Released: Oct 7, 2014
Genre: Alternative Rock, Power Pop
Label: Republic Records
Number Of Tracks: 13
Loosely reminiscent of the "Blue Album" and "Pinkerton," the band's ninth release shows the band trying to recapture their early energy and voice.
Everything Will Be Alright In The EndFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 14, 2014 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Weezer formed in 1992, during the rise of grunge music, and though Weezer's sound had a much stronger pop vibe they still took advantage of a robust grunge fan base at the time. Their debut album was self-titled, though widely known as the "Blue Album," and was a great commercial success which threw them into almost immediate celebrity with the singles "Undone - The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly," and "Say It Ain't So." Their second album, "Pinkerton," was released a few years later in 1996 and compared to their debut was a flop, though it gained a cult following over the years and has sold quite well since that time, becoming the defining album of the band to many fans. Since the "early days" the band has experimented with their overall sound to some degree, and had a few lineup changes, with Rivers Cuomo (vocals, guitar, and primary songwriter) and Patrick Wilson (drums) being the only remaining founding members. Brian Bell, on guitar and keyboards, has been with the band since 1993 making him very close to being a founding member, but not quite. "Everything Will Be Alright in the End" is the band's ninth studio album, and has had 2 singles. The first single released from the album was "Back to the Shack," which was released in July 2014, and the second single was "Cleopatra," which was released in September 2014. The album contains 13 tracks with a runtime of approximately 42 minutes.
The album opens up with "Ain't Got Nobody," which harkens back to the band's earlier sound (with that seeming to be the album's "theme"), and has a fuzzed out rhythm guitar, quirky lead fills and sing-a-long backing vocals. "Back to the Shack" is basically an apology letter to the fans, opening with the line "Sorry guys I didn't realize that I needed you so much/ I thought I'd get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks/ I ended up with nobody and I started feeling dumb." The music sounds like it could have come straight off the blue album. "Eulogy for a Rock Band" uses an almost-atonal little riff on guitar and lyrics dealing with the end of a rock band's career with a promise to "sing the melodies that you did long ago." "Lonely Girl" has an almost "Buddy Holly" vibe to it, as far as the faux '50s rock vibe, complete with the rest of the band providing backing vocals of "oooh oooh ooh." "I've Had It Up to Here" has Rivers Cuomo sharing vocals with co-writer, Justin Hawkins, as well as guitar lines. The song has several moments where it has a strong Queen-like vibe. "The British Are Coming" has a little monologue in the intro and then an interesting little guitar line and a simple keyboard melody. "Da Vinci" opens up with a guitar melody and whistling, and it utilizes the quiet/loud dynamics used so frequently in music from the early to mid '90s. "Go Away" sounds a lot like a '50s doo wop duet, which has Rivers Cuomo singing with Bethany Cosentino. "Cleopatra," which is the second single from the album, has a strong lyrical theme sitting in a nest of pop rock. "Foolish Father" has an awesome psychedelic little intro, which goes on to prove to be autobiographical despite my expectations for something else from that song. The next three tracks are a three part "epic" called "The Futurescope Trilogy" parts 1 - 3. "The Futurescope Trilogy 1: The Wasteland" is less than 2 minutes long, but it is a piece with a lot of drama, with a soaring melody line and an epic closing. "The Futurescope Trilogy 2: Anonymous" is next, and tells the story about meeting a girl (I think?), and has been performed live and introduced previously as "My Mystery." "The Futurescope Trilogy 3: Return to Ithaca" takes advantage of a simple guitar melody as the focal point of the track, with other instrumentation building up with it to an epic finish. // 8
Lyrics: Rivers Cuomo has a rather distinctive voice, and it has done a lot towards helping to define Weezer's sound. I've always thought of Rivers' voice a certain way and it is still true with this release - Rivers' voice sounds a lot like what you would expect a '50s rock star mixed with a '80s era new wave/punk vocalist to sound like. Oddly enough, his songwriting often mirrors this with songs like "Buddy Holly," or more recently "Go Away," which he co-wrote and performed with female vocalist, Bethany Cosentino. The rest of the band helps throughout the album by providing backing vocals. You can tell that the band as a whole, and Rivers Cuomo, specifically, as a songwriter and vocalist, are back in their wheelhouse with this album.
