The vinyl word on... OK Human
Along with the Foo Fighters releasing “Medicine at Midnight” in the last month, Weezer are another stalwart of the 90’s alternative rock scene who has released a in the midst of lockdowns and restrictions. The release of this record was brought forward due to the band not being able to tour the as yet unreleased “Van Weezer” album, and after listening to it a number of times now, we’re almost lucky that it played out this way, as this album is the band’s strongest in a long time.
The strength of this album, for me at least, is the fact that Weezer have ditched the distorted guitars that have become their staple, and instead use acoustic guitars, pianos, organs, and an orchestra for the song arrangements. This combination of instruments works an absolute treat when paired with Rivers Cuomo’s knack for catchy vocal hooks, along with simple lyrics and song structures. The orchestral arrangements adds so much colour to the songs and reminded me of the classic pop/rock bands of the sixties, and specifically albums like “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, and “Revolver” by the Beatles. The standout tracks for me are the first single “All My Favourite Songs”, “Aloo Gobi”, and “Bird with a Broken Wing”, but honestly there isn’t a weak song on here. Lyrically, Cuomo seems to be inspired by the events of the last year, talking about the monotony of Zoom calls, the repetitive nature of life during the pandemic, and lamenting the obsession people have with social media. These topics are all things we can relate to, and the simplicity of the lyrics really resonate.
It’s a refreshing album as well in terms of production. In order to achieve that authentic retro sound, the band recorded the album on analogue equipment, and the orchestral parts were all recorded at Abbey Road studio. This makes a huge difference when listening to this collection with headphones, but it’s on vinyl that “OK Human” finds its home. This is an album made for a turntable.
At just over half an hour long, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, but it is an album that is very easy to get addicted to, and brings a feeling of summer to what seems to be the longest winter we’ve ever endured.
These are the learned muso words of our man Kevin Dillon.