Weezer albums fall into two categories: albums named after colors and albums not named after colors.
If you pick up one of the colors albums (blue, green and red, chronologically), you’ve pretty much picked a winner. Blue catapulted Weezer to fame in 1994 and has since wound up on more than a couple “Greatest Albums of All Time” lists. Green brought the band’s most successful mainstream hit, “Island In The Sun”. And Red proved Weezer could bring it in the 21st century when their video for single “Pork and Beans” became one of the first to capitalize on the viral video trend.
The albums with real names are more hit- and- miss. There’s Pinkerton, the critically acclaimed follow- up to The Blue Album. There’s Make Believe, full of glossy pop- rock hits. Then come the newer ones, like Raditude, Hurley, and Death to False Metal.
Everything Will Be Alright In The End does not have a color, but it should. The highly anticipated record represents Weezer’s first work in four years and touts more than a few throwbacks to 1994’s Blue Album, including producer Ric Ocasek.
But if 20 years has shown anything, it’s proved that Weezer are survivors. The quartet of now forty-something males has somehow managed to stay relevant without resorting to shameless nostalgia.
Everything Will Be Alright In The End rings heavy with themes of reflection, regret, and nostalgia -but not the shameless kind. “Back To The Shack” drips with references to the band’s early days, but at least it’s not a cover. Everything Will Be Alright In The End has plenty of backstory: there’s River’s rift with the band over heading towards a more produced sound on previous albums, River’s relationship with his dad, River’s newfound fatherhood, relationships with women, etc. You can listen to the songs with that in mind, or you can take them at face value: a bunch nerdy guitar- driven pop songs. I’ve always loved Weezer because of Rivers Cuomo’s tongue- in- cheek lyrics. The guy has a way of combining Harvard-level satire with a sandbox vocabulary. You can overthink the lyrics of a song like “The British Are Coming”- or you could just think, “Wow, what a great song about Paul Revere.”
Everything Will Be Alright In The End has a few surprises. Rivers sings with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on “Go Away”, a particularly Blink-182-y track. “Anonymous” achieves Dream Theater levels of theatrics. “III. Return to Ithaka” is a bodacious two- minute guitar solo. Some of the guitar sounds err more on the side of 80’s hair metal than 90’s post-grunge. At the center of it all lies Weezer’s quirky heart, still beating strong after all this time. Because for all their experimentation, Weezer never really does anything drastically different. Their sound is primary colors. They’re never going to make Chartreuse album. There’s a good reason the “reinvention” stage of their career sounds like a throwback. They figured out a winning formula in 1994, and everything since has just tweaked or played with it. The Blue Album’s sense of self- awareness is back, and Everything Will Be Alright In The End is one for the fans.
Weezer is doing a small tour to promote Everything Will Be Alright In The End:
October 11: Corono Capital 2014, Mexico City, Mexico
October 16: The Arizona State Fair, Phoenix, AZ
October 19: rungevity Benefit Concert- Plus, Mt. Louis, MO
October 24: Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, CT
October 25: Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
October 26: The Sinclair, Boston, MA
October 27: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
November 2: Slim’s, San Francisco, CA
November 6: The Glass House, Pomona, CA
November 7: The Belasco, Los Angeles, CA
December 2: 101X Indie Workforce X-mas: Austin Music Hall, Austin, TX
December 3: How the EDGE Stole Christmas, Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie, Dallas, TX
Full tour details and ticket info here.