Weezer’s latest effort doesn’t seem to be alright

Jake Tully

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It’s painful to write a review of a new Weezer release that doesn’t begin with a rush of accolades or adoring thoughts on their return that’s been too long coming.

 

For a band that produced arguably one of the finest albums of the 90’s (see: The Blue Album if you haven’t done so already) Rivers Cuomo and company’s latest, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, is an ineffectual and sorry search for approval after a series of milquetoast records following The Green Album.

 

It’s a sad state of affairs, for if there’s a band that spent its glory days shaping indie garage-rock that deserves success in 2014, one should hope that it is Weezer realizing such prosperity. Yet here we find ourselves in collective despair, another entry in the Weezer catalogue that doesn’t amount to much more than the typeface representing it.

 

Ultimately, Everything Will Be Alright In The End begs the question, “When did Weezer get so hokey?” Weezer has always had a charmingly nerdy approach to music, singing about love and finding an otherwise oppositional spin on things in the face of their gloomy contemporaries (see: The Bends and Odelay).

 

However, there needs to be a distinction between ditching disparity for optimism and coming off as flat out innocuous. Tracks like “The British Are Coming” and “Eulogy For A Rock Band” are complete (albeit poorly executed tongue-in-cheek) jokes.

 

Recall when Cuomo described his garage -12-sided die, Dungeon Master’s guide, Kiss posters and all – and then compare to something like “Foolish Father.” It’s a sea change in rock mentality so great that it’s as if Weezer ought to adopt a new moniker for their contemporary sound.

 

It’s interesting that Weezer predicated Everything Will Be Alright’s release with the single “Back In The Shack,” a song harkening back to the glory days of jamming in the garage and producing music that was something to write home about. Despite the song itself serving as a non-impressive treatise to days long past, it seems that nothing else following it would adhere to the tenants of the song.

 

Cuomo himself has even made a mission to apologize for the band’s recent efforts, promising a return to form on the new record. Well then, Rivers, Everything Will Be Alright In The End had better be Pinkerton and then some, yet it’s an awful shame that it isn’t.

 

Everything isn’t completely without its merits – “Go Away” with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino is easily the premier track, with enough thoughtful composition that it could have (and should have) been parceled out on its own as a single.

 

Perhaps Everything Will Be Alright In The End will serve as a lesson of sorts on returning from indeterminate hiatus to indulge in nouveau  dad-rock. One would surmise that Weezer’s next album in 2015 will feature “El Scorcho II: SPF 125” and “Timeshare In The Sun,” but let’s all hold out for a “Pink Triangle: Slight Return.” For a band so concerned with revitalizing its image they should’ve made the easiest and most logical move: rocked.