Weezer - OK Human

January 29, 2021 in Album Reviews

by Jane Elysium

Weezer - OK Human by Weezer

Hello everyone, this will be different than anything previously published on KVRX. This is a self-reflective journal entry set to Weezer’s newest album, OK Human. I know what you’re wondering: Why? Well, I’m writing this because I desperately want to share these thoughts and I don’t have anyone to share them with. Obviously, the thing to do is to write an unnecessary, deeply personal review of OK Human. I realize that I could just keep all of my thoughts to myself, but I have never been able to do that. I also realize that many people will not read all, if any, of this. And that’s totally okay. You can check out at any time, I will never know. But if anybody ever tells me that they read this whole thing, well, we’re best friends now. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. If you listen to me ramble on about things only I seem to care about, we’re best friends and I love you. Still, even if nobody reads this, the idea that somebody could makes my heart race.

 

Alright, I need to at least try to make this like an album review. What’s something someone with “music authority” would say? Oh, yes, this album is about loneliness. It’s got a great through-line of loneliness. The insidious contemporary loneliness that pains me and everyone else that is chronically online. Lurking. Yes, Pinkerton is also about loneliness. But this isn’t Pinkerton. Pinkerton already exists. And I don’t think the version of Rivers that wrote Pinkerton exists anymore. Pinkerton is pretty…unstable. And OK Human is very stable. This album is a controlled expression of incredibly dark and difficult emotions. It’s incredibly self-aware. Loneliness ages with us. I believe it adapts to fit us as we grow so that it can never leave. Though I really don’t know yet. My personal thoughts will be all over this. I told you it was a journal entry.

 

OK Human starts with “All My Favorite Songs.” The release of “All My Favorite Songs” was timely for me. I’ve been listening to too much Pinkerton and Blue for the last two years. My top song in 2019 was “Falling for You.” And in 2020, it was “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here.” I don’t mean to listen to the same songs over and over again, but I do anyway. Now that I mention it, I do fall in love with everyone who hates me. And everything that feels good to me is bad. I know it’s bad. Curiously, being aware of all my feelings and knowing why I feel the way I do doesn’t ever stop those feelings. “All My Favorite Songs” reminds me of “QB Blitz.” I was pathetically lonely my first semester of college. I had friends at school, but once I stepped off campus I was aware of how impermanent I was to everyone I knew. When Pacific Daydream was released, I listened to it on repeat. I listened so often I took the time to fall in love with each and every song on the album. “QB Blitz” helped me feel less alone. I can clearly see a memory of me standing in my bathroom, staring at my face in the mirror while “QB Blitz” was playing on repeat. I was getting ready for a party that I ended up not going to. Instead, I sat in my living room with my hair and makeup done and watched Futurama until morning. I know. I’m very cool. Honestly, what did you expect from a college radio DJ who is writing what amounts to a journal entry set to OK Human? I am okay with it. I can smile at my ridiculousness.

 

“Aloo Gobi” is goofy. My smile turns into a laugh. I love how much he leans into his nerdiness: the way that TikTok views Weezer, the way that r/Weezer views Weezer, the way all Weezer fans view Weezer. Anyway, back to “Aloo Gobi.” It’s the song the guy who looks just like Buddy Holly would’ve written. That’s a joke. I hope it landed. I haven’t smiled this large in so long. My cheeks ache. I know I’m being cheered up, but I’m also crying to Rivers telling me I’m not alone. I go through the exact same thing when I listen to “Lonely Girl.” I obviously can’t handle even the idea that someone would try to help me feel less alone.

 

If “All My Favorite Songs” is “QB Blitz”, then “Grapes Of Wrath” is “Da Vinci.” This one is much lighter and it makes me smile. I know you don’t know this about me, but “Da Vinci” was my favorite Weezer song for years. For no other reason than it made me smile. I would listen over and over thinking about how nice it would be for someone to think of me like that. Living in a fantasy. “Grapes Of Wrath” is so strange. The instrumentation fits a much more serious song, but it’s just a 50-year-old man singing about how he’s going to listen to Grapes of Wrath on Audible. I wonder if lyrics were started back with the rest of Everything Will Be Alright In The End. It would actually fit well there.

 

The transition into “Numbers” crept in. I didn’t expect a Weezer song like this one, definitely not on this album. Again, the instrumentation fits a much more “serious” song. The highlight of this song is definitely the chorus. You know, this one reminds me of “Superfriend.” Not musically or emotionally, but personally. Obviously. I love “Superfriend,” but a lot of people don’t like it because the lyrics are cheesy. But if you haven’t caught on yet, I am very cheesy. I don’t know if I like the cheesiness in the verses of “Numbers.” I know it’ll probably grow on me, but right now I am distracted wondering what is with Rivers and IQ and height? “Your IQ is 20 points low and I’m no six-foot hot look All-American Man” - “Devotion.” Wait! That’s it! That’s what these songs remind me of! The scrapped songs from the Pinkerton years. I love all those songs. This past summer. Mm. What’s a nicer word for Pandemic? This time spent in quarantine has been nice for one thing: Weezer demos. Rivers Cuomo Alone 4-12. The RiversCuomo.com leak.

