album review - ok human by weezer
A short 30 minute album with ‘I feel empty inside but I still have hope’ undertones that perfectly match the lonely, dreary mood of being a year into a global pandemic. All in all, this is one of Weezer’s better albums in their catalogue.
TL;DR: Favorite track: "Aloo Gobi" Least favorite track: "Everything Happens for A Reason" I guess because it's only 24 seconds long
"All My Favorite Songs"
Starts with a nice little understated instrumental intro. At first I was torn over whether the opening lines were a little cheesy/overly simplistic or totally relatable: “all my favorite songs are slow and sad/all my favorite people make me mad/everything that feels so good is bad, bad, bad.” But that very last sentence of the opening paragraph is where I really started paying attention, because that exact thought has crossed my mind before. All in all, the song ends up being both simple and relatable, and sometimes that’s one of the best types of songs. Ended up liking it.
"Aloo Gobi" An orchestral intro leads into Pavement-ish vocals. Some nice vocal vibrato in the pre-chorus that serves to switch things up. Lyrically it has the same ‘I feel empty inside’ themes as the opening track. At this point I am starting to suspect that might be where the album is going. But then there’s also the hopeful bridge: “You are not alone/Someone else will be there with you/Be there with you/You are not alone.” Instrumentally there is something familiar about it, though not quite Weezer-like…it’s laid-back, orchestral…I liked this song too.
"Grapes of Wrath" Again we have orchestral instrumentation but a rock style drumbeat (although still laid-back). Lyrically this is beginning to look like a concept album (again that’s a good thing in my mind, I like concept albums): “You think I care, I just don’t care/I just don’t care/I’m barely there.” But a unique and creative theme sets this song apart: the song is about him listening to audiobooks on his headphones to drown out and escape from the world. Plus, the chorus is so catchy.
"Numbers" Need I even mention that here again we have orchestral instrumentation? No, probably not. At this point I’m only going to mention the instrumentation if it’s NOT orchestral. Anyway, it’s basically a song about being rejected based on how people assess you—your athletic ability, your academic ability, your appearance, and so on. “There’s always a number that’ll make you feel bad about yourself.” Very true. Also thought “But the numbers won’t compute when we love and a two becomes one” was another little hopeful insert. I think it’s often a good thing when sad songs have some hint of hope in them, because that adds depth.
"Playing My Piano" References to not washing hair for 3 weeks and Zoom interviews? I liked the added sense of time period. It’s basically about drowning out the world (again), but this time with music. Again, super relatable, and obviously there’s amazing piano accompaniment.
"Mirror Image" The preceding track flows seamlessly into this one, a nice short ballad about true love (aww), which lyrically reminds me of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s “Twin of Myself.” It was probably the song I was the least impressed with so far, but at the same time, it made sense at its place in the album.
"Screens" This is probaly the most typically Weezer-sounding song on the album so far, although in many ways it still isn’t. It’s kind of an anti-screens song, which kinda brings to mind the music video for Moby’s “Are You Lost in the World Like Me?” I have to say that type of song is always relatable even though it is a little overly obvious as far as a theme for a song in modern times.
"Bird With A Broken Wing" Interesting metaphorical song hinting that he was once considered cooler or more successful than he is; not he’s ‘a bird with a broken wing,’ maybe more obviously flawed or less valued, but he insists “don’t feel sad for me,” as he “still has a song to sing.” I like that.
"Dead Roses" Pretty heart-wreching, gothic song about a relationship that ended.
"Everything Happens For A Reason" 24-second instrumental interlude. The title makes it make sense after “Dead Roses.”
"Here Comes the Rain" For a song called “Here Comes the Rain,” it’s pretty upbeat. SPLISH SPLISH SPLASH. “Here comes the rain, it’s gonna wash all my troubles away.” I felt like I needed this Archies-esque bubblegum song after the melancholy rest of the album. It was smart to put it near the end.
"La Brea Tar Pits" “I’m sinking, could you give me a lift? Want to make an escape but don’t know where to begin.” Again, he is feeling sad, but kind of hopeful. I think that’s how pretty much all of us are feeling right now.