The vocals are largely sentimental nostalgia, though Rivers Cuomo has previously stated that each song is either written about his relationships with women, his father, or "others." As a sample of some lyrics that seem to directly address the band's fans almost like a letter, from the lead single, "Back to the Shack," here are some lyrics: "Sorry guys I didn't realize that I needed you so much/ I thought I'd get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks/ I ended up with nobody and I started feeling dumb/ Maybe I should play lead guitar and Pat should play the drums/ Take me back, back to the shack/ back to the strat with the lightning strap/ kick in the door, more hardcore/ rockin' out like it's '94/ Let's turn up the radio/ Let's turn off those stupid singing shows/ I know where we need to go/ back to the shack/ I finally settled down with my girl and I made up with my dad/ I had to go and make a few mistakes so I could find out who I am/ I'm letting all of these feelings out even if it means I fail/ cause this is what I was meant to do and you can't put that on sale." The lyrics read out like an open letter to the listeners on that track, but they say a lot. // 8
Overall Impression: I've been a fan of the band since the blue album, and while I never quit listening, I did become somewhat disenchanted with more recent material. I hate to see a band going backwards, but in this case I felt like the band went backwards to something that they seem to do very well. My favorite tracks from the album are probably "Back to the Shack," "I've Had It Up to Here," and "Go Away," as well as the entire "The Futurescope Trilogy." // 8
Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Shaico, on october 15, 2014 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: The first right move Weezer made when creating this album was getting back together with Ric Ocasek (The Cars), producer of "Pinkerton" and the "Blue Album." While some other bands may try to create something entirely new, Weezer decided to stick to what they are good at, while at the same time, use everything they have learned from their previous studio albums. And who better to help them accomplish this than the person who helped them get started?
The sound of the entire album is consistent, the guitars are crushing and yet soothing, the bass playing of Scott feels fuzzy and warm, and Pat's drumming is still simple but effective. Credit may be given to Ric to create this familiar wall of perfect harmony between the instruments that made us fall with the "Blue Album" and "Pinkerton."
Remember those two albums? Two diamonds that stood out in the '90s (though Pinkerton not so much initially), it was quite clear that Rivers wanted to channel these two albums especially into "EWBAITE." From the harmonica ("In the Garage" and "Buddy Holly") present in Cleopatra, to that beautiful piano and acoustic ("Across the Sea," anyone?) in the intro to "The British Are Coming." I felt that there was even a nod to the tight pop production of the "Green Album" in "Lonely Girl"! For new Weezer fans, these would probably sound great, but to Weezer fans of old who adored their early works, you can't deny the joy when you hear these nods to their roots. It shows... that they care. A lot.
And yet, Rivers innovates. Among the throwbacks, there are completely new ideas Rivers no doubt learned throughout the years of songwriting (and the years of bad songwriting as well). The standout track demonstrating the evolution of Rivers' songwriting is "The Futurescope Trilogy," as in the final three tracks of the album. Rivers showed his capabilities in writing ambitious rock operas in "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived," but that piece was a trip throughout many genres. "The Futurescope Trilogy" was a huge rollercoaster ride full of tight turns and seemingly impossible twists. It was truly intense. The guitar riffs and solos were powerful and just overall pretty badass.
One of the more different and forward-looking tracks didn't fare so well for me. "Da Vinci"... with it's whistling and little-kid-like vibe that made me feel like it was made for an educational channel, kind of like "All My Friends Are Insects." It was a major downpoint on the album, especially considering it came at the end of probably the second strongest song on the album, "The British Are Coming."
One significant aspect of the album that I must mention as well is the improved vocals of Rivers. While some may say that he sounds insincere in the delivery of some of his lines, you can easily tell his technical abilities have come a very far way from other albums. His exploration of falsetto previously done in the "Red Album" was done even better here in "The British Are Coming" (that chorus is not easy to sing at all, trust me). // 9
Lyrics: This is where it gets iffy. I don't know whether Rivers' lyrics have changed over the years or that we just accepted his goofy lyrics in the first few albums. "Without shakin', and I ain't bakin'. I'll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon." sounds really cringy, doesn't it? And yet, we sing that part the most loud during concerts because it's just so accepting of itself. Rivers sings it with so much sincerity that we don't care that it's a cheesy line. He gave it such a charming dorky vibe that we'd be tempted to try it out on our significant other, hoping for at least a giggle.
So why does "Even Da Vinci couldn't paint you. Stephen Hawking can't explain you. Rosetta Stone could not translate you" make us cringe so hard? Could it be that Rivers' delivery for these lines just seem so... forced? As if he made these lyrics not because they seemed right for him to put down, but to just retain that goofy and dorky persona of his?
Don't get me wrong, the album still has solid lyrics when Rivers tries to be, well, not dorky. With lyrics like "Hesitate to throw your stones when criminals are victims. Looking back into our past. There's no cause for these symptoms now," it makes me wonder why Rivers still tries to cling to more goofy lyrics of his younger days.
