Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Weezer make strong return with ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’

Saturated with the power chords and heavy, guitar-driven rock that defined its early work, “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” is a nostalgic return to the Weezer of old. Released on Oct. 7, the album holds true to the lyrical themes of the band’s 1994, self-titled debut album, while sprinkling in the abandon of its 1996 album, “Pinkerton.”

The album’s lead single, “Back to the Shack,” outlines exactly what front man Rivers Cuomo intends to do on the band’s ninth studio album with the lyrics, “I’m sorry guys I didn’t realize that I needed you so much/I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucked. … I finally settled down with my girl and I made up with my dad.”

While the song seems like a modern version of “In The Garage.” In this iteration, the band is pretending to be themselves from 20 years ago.

With the overall theme of redemption in mind, Cuomo enlisted producer Ric Osacek, who produced Weezer’s debut album, to fill in the gaping holes of disappointment left by the band’s last two albums.

Cuomo categorizes the tracks into three main subjects: songs about fatherhood, called “Patriarchy,” several girl songs dubbed “Bella Donna” and songs about his audience and rock music in general titled “Panopticon Artist,” a reference to a type of prison design that makes inmates feel like they are being examined at all times. Fortunately, there are no collaborations with Lil Wayne in this effort – unlike in its 2009 album, “Raditude” – and there are enough guitar solos to satisfy the power-rock hungry masses.

While the opening track, “Ain’t Got Nobody,” exemplifies the “weird” mantra often associated with Weezer, it is the third track that is really the attention grabber. Sounding like it came straight out of a 1990s Weezer recording session, “Eulogy for a Rock Band” sets the tone for the entire album. Instrumentally and lyrically, the track hits home. The catchy chorus, “Adios, rock band that we loved the most/This is a toast to what you did/And all that you were fighting for,” is clearly a reference to the band’s own career.

The “Bella Donna” tracks showcase Cuomo’s talents for writing female-centric, anti-love songs. On “Go Away,” Bethany Cosentino, from Best Coast, provides a flawless vocal performance to counter Cuomo’s selectively deep tone in what turns into a stunning duet. However, the chorus to “Cleopatra,” lyrically at least, sounds like someone told Cuomo to come up with a chorus in 40 seconds.

Of the ‘Panopticon Artist” tracks, “The British Are Coming” is the shining star. As a historically influenced, extended metaphor, the track puts Cuomo in the shoes of Paul Revere, pitting him against “Punk-ass redcoats trying to run the show/Tell me what to do and where to go.” Beginning with a classic Weezer-esque intro and marching drum beat before moving into a beautifully composed, soft guitar sound, the power-guitar solo arrives right on cue and is one that would be expected from the band’s early work.

The “Patriarchy” tracks culminate with “Foolish Father,” which desperately encourages paternal forgiveness, much in the way that Cuomo recently allowed his own father to reenter his life after many absent years. At the song’s peak, Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, bassist Scott Shriner and utility man Brian Bell join in what sounds like a small choir echoing the albums title, “Everything Will Be Alright in the End,” in a spine-chilling, smile-inducing vocal harmony. This beautiful outro almost seems like a “thank you” to fans who stuck around and did not give up on the band.

That gratitude comes with a gift. The album ends with an electrifying trio of songs coined “The Futurescope Trilogy.” Only someone like Cuomo could’ve come up with something as over-the-top of a finish to an album as this trinity of tunes. The first and third are dazzling instrumentals, with the second (“II. Anonymous”) being a brilliant combination of the guitar sound that Weezer fans fell in love with in the mid-1990s and the band’s sensational gang vocals. “The Futurescope Trilogy” sounds like it was made to be played in a stadium.

With “Everything Will Be Alright in the End,” Weezer did exactly what it intended to do: redeem itself. Providing the power-pop, guitar-driven rock Weezer fans have grown to love, fused with the same quirky yet meaningful lyrics, Weezer delivered an album that – while it will not alter opinions about what their best albums are – will still find a place among them.

In the end, everything was all right.

John Andersen can be reached at [email protected].

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