 

I feel so invasive listening to “Playing My Piano.” It’s a journal entry. I see the irony, no need to point it out. Like all of my writing ever (including this), all these lyrics are very literal. That’s what makes them so close. I feel like I’m hearing Rivers Cuomo the person instead of Rivers Cuomo the Rockstar. Also, fuck Zoom. I’m sick of Zoom. Maybe (definitely) it’s because everything I enjoyed in life has been replaced by Zoom, but hearing “Zoom” in a song has shaken me.

 

“Mirror Image” instantly reminds me of “Devotion.” I’m trying not to cry thinking about “Devotion” and all that it means to me. I want to be this for someone someday. The phone recording at the end is so personal. Will this be how people will listen to me one day? All the songs I have written and keep to myself. Or the ones I record only as videos on my phone and send to a few people? I think this is my favorite song on the album. I feel gutted. I need a break, but I don’t get one. It slips directly into “Screens.” Which, by the way, how did he know? I AM a young girl lying flat in her bed. Wait. OK Human a concept album. Rivers. Please finish your other concept album. Please finish Songs from the Black Hole and give it the full release it deserves. I don’t know how I feel about the verses of OK Human, but I love the choruses. My stomach still hurts from hearing “Zoom” in a song. What did I expect from the man who sang “ancestry.com” in “Da Vinci”, “Audible” in “Grapes of Wrath”? The man who wrote all of Raditude.

 

“Bird With A Broken Wing” has beautiful instrumentation. Nerdy songs about the sea remind me of “Wind in Our Sail” and I am sad again. Is this from the point of view of the albatross that was around the boy and the girl’s necks? That’s a joke. Getting to the second verse you realize that there’s no poetry. This song is about a bird with a broken wing. Does that stop me from feeling feelings? No, obviously, do you not know me yet by now? I don’t need poetry to cry. I need any thought and enough time.

 

“Dead Roses” is nice. Was that clarinet? The clarinet Rivers tried to play in “Longtime Sunshine.” That’s also a joke. I’m trying my best to be funny here! I have jokes to tell. They’re not good jokes, but they’re jokes nonetheless. Alright, back to the music. I close my eyes and slump back into the sadness of the song with pretty instrumentals and simple lyrics. OK Human is lyrically close to Pacific Daydream and EWBAITE. It's on a completely other level musically. I keep having to listen to this song. Whenever I feel like I’m finally having an original thought about it, the song ends. It’s so short. Actually, every song on this album is short. I wish I had more. I feel like these songs are getting somewhere interesting and then the next song starts. It’s tiring in its own way.

 

I’m okay. I love the synths in this album. I can focus on this next song. “Everything Happens For A Reason” is so nice. Any other Weezer album and this would’ve been a killer guitar solo, but no electric guitars in this album. That was part of the deal. Anyway, it distracts me from thinking too much of myself and I can move on to the next song. But I really do want more. I want OK Human’s “I. II. and III.” There’s so much this album could be. But I’m being unfair. I came into this expecting to be reborn. I know. I’m ridiculous. I know that when I give this album the time it didn’t give me, I will fall in love with all of its quirks. Do you see why I fall in love with everyone who hates me?

 

“Here Comes The Rain” took me from my thoughts. It’s so polite and upbeat. Yet the lyrics teeter on sadness. I like this feeling. I’m sick of being sad. It’s exhausting. I just want to dance. I’m reminded of “Byzantine.” Again, for purely personal reasons. Black Album was released at the start of the spring semester of my sophomore year. As you can guess, at the end of the semester when I started losing the ability to create my own happiness, I listened to “Byzantine” on repeat and I would smile and dance every time. What else does this song remind me of? Harry Nilsson. Is that right? Yes, I think so. I think of The Point! Another album I listen to on repeat to siphon its simple happiness from.

 

“La Brea Tar Pits” is also fun to listen to. I like this take on loneliness. I want to talk about how I feel without revealing too much and make other people start to act differently around me. Does that come with growing up? I find this song very uplifting. I don’t know when the world will get better. I don’t know if it will ever get better. But I have hope that I’ll be okay. I and everyone else will be thrown a rope and be saved from sinking in the “La Brea Tar Pits.” This song ends and I sit in silence. And I am not uncomfortable with it.

 


Recommended: All My Favorite Songs, Mirror Image, Bird With A Broken Wing, Here Comes the Rain, La Brea Tar Pits


January 2021 // Crush Music, Atlantic Records