Weezer Proves “Everything Will Be Alright in the End”

Weezer’s career has not been the straightest of trajectories. After releasing two of the best rock albums of all time at the beginning of their career, they’ve had some ups and downs more defined than most. Of late their output has been sorely lacking, and most fans agreed it was time for a turn around, if one was even coming at all.

Good news to report: Weezer is not dead and gone.  On the contrary, Weezer is back with their best album in years, Everything Will Be Alright in the End.

From the first track “Ain’t Got Nobody” the difference between this and their latest material is noticeable. The crunch is back to their electric guitars. The passion and sneer is back to vocalist Rivers Cuomo’s delivery. Every instrument sounds the best it has in a really long time. This is a return to form in many ways.

In other ways it’s also a departure. There’s a concept here, something that they haven’t done since their sophomore album Pinkerton. Even more than that, it’s very self-referential. Lead single “Back to the Shack” has Rivers agreeing that they have to get back to their origins; namely the “Strat with the lightning strap” in order to start “rocking out like it’s ‘94” again. This song is Weezer at their purest: a simple, blazing riff, two power chords, and an awesome vocal delivery. Any doubts from the fans would certainly be assuaged here.

Then there’s the rest of the songs, which range from a whistling ditty full of sunshine and hilarious lyrics (“Da Vinci”) to a head bobbing new-age Beach Boys interpretation (“Lonely Girl”) to an awesome strutting guitar rocker complete with falsetto (“I’ve Had It Up to Here”). The hits come hot and heavy here, and the tracks all maintain a catchiness that the band had been missing. All of them are capable of putting a smile on your face and making you bob your head.

The record peaks with the song “Foolish Father”, a seriously emotional song that has Rivers both atoning for the known problems he had with his father while also hoping he doesn’t do the same to his kids. It’s a journey in itself, epic and grandiose, ending with the album title and central mantra being sung by the entire band and a children’s choir: “everything will be alright in the end.” It’s incredibly satisfying, in terms of the record and as a fan knowing the trials and tribulations that have led Rivers to this point.

The album closer is a three-part suite known as The Futurescope Trilogy. Bookended with instrumental tracks where the Weez guys show off their truly respectable music chops, the song “Anonymous” acknowledges all the people sight unseen that have shaped the band’s career up to this point. It’s an affectionate nod to the fans, the critics, the naysayers and the doubters, all the while proving to them that they’re nowhere near done yet.  The album as whole benefits from a real sense of purpose because of this, resulting in what could easily be considered their best album since their first two.

Some fans thought the album title was alluding to this being the end of the band. I don’t think so, as it’s only the first part of a well-known saying. “Everything will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.” I don’t think they’re quite where they want to be just yet, but I think this record proves that after 20 years they’re well on their way.

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