OK Human, the brand new album by LA rockers Weezer, has shaken up everything the band has put out in the last half-decade alone. Jumping ship from genre to genre, Weezer are no strangers to releasing heaps of fresh music year after year, perhaps the sad reality of how hard it is to make a living being a musician, or perhaps because they’re just that inspired, which after being a band for almost 3 decades now (God really? Time flies huh) is pretty impressive, like all the material they’ve put out or not, it can’t be easy, but that being said must be very rewarding.
After the 2019 announcement of the album Van Weezer, inspired by the likes of hard and glam rock icons such as the late Eddie Van Halen, which was due out in 2020 and is now due to that thing that’s kinda buggered up the world, due out late spring this year, the band dropped a surprise album at the end of January that is the complete opposite of what Van Weezer is said to offer us. With a centre on less guitars and more orchestral sounds. So what can you expect from an album like this? Well that sharp modern pop production that was all over the likes of the black and white albums, but that baroque rock/orchestral pop centre creates something so naturalistic that I think we all kind of needed at a time like this.
Although the writing sessions for what became this album started as early as 2017, the themes of isolation are very apparent and it’s classical influences really enforce that. After the year of the pandemic, and to be quite frank everything kinda shitty the world has endured over the last few years, this drawn back approach is rather magnificent. I can only really compare the sounds of this album to vague Beatles-esk noise or something like Panic! At The Disco’s Pretty. Odd. But even that isn’t quite right. This definitely sounds like a Weezer album and after the cold water shock of hearing track one All My Favourite Songs, it all sounds perfectly natural for the band so it’s a strange sensation but does make sense.
The album has a really good sense of momentum, tracks flow and transition well into each other. The transition between Aloo Gobi into Grapes of Wrath is ridiculously sharp and tasty. I think after the somewhat rocky consistency of Weezer through the past few years, being a bit wild with sounds is just their thing now, and whilst I was really digging the vibe of singles teased from Van Weezer, OK Human’s big orchestral cavern is brilliant all the same. As a more casual fan of Weezer, I would easily say this is actually some of their best work, whether you’re a fan of the sounds of the Blue album, Pinkerton or even their more recent Black album, I think you’ll easily enjoy what this album has to offer. There really is something for everyone here, without pandering to different genres as it is all tied up very nicely within its theme.
There is certainly key themes of alienation and a highlight on the modernity of humanity, be it the obsession of staring at our Screens or digitalised statistics in Numbers, whilst it can be a tad on the nose, I think generally along with the musical concept of the album sounding like a Disney movie’s soundtrack, and especially during a time that is our very uncertain present, it works well for what it is, and might even be looked back on and praised for it’s early (if we can even call it early at this point) warning signs of the surge of technology and reliability upon it. I think having 2 albums within the span of a few months is one thing to keep your fans happy, but to have two completely contrasting sounding albums such as OK Human and Van Weezer in the pipeline is a bold move but somehow I think completely works and really there’s no better time for it. I just feel sorry for the poor blighter who has to figure out their next setlist…
Top tracks are; Grape Of Wrath, Numbers and Bird With A Broken Wing. But again I’d stress to hear the whole album all the way through to get the most visceral experience of OK Human.