Album Review: Weezer, 'Everything Will Be Alright in the End'

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weezer everything will be alright in the end
Weezer, 'Everything Will Be Alright in the End' (© 2014 Republic Records.)

Weezer are a band who answer to no one but write songs for the masses. Their debut self-titled blue album, produced by the Cars' Ric Ocasek, launched Weezer into the final chapter of rock decadence. For three decades, Rivers Cuomo's brand of hook-driven alternative rock has remained mostly unchanged. Like their '90s rock peers, Weezer have settled into a career that is nothing more or less than what you would expect. While fans of the ever-coveted Pinkerton balk at the cringe-worthy gimmicks on Hurley and Raditude, Weezer's ninth studio album is reminiscent of the relatable yet pretentious band from the last century.

Reunited with Ocasek for the third time, Everything Will Be Alright In the End combines the classic production of Weezer's Blue and Green albums with a more introspective front-man. The hook-driven first single, "Back To The Shack," works as a cunning preview of what to expect from the other 12 tracks on the album. Sounding like a sonic caricature of the Blue album, Cuomo declares he is "rocking out like it's '94." Weezer never actually stopped sounding like the band they once were. The last five albums have been nothing but rock and have lacked the sarcasm and wit that set them apart from all other modern-rock backs.

As "Back To The Shack" serves as another cheap radio single, the rest of the album is anything but a cheap rock song. Cuomo sounds self-aware and irreverent on songs like "I've Had It Up To Here" and "Eulogy for a Rock Band." It's hard to tell if he is mocking himself or his fans on songs that dissect the dark side of nostalgia. Juxtapose this with the sweet duet with Bethany Cosentino (of Best Coast) on "Go Away" or the perfectly executed guitar riffs and changes on "Lonely Girl."

This album is Weezer at their best in ten years, and they know it.

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