In a society where out-of-date adults are taunted with the phrase, “Ok boomer”, Weezer combats it with OK Human. This new album by the alternative-rock band is their most different work in their discography. They utilized a thirty-eight piece orchestra for the album, a unique choice for the band. While the instruments are far-fetched, it still carries the anatomy and soul of the group. In its essence, Weezer is still very present throughout the new thirty-minute symphony.
OK Human is reminiscent of a theatre experience. There’s a heavy presence of character, emotion and rhythm. It is easy to imagine it vibrating in a proscenium during a ballet or dramatic piece. The tracks also flow together; it is a better experience to listen to them in chronological order than in shuffle mode.
River Cuomo, the frontman of Weezer, “plays” our protagonist. He is a human lost in a tech-driven society. The continuous tracks “Aloo Gobi”, “Grapes of Wrath” and “Numbers” address this timeless dilemma. “Grapes of Wrath” refers to literary pieces Moby Dick and 1984 where characters are powerless under controlling manifestations of nature.
The genre of this art is satirical in which serious conflicts are occurring but are conveyed in an upbeat tone. Humanity is losing its spiritual essence to technology, but the protagonist still smiles with the music. Weezer wants the listeners to laugh at the tragedy of our generation.
“Here Comes the Rain” embodies it as they desire for rain to “… wash all my troubles away”. In “Grapes of Wrath”, the protagonist coined the term “classical denial”. This is very fitting for the tragic comedy aspect of the album.
The lyrics are an enjoyable improvement and still maintain Weezer’s melancholy. The contrasting ideas rhyme with each other in thought-provoking ways. One track that embodied this is “Numbers” which makes us think about the literary poetry behind numbers in music.
The drums are another constant throughout the album. They remain authentic and never get replaced with technology-based sounds. The timing of the beats in “Screens” is a great track for drummer Patrick Wilson.
The Humanity in OK Human
The message of OK Human is concerned about today’s generation relying too much on technology for identity. Technology can evolve but Weezer’s melancholy will always be a constant. While many rock bands choose to apply technology to their newest pieces, Weezer rebelled against time and placed classical sounds into an album for 2021.
In a world where people are losing themselves to technology, Weezer has risen above that and presented their humanity in a great showcase of talent. OK Human would make a spectacular live act for a Weezer show at the Hollywood Bowl. This experimental experience should have music fans in high anticipation for their next album also coming in 2021, Van Weezer.
“Numbers” is a mellow tune that feels like the heart of the album. “Numbers are out to get you” haunts the song, but it’s still a calming melody.
“Screens” follows a father in distress about losing his family to technology.
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