Weezer have surprised the world by announcing the arrival of fourteenth studio album, OK Human, on Friday January 29 on Crush Music/Atlantic, with the album’s first single, ‘All My Favorite Songs’, out now.
For anyone keeping score at home: 2020 was going to be the year of Van Weezer – the big riffs rock album Weezer made as an homage to the metal bands they loved growing up – until, thanks to the global pandemic, it suddenly wasn’t. Van Weezer is still on the way and due for release on May 7.
The entire time, however, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo was busy at the piano, writing a very different album that took inspiration from another vital musical touchstone of his youth: The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.
Listen to ‘All My Favourite Songs’ by Weezer on the Official F1 Tracks playlist on Spotify.
Throughout the summer of Covid-19, he and the band – along with a 38 piece orchestra – chipped away at masked recording sessions using all analogue technology until the record was complete. The result is an album called OK Human — a cheeky nod to Radiohead’s technophobic future-trip OK Computer, but sounding nothing at all like that record.
Taking the listener bit by bit through parts of Cuomo’s every day, it’s a technicolor symphonic spree that meditates on how over-and-under-connected we all are, particularly in a year where we can see each other with greater ease, but can’t be physically near each other at all.
In addition to it being the first time Weezer have ever featured full orchestration on any of their records, OK Human is also packed to the brim with some of the best, most personal songs Cuomo has written in the last decade, all of which shine brighter and bolder with splashes of string and horn arrangements courtesy of album producer Jake Sinclair and arranger Rob Mathes.
It’s hard to imagine any other band who came up in the alt haze of the 90s creating a simply perfect orchestral pop album, but that is exactly what Weezer have done; OK Human is a testament to the excellent, enduring melodies Cuomo has written since the band’s inception, and the ones he continues to write today.