Anticipating a Weezer album in 2014 is a curious feeling.
You’ve kind of resigned yourself to the fact that the creative zenith reached on their first three albums is unlikely to return but yet Maladroit, Make Believe and ‘The Red Album’ were all great albums in their own right. However, after two woeful collections in Raditude and Hurley, Weezer’s new full length Everything Will Be Alright In The End arrives with some feelings of trepidation. And now that we’ve set the scene, it can be said that this album is something of a success. Kinda. Ish.
All doubts about Rivers’ songwriting are obliterated with album opener Ain’t Got Nobody keeping the band’s time honoured tradition of kicking albums off with absolute ragers. An explosion of soaring melodies and good feelings, it’s a rabble rousing start that sets the bar super high for the rest of the album. There are other tunes that reach these lofty heights with the 50’s inspired sweetness of Lonely Girl recalling the band’s ‘Blue Album’ heyday, The British Are Coming is an eclectic tune that features a vocal that is from the top drawer of what Cuomo can do as a singer and Go Away features a gorgeous duet with Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino (who’s making a welcome habit of these kind of cameos following her work on New Found Glory’s Radiosurgery). There’s also a superb retro production job from long-term Weezer collaborator Rick Ocasek that’ll delight old school fans and as ever, the guitar solos are sent down from the Gods and channelled through Rivers’ mighty axe.
As has become the norm with post-‘Green Album’ Weezer though, the gold comes wrapped up in an awful lot of filler. Cleopatra sounds like something the band shat out in a Weezer-by-numbers competition, and the space rock trilogy of songs that close the album sound glorious but do have a tendency to disappear up their own arse, meaning that EWBAITE really does tail off in quality towards the end of the record.
If we are fair and judge Weezer by the standards of the average band, of course this is a good record. They’re capable of what other bands can only dream of when they are on song and the glimpses of that on show here are enough to make this feel like a triumph. It’s not the glorious comeback some are touting it as but it is definitely a step in the right direction after the band’s last few awry efforts.