Vital Status: Alive & Well❤️
Fav Tracks: All My Favorite Songs, Aloo Gobi, Grapes of Wrath, Numbers, Playing My Piano, Bird With A Broken Wing, Dead Roses
Least Fav: Screens
The Pop Rock band Weezer is back with their 14th studio album OK Human. The title of this album is interesting because it plays off of Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer that I believe is one of the great albums of the 90s. OK Human relies heavily on beautiful orchestral sounds that carry much of this project along with River Cuomo’s clear and vibrant voice over some hipster lyrics on daily struggles involving depression, anxiety, and feeling lost. This album flows so seamlessly between the 12 tracks and a 30 minute runtime that even a portion of OK Human feels almost like a musical with dramatic vocal performances and instruments playing off of this.
The first half of this record is incredibly strong and as a listener we are engulfed with beautiful orchestral sounds that are upbeat. Starting with “All My Favorite Songs” the nice woodwind instruments and twinkling for an intro breaks into the style of what this album is encompassed by. We also get the lyrics about conflicting interests with ones own self identity such as doing things you dislike and not doing things you enjoy.
We then embark on a song about being annoyed with eating the same “Aloo Gobi” ( a vegetarian Indian dish). Ok, this track actually has more to it but the comparison is hysterical. The loud low cello or violin notes sound great and the piano playing on the bridge feels worry-less in a song about catching yourself in a dull routine. This is one of my favorite songs on OK Human.
“Grapes of Wrath” has a fantasy quality with River’s using George Orwell’s classic 1984 book, Grapes of Wrath, and Lord of the Rings to drift off into his own world. Not sure if it’s in a positive way. I guess from the lyrics at the beginning
Let me stay here for forever / In this state of classical denial
we can interpret this might not be the healthiest way to live.
The next track “Numbers” does set a more sorrowful mood. Cuomo’s voice is just directly at the forefront and sounds so bare/broken down. What creates this dramatic voice inflection is the lyrics of how we live in a world where in essence numbers (likes, clicks, views, etc.) are everyone’s focus and how that kind be destructive. There is a heartfelt chorus here that offers some form of comfort in all of this.
We all have passions and loves we use to distract us in our everyday lives and the song “Playing My Piano” is the epitome of this. I mean the lyrics of
Dripping down from major to mixolydian
Put on some white noise, double-bolt the door
Kim Jong-un could blow up my city, I’d never know
I just can’t let go when I’m playin’ my piano
says it all.
At the halfway point “Mirror Image” is a short song with a huge orchestral rock blowout that’s a nice lovely moment. Some of the more average moments start to make way with “Screens” being a clear techno-phobia song and Cuomo crying out
Everyone stares at the screens!!
does feel a little much. “Bird with a Broken Wing” might feel sappy for some but I think it’s great. We get the POV from a bird and how even with a broken wing he still has something to offer. River’s Cuomo did say in an interview with Zane Lowe it’s about how he felt past his prime and irrelevant in music.
Making our way towards the end we get the track”Dead Roses”. The horns and acoustic guitar sound great with these dreary string instruments coming in making this one of the darker moments on this album. It has a feeling of a fairy tale with a tragic story of death. But, not just a casual death a death by being beaten in a dungeon begging for life. It’s quite gut wrenching.
To end the album with “La Brea Tar Pits” feels appropriate. It’s not one of my favorites because it’s a little more solemn then what I was expecting, but I do love some of the piano playing that comes in and out of this song.
I’m a sucker for orchestral instruments and maybe that’s why I enjoyed OK Human so much. With that being said, I do think the song writing, lyrics, and the album stylistically is incredible. Weezer, however quirky one might feel they are, does have something to say on this record and it’s done in such a way that makes you want to sing along with the introspective and societal ideas expressed throughout.