Stream Weezer’s new orchestral pop album ‘OK Human’
Weezer have released the first of two planned 2021 albums, OK Human. As we said when we posted lead single "All My Favorite Songs," the album title may be an OK Computer homage, but the music is channelling the baroque pop of Pet Sounds. It's fueled by piano and orchestral arrangements rather than the band's usual rock band set-up, and it's one of the better and more unique latter-day Weezer albums. Rivers Cuomo recently spoke to Zane Lowe on Apple Music about it:
I was just so excited from day one and the songs came very quickly and easily. And then we recorded the strings at Abbey Road and recorded the band and I'd say we're about 90% done, and then the whole Hella Mega thing happened. It's like, "Okay, this is going to be your 2020. You're going out with Green Day and Fall Out Boy. And you guys better bring the rock, because these are the big boys and you want to look good and you're going to be in these stadiums with 80,000 screaming rock fans." And we're like, "Uh, okay. We have this piano orchestra album with introspective songs."
So, yeah. We decided, "You know what? Let's put this one on hold for a minute and let's make this killer stadium, heavy metal rock album." And so we went ahead with Van Weezer. We got that one wrapped up, and we're about to put that one out, and then the pandemic happened and the whole tour got bumped to 2021. So, at that point, we were like, "Well, we can't put out this heavy metal record now when..."How can you promote a rock album if you can't rock? So, at that point we said, "Let's go back and finish up OK Human. Yeah. So, that's where we are now. We've got two albums coming out in the space of two months. Weezer is prepared. Whatever the world throws at us, we got an album for you.
I've always been such a fan of classical music and opera, and I knew it was coming. And yet, I feel like it's overdue, like I just kind of got stuck in this pattern of, "Okay, we're a rock band. This is what we do. We don't want to get soft too soon. This rock thing seems to be working." But really getting encouragement from Jake, and then just a light went off like, "Oh, this is going to be great." And then, man, hearing it back for the first time with the orchestra it's like yeah, those are the chords I wrote, and that's the melody I wrote, but man, it's just… It's like seeing in three dimensions for the first time or something, it's just gorgeous. And I can't believe we haven't done it before. It would be interesting to go back and hear some of the early albums re-orchestrated. The one I'd be most interested in hearing is Pinkerton. Those are the most complex songs and they're the most emotional songs. And yet, the way we recorded is so raw, four-piece rock noise. I'd be really interested to hear that with an orchestra.
Stream the full album and watch the "All My Favorite Songs" video below, alongside video of Rivers' interview with Zane Lowe.
As Rivers mentioned in the interview, the second Weezer album of 2021 is called Van Weezer, and -- as the title implies -- this one's a hard rock album inspired by Van Halen. That one's due May 7 via Atlantic/Crush.
For even more Weezer, spice up your home with this Rivers Cuomo Funko Pop, which you can pick up in the BrooklynVegan store: