First of Two Planned 2021 Releases Finds Band Working with 39-Piece Orchestra and Drawing Influence from Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Sings Newman!
Weezerfollow-up 2019'sWeezerakaThe Black Albumwith their fourteenth studio album,OK Human(a nod to Radiohead‘sOK Computer), the first of two planned 2021 releases. It finds the Los Angeles quartet working with a 39-piece orchestra and frontman Rivers Cuomo taking inspiration from the likes of the Beach Boys'Pet Soundsand Harry Nilsson'sNilsson Sings Newmanto create one of his most personal albums to date.
"It's all piano-based, but it has a ton of orchestration," Cuomo toldEntertainment Weekly. "We just did the strings at Abbey Road. It's just gorgeous melodies and extremely eccentric lyrics." On the yearning lead single "All My Favorite Songs," Cuomo sings, "All my favorite songs are slow and sad/All my favorite people make me mad/Everything that feels so good is bad, bad, bad/All my favorite songs are slow and sad/I don't know what's wrong with me."
"OK Human was made at a time when humans-playing-instruments was a thing of the past," notes the band. "All we could do is look back on ancient times when humans really mattered and when the dark tech-takeover fantasy didn't exist. We used our instruments to connect to the 1960s and 1970s and, with the orchestra, back to the 18th and 19th centuries. We had no click track or loops or hi-tech sounds. Not even an electric guitar."
Van Weezer, the band's fifteenth studio album and second of 2021, was produced by Suzy Shinn (Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy). The inspiration for the record derives from the deepest roots of Weezer - metal! What has metal got to do with Weezer, you ask? In his earliest years, Rivers Cuomo was a huge Kiss fan; Brian Bell was a big Black Sabbath fan; Patrick Wilson worshipped at the altar of Van Halen and Rush; Scott Shriner loved Slayer and Metallica. The last time this vein of harder rock was mined by Weezer was on their much-loved 2002 album Maladroit; Van Weezer is primed to take that album's sonics many steps further. Rivers told Entertainment Weekly that Van Weezer goes "back to big guitars" and is "Blue Album-ish, but a little more riffy." And he added to NME that, "This is probably the best possible time for this album. It's about feeling isolated and alienated and secluded, so it's the perfect album for now."
Weezerdoesn't look like rock stars, its amusing name doesn't evoke stadium-heights glories, and the group's lyrics don't exude confidence or flash. For precisely these reasons, and the fact that the band's songs on theirRic Ocasek-produced 1994 self-titled debut are the stuff of air-guitar dreams and shout-it-out choruses, the quartet became ironic arena-rock stars equally celebrated by in-the-know hipsters and mainstream radio listeners.
Underdogs and misfits,Weezeremerged from Los Angeles, CA as nerdy kids that eschewed traditional party-hard ways in favor of studying Kiss records, engaging in conversations about old LPs, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. The band's awkwardness joyfully translates in the songs on their debut, largely concerned with jealous insecurities, pop culture, true-to-life heartbreak, common accidents, youthful misconceptions, and daydreaming.
Replete with urgent melodies, quirky confessional narratives, wry humor, and gargantuan hooks,Weezer (Blue Album)remains the best geek-rock record ever made. More than three-times platinum, theBlue Albumclaims an iconic cover that pays tribute to that of the Feelies'Crazy Rhythms. The picture – as well as the bubblegum-inspired content within – has become an indelible part of modern culture. And "My Name Is Jonas," "Say It Ain't So," "Buddy Holly," and "Undone (The Sweater Song)" are all modern classics.
New 10-Track Covers Album Inspired by the Reception to the Band's Viral Sensation Take on Toto's "Africa"!
Throughout a sold-out tour of the US in summer 2018,Weezerbegan working covers into their set, ranging from "Take On Me" by a-ha to "Happy Together" by The Turtles, in addition to their massive cover of "Africa" by Toto, which became a viral sensation upon its release earlier that year. Given the tremendous response to these songs at the shows, the band was inspired to put together a covers album - and thusWeezer (The Teal Album)was born! Preceding the band's new album,Weezer (The Black Album), additional '80s/'90s gems are also tackled here including The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and "No Scrubs" by TLC while the band reached further back for Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" and Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)