Weezer
OK Human


4.2
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
January 30th, 2021 | 252 replies


Release Date: 01/29/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [fatter, sadder, less productive]

Let's set about this with blatant honesty. Reader, you and I both know there is no objectivity to be found with Weezer, the best terrible/worst good band of our time; no easy metric by which to judge this baffling group with no clear career trajectory whatsoever, that no-one seems to hate more than their own fans.

I could make a pretense, sure. I could say there are things about OK Human that are objectively good: the embarrassment of riches that is the chorus and bridge melodies, the absolutely pristine mix, the way the orchestra truly functions as an instrument unto itself rather than just being background support for some normal-ass Weezer songs. I would then, in the name of blessed objectivity, point out that there are many things about OK Human that are in fact bad: songs which frustratingly end just as they're getting good, great moments derailed by lyrics so baffling even Brandon Flowers would backspace before he finished writing them, a dumb song called "Grapes of Wrath" that's definitely Bad Weezer™. Whether or not the album had more or less good or bad aspects than average Weezer could then be the subject of heated debate for years on end, inspiring rankings and bad Reddit posts and angry intimations of betrayal by the faithful.

We could do all that, but honestly, why bother? Let me tell you about why I, with complete and utter subjectivity and my stupid fucking bias for this band, love this album. It's genuinely idiosyncratic in a way we rarely hear these days, least of all from a band with so much stock in being pleasantly inoffensive as Weezer. The songs are lovely, homely slice-of-life nuggets, owing as much to The Beach Boys' "Busy Doin' Nothin'" as the much-publicised Nilsson and Bacharach influence. The lyrics range from the aforementioned head-scratchers to oddly moving, but they're all the product of a songwriter genuinely with something to say, a far cry from the algorithmic backwash of recent Weezer fare. Each song is allowed to flow into the next gracefully and easily; the overall effect is something like what Brian Wilson called a pocket symphony, though this one is concerned with Audible and doomscrolling and lasts 30 minutes and change. Rivers Cuomo has rarely been as inspired as he is on this techno-paranoid, oddball album, and if the results range from genuinely fantastic to alright, at least they're all in service of that one, actual piece of inspiration.

The White Album became a late-career classic by recapturing the glimmering years of youth set on beaches and boardwalks. OK Human feels like its counterpart, unabashedly by and about Weezer today, older and weirder and afraid of the voracious pace of technology. Who knows if it was intentional – I'd never dream to actually claim I understand what Weezer are thinking – but the parallels between these two Jake Sinclair-produced, half-hour concept albums, one looking backwards and one hesitantly forwards, make OK Human more deserving of the Black Album title than its predecessor ever was. Among other moments, the absurdly affecting end of "Mirror Image", a raw vocal take of Rivers lamenting "heaven can't save this man / heaven turns its back on this man" with no accompaniment, is as powerful as anything the band have allowed on a record since the Pinkerton days.

Guitar nerds will get their fix of Weezer shredding in about four months time, when the even-worse-titled Van Weezer hits like a bolt of lightning. I'm sure these diametrically opposite releases in the same calendar year will split Weezer fans down the middle even more than one album usually does, but speaking from the heart, I can't imagine any album of rock bangers overtaking the precious, ridiculous, minor career gem that is OK Human. It may be essentially "A Day in the Life" of Rivers Cuomo, with an orchestra colouring in the outlines of his every thought or digression, but the album is soaked in warm harmonies and Shriner's fantastic bass, ensuring it feels more a full-band effort than the cold-sounding Black Album. Awash in analog technology, old-school recording methodologies (e.g. everybody in one room with no click tracks) and a healthy love for 60s pop, the album never fully reconciles its stylings with the modern content of its lyrics, which is perhaps for the best. OK Human is an oddity and a warm digital hug; it's Weezer reacting to an endless, nerve-shredding, social-life-destroying period of isolation the way only Weezer can, drawing further inwards to themselves but somehow inviting us along for the ride. All of which to say: in Weezer's arms, don't you feel safe?



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user ratings (286)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2021


45075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

aight bet

Digging: Brockhampton - Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2021


14018 Comments


lmao at that summary - i want to check this but i also,,, do not want to check this

i guess we will see which one prevails in due time

Digging: The Mary Onettes - Portico

claygurnz
January 30th 2021


6508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I mean it's only half an hour of your time dude

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2021


45075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

weez, or weez not. there is no try

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2021


14018 Comments


clay, i have better ways to spend 30 mins of my life

thus i have compiled a for and against graph on an A2 sheet of paper which I will spend an hour working on to help aid my decision as to whether or not to listen

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2021


45075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

you should put that in a computer algorithm to save some t-wait, fuck

Skoj
January 30th 2021


1876 Comments


This album is a record by the band Weezer. It plays songs in major keys and minor keys. There is music involved with this.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 30th 2021


37421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wonderful write up as per usual. I especially like how accurately you laid out why these guys are so good and bad at the same time. This is a really pleasant and effortless listen. On par with White although I prefer that album to this one (so far).

Digging: Porter Robinson - Nurture

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2021


45075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

"This album is a record by the band Weezer. It plays songs in major keys and minor keys. There is music involved with this."



damn... large if true



White is definitely better but this is a fantastic counterpart to it. hope they stick with Sinclair for literally everything they do in the future lmao

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 30th 2021


37421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I could get behind that. I love breezy, whimsical Weezer. The more they try to sound like the Beach Boys, the better they are in my book.

BlitzPhoenix98
January 30th 2021


196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

All my favorite songs are slow and sadge

onionbubs
January 30th 2021


13073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was hoping youd review this and it def did not disappoint. would pos if such an option was available. summary gave me a good chuckle too lmao



album is pretty great only heard it once so far but could def see myself bump my rating up. really dug the seamlessness of the transitions between a lot of these songs

Digging: Volumes - Via

Skoj
January 30th 2021


1876 Comments


After my first listen, agreed with Sowing - this is an easy listen. Comparison to White is a good take.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2021


26439 Comments


I’d know how I feel about the rest of the album if I could just stop listening to “All My Favorite Songs” on repeat

Digging: Dinosaur Jr. - Sweep It Into Space

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2021


14018 Comments


No lil wayne guest colab neg

LeddSledd
January 30th 2021


4935 Comments


https://m.imgur.com/R9hvFxE

Digging: Coroner - No More Color

ignorethefashion
January 30th 2021


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta agree with the majority of this review. Weezer is a band I usually love or despise, without much room in between. This is a rare occasion where they split the difference. Normally a poppy and palatable Weezer album like this would fall into the corny tier, but these songs are rather well arranged and don't cause my skin to crawl away from me. My complaint is that I don't consider there to be any massive emotional buildups on here. I was waiting for a Rivers falsetto to rip my heart out, but it never really happened.

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2021


13911 Comments


"This album is a record by the band Weezer. It plays songs in major keys and minor keys. There is music involved with this."


Protest the Hero Volition review vibes

WatchItExplode
January 30th 2021


8724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is innocuous. Pleasant even.

Digging: Origami Angel - Gami Gang

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2021


14018 Comments


Enjoyable perhaps. Ȩ̸̠̝̱͇̰̭̕X̵̡̡̗̙̭̟̪͚̜͙̮͖͍̅͐̔̎̓̽̌͊̀̀Ț̴͚͎̹͔͖̬̟͇͔͖̩́̌̓E̷͇͇͂̏̀̆̃̌͋̑̒̈́̃͝Ŗ̷̛̺͉͈̗̱̟̦̗̞̟̂̈́̅̀̅̌̒̃̓̌͘I̶̧̞̟̯͍͍̜̰͚̘̟͍͖̍̽͛̉͒̔̋̅̄́̀̂̕͜͠Ǭ̸̧̺͎̙̹̟͙̦̜̫̦͇̗̓̉̃̏̓̀̿̆̅̿͒̈́̓͠R̵̢̡̛͖̭̤̼̻͔̟̮̠͔͆̂͗̿̆͗̅ ̷͎́̚M̸̧̡̘̫̫̖͔̫̻̍́̐͐͌̍̊̊̓͌̈́͌̀̕͝Ą̸̩̗͈̞̱̞̮̪̻̬̱̦́͂̆͛̄̈́͐̀̀͜Y̶̡͚̹̱̬̺͉̥̘͉̙̖͗͒͑͘͠͠B̸̧̛̛̦̹̞̲̫͈͍͙̭͕̼̺̾͌̐́̏͌̀̅̊́̎̕̕Ȩ̷͖̪̣̥̝̇͌́͐̈́̋͗̇͆̉̀̋̌͝͠



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