numbers” which takes a deeper look at how overanalyzing just one number can have a profound negative effect on ones life.
The next two songs, “Play My Piano” and “Mirror Image” could possibly be what Cuomo was feeling during quarantine. As Ok Human really dives into some different areas, “Screens” is all about a tech obsessed girl, “Bird With A Broken Wing” speaks of a person whose life no longer sees them on top, and “Dead Roses” deals with loss. After the brief instrumental called “Everything Happens For A Reason,” Weezer gets back those lively feels on “Here Comes The Rain” and sings about the famous Los Angeles, California museum “La Brea Tar Pits.”
After releasing albums in the traditional way for over 25 years, Weezer chose a really great way to drop Ok Human into the stratosphere. And hey, who doesn’t love surprises?! If there is anything music fans and humans all around world need right now it is a fun way to enjoy life. A breathe of fresh air, Weezer’s Ok Human hits the spot as one of the more enjoyable releases of 2021 so far. Stand out tracks include “All My Favorite Songs,” “Numbers,” “Bird With A Broken Wing,” and “Here Comes The Rain.” It is great to see Cuomo getting more personal with his song writing as well, giving the fans a deeper connection to the music. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock awards Ok Human 4 out of 5 stars.