Words About Music
Weezer “Everything Will Be Alright in the End”
Oh, Weezer, where did it all go wrong? Things were looking so great! Yeah, people didn’t like “Pinkerton” a whole lot when it first came out, but by the time you were gearing up to put out “The Green Album,” that was starting to change! You could’ve just waited a bit longer and you would’ve seen how much we love that Weezer. We didn’t want happy Weezer. We didn’t want the Weezer that collaborated with Lil Wayne and wrote songs that used the phrase “I don’t give a hoot about what you think” and wrote songs like “Beverly Hills.” Needless to say, 2000s Weezer has been consistently embarrassing. Some great songs materialized between 2001 and 2010, but Weezer needed a break. After “Hurley,” which was yet another critical failure, it would be four years before we’d get more Weezer, the longest album gap since the post-“Pinkerton” one. Foreshadowing? I don’t know. But with “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” being hyped as a return to form for the band, I was cautiously excited. “Pinkerton” and “The Blue Album” are two of my favorite albums ever. Could Weezer pull off a return to form without trying too hard or being seen as one of those lame old bands that tries to revitalize their career to no avail?
And I’ll be damned. Weezer managed to pull off what I’m proud to declare to be far and away their best album since “Pinkerton.” Rather than rock out like it’s ’94, as lead single “Back to the Shack” suggests, they decided to pick up where “Pinkerton” left off. Self-deprecating lyrics, heavy riffs and solos, the nerd-rock aesthetic, and the band’s tightest songwriting in a long time. I like to imagine two alternate universes: one where “Pinkerton” was highly acclaimed upon release and this album dropped in like 1998 or 1999, and another where Weezer broke up after “Pinkerton” only to reunite nearly 20 years later to release this in 2014. In this universe, though, “Everything Will Be Alright” is even more appreciated because it comes after such a long string of undesirable efforts.
This isn’t Weezer at their absolute best, but it is Weezer at the best we didn’t even dare hope for. The songs on this album do verge on cheesy, both lyrically and instrumentally, but it’s done in such a charming, deliberate, and catchy way that I can’t find myself hating it. Even the overly-self-aware “Back to the Shack” is just a fun, well-written pop song. It does kind of take me out of the experience (maybe if it were the first song on the album it would have been better), but by itself it’s what I consider to be a great song. And that’s what this album is full of: great songs. Weezer is back to doing what they do best, taking all of its eight previous albums’ best qualities to heart and re-appropriating them.
My biggest complaint is that “Foolish Father” isn’t the last song on the album. Instead, the album ends with an odd, indulgent three-part song that feels a lot like a bonus track. “Foolish Father” just feels like such a great final track that ties the album together so well, but “The Waste Land,” “Anonymous,” and “Return to Ithaka” feel superfluous. Yeah, they make the album like 8 minutes longer, but it feels so out of place. Other than that, though, the album is enjoyable in nearly the same way that Weezer’s best work is. It’s fun, enjoyable, and the least naive album the band has ever put out.
SCORE – 8.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – Ain’t Got Nobody, Back to the Shack, Eulogy for a Rock Band, The British Are Coming, Da Vinci, Go Away, Cleopatra, Foolish Father