However, overall, Rivers was smart in his lyric choice asides from certain examples that make you shake your head in frustration. I'd say my favorite lyrics come from "Eulogy for a Rock Band," "Foolish Father," and "I've Had It Up to Here" (except for that happy meal line... just what). // 7
Overall Impression: Me being a Weezer fan, I'm immensely pleased that despite all of the hype and teasers, Weezer actually delivered what they had promised in "Everything Will Be Alright in the End"; a throwback and yet something new. While it doesn't create the magic (I guess Rivers doesn't have the magic in him anymore... sorry. I'll slap myself now.) present in the first two albums, the songs are very solid and I find myself humming half of them from the first listen.
Favorite Tracks: "Eulogy for a Rock Band," "Go Away," "The Futurescope Trilogy," "The British Are Coming."
Least Favorite Tracks: "Da Vinci," "Foolish Father." // 8
Everything Will Be Alright In The End
DoReMi, on october 15, 2014 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Weezer makes a return to the sound of their earlier albums, and despite having been around since the nineties, their songwriting isn't beginning to show age. They bring their signature blend of punk, pop, and rock in full force on this album. This album however, is not afraid to rock. The guitar solos range from the wild "Back to the Shack" to the powerful and astounding "The Futurescope Trilogy." The rhythm section brings drums that will have you banging your head, and the bass gives each song a powerful drive. // 10
Lyrics: While Rivers Cuomo isn't regarded as being a lyrical genius, he really shines on this album. One topic that he addresses a couple times in these songs is the popular thought by the fans that Weezer had sold out with their more recent releases. In the single, "Back to The Shack," Rivers sings "Sorry guys, I didn't realize that I needed you so much. I tried to get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks." and continues in "I've Had it Up to Here," saying that they no longer need to appeal to the masses and know where they belong "Don't need to pander to the masses anymore, don't need the whole world to love me." Other songs deal with regret and sadness: "Go Away" and "Foolish Father." Rivers really puts his all in the vocals, he soars high during the choruses of each song and with the back up of Brian and Scott, each song feels fulfilled. // 10
Overall Impression: Any fan of Weezer's earlier works will have to buy this album; it has the energy of "The Blue Album" and "Pinkerton," and the melody and style of "The Green Album" and "Make Believe." In my opinion the strongest songs are "Eulogy for a Rock Band," "I've Had it Up to Here," "The British Are Coming," "Da Vinci," " Cleopatra" and the amazing "The Futurescope Trilogy." I had very high expectations for this album since I grew up listening to Weezer, after their last couple releases I found it harder to keep my hopes high for another good release, but "Everything Will Be Alright in the End" is everything that I've wanted to hear from them in a very long time. This album is a must-have. // 10
Everything Will Be Alright In The End
FlyingPirahna, on october 15, 2014 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Weezer is infamous for its many musical stumbles post their "Pinkerton" era. From cringe-worthy material like "The Girl Got Hot" to Lil Wayne guest rap spots, their track record for the past decade is borderline laughable. After the rapid fire release of their last three albums ("Red," "Raditude," and "Hurley") within the span of three years, Weezer found themselves at a kind of crossroads - they were hemorrhaging fans and sales, and their attempts at crossing over into the pop realm with songwriter collaborations had fallen flat.
Enter Ric Ocasek, the man behind the boards for the legendary "Blue Album." Frontman Rivers Cuomo had a revelation of sorts, realizing that he was misguided in the direction he had been taking Weezer in, and looked to recapture the classic Weezer sound.
And recapture it Weezer has done. The classic power-pop crunch of the band's glory days is back in full force, with layers of thick guitars dominating the record. Ocasek brings a focus to this album that had been seriously lacking in the band's previous efforts, simplifying the arrangements down to only what the songs need.
From the slick, Beach Boys-esque "Go Away" (which features Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino), the huge arena sound of "Back to the Shack," and the guitar-bombastics of "Return to Ithaka," "EWBAITE" features an amalgam of the best elements of the band.
One of the most impressive aspects of this album, however, is the three-part "The Futurescope Trilogy" that closes out the album. Being mostly instrumental, it showcases the guitar wizardry that the band is fully capable of, but doesn't often show. "The Waste Land" is a tense beehive of chanted vocals and creepy guitar lines, and "Anonymous" features piano and guitar that explodes into a full-fledged song. "Return to Ithaka," however sends the album out in style. Layer upon layer of huge chords and shred guitar close out the 13 track affair, ending with triumphant sweep picking runs.
The only real downside to the production of the album is that it's almost TOO slick at times, with the vocals feeling a little separated from the music, and the music itself a little too locked to the beat. Personally, I would prefer more of a live, loose sound, but on an album this strong, it's not much of a complaint. // 9
Lyrics: Rivers Cuomo has never been the best lyricist, striking a fine balance between kitschy geek-dom and absolute stinkers as if it were his job. However, "EWBAITE" finds Rivers stepping up his game, creating running themes throughout the album which serve to make it a concept album of sorts. "EWBAITE" is broken into three thematic parts: one of which explores Rivers' relation to his audience, a suite of classic "girl songs," and a final one relating to his struggles and reconciliation with his absent father.
What's most impressive about these themes is that they're easily understood through the words themselves, and don't require wading through interviews and fan analysis to decipher. It's great to see this kind of honest, personal writing from Rivers again, reaching into his own personal struggles, instead of feeding off of cliches and tapping into teenage angst he hasn't actually felt for decades.
Vocally, there's not much to say. Rivers' voice sounds about the same as it ever has, sans the accents he adopted on some later-era Weezer tracks. There's more use of falsetto throughout the album, which does wonders for strengthen the melodies they're used in, but otherwise you'd be hard-pressed to discern a meaningful change in his style. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, this is easily the strongest record Weezer has released since "Maladroit," and maybe even "Pinkerton." It's a triumphant return to form that celebrates and showcases the best parts of Weezer, ones that have long been mired in ill-advised attempts at experimentation. From the classic crunch of the guitars, Rivers diving back into writing more personal lyrics, and the finely focused songwriting, "EWBAITE" makes a fine case for being the third classic Weezer album.
If you've hopped off of the Weezer-train for the past few years, it might be time to renew your boarding pass. // 8
Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Bozjoarmstrong, on october 15, 2014 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: A lot of the buzz around Weezer's latest release has focused on the return to the old-school sound of the "Blue Album" and "Pinkerton." However, the sound is certainly much closer to 2002's "Maladroit," which I feel does stand alongside the first two albums as Weezer's best.
The guitars are crunchy and distorted, the drums are pounding and Scott Shriner's excellent bass work really drives a lot of the songs. "Back to the Shack" is a pretty accurate description of the direction Weezer have gone in here; there's nothing new to the sound necessarily, simply less of the additional stuff that had a detrimental effect on some of their most recent work.
"Go Away" and "Da Vinci" do remind us that Weezer have not altogether recovered from what might be called their "detour," the pop sensibilities are very much intact, just not to the same sickening extent as "Raditude."
Indeed, the hooks throughout the album are extremely tight, making each effort memorable, but they are rock songs at the core. The aforementioned "Da Vinci" features a bit of whistling, while "The British Are Coming" includes a really cool acoustic guitar intro reminiscent of "Bends"-era Radiohead. As well as numerous tempo changes being present throughout, "Cleopatra" actually switches up the time signatures too, with a chorus in 5/4. These little touches keep the album from becoming at all stale.
In terms of the guitar work, "The British Are Coming" features, in my opinion, the best Weezer solo since "Buddy Holly." Guitar solos and often guitar duelling are littered throughout the album, particularly in the later stages with "The Futurescope Trilogy" allowing Rivers Cuomo and Brian Bell to really showcase their skills. // 8
Lyrics: Much will be made of the lyrics of lead single "Back to the Shack," in which Rivers apologises (presumably to both his bandmates and long-term fans) for forgetting that "disco sucks." From any other band, this would surely seem disingenuous, but if there's one thing that made us fall in love with Weezer all that time ago, it was that earnest feeling which has stayed with them across the decades.
The fact that Weezer have been going for twenty years now is clearly not lost on Rivers, epitomised in the excellent "Eulogy for a Rock Band" - I'm not sure which band this is addressed to, but one gets the feeling it is how Weezer would like to be remembered.
Other lyrical themes include Rivers' disappointment with the music industry; "I've Had it Up to Here" isn't too difficult to decipher, whilst "Cleopatra" is a little more veiled and as such, packs more punch.
Loyal listeners will also be surprised to hear Rivers' more optimistic take on his relationship with his father in "Foolish Father" - for so long a villain in the story of Weezer, he now seems to have earned a degree of forgiveness.
Otherwise, the lyrics are pretty straightforward; Rivers yearns for love, gets knocked back, moans about it for a bit... This isn't necessarily a bad thing - I actually think "Da Vinci" is one of the finest lyrical efforts here. // 7
Overall Impression: This album would have made a great sequel to "Maladroit," and as such, feels perhaps 10 years too late. Though the intervening albums have had their moments, this is certainly Weezer's best effort in a long time, and is hopefully the start of a career revitalization. It's difficult to pick standout songs from the album; I don't feel that any of them can be called classics just yet. But, as a body of work, this is a really strong, nuanced record that deserves the hype it's been getting. It's not "Pinkerton" or "Maladroit," but it's close enough. // 8