The quality of Weezer albums have always relied on their sincerity, and on that front, the new album Everything Will Be Alright in the End is a success—sort of.
With impeccable production by Ric Ocasek, the album sounds better than a mid-to-late-period rock band typically does. If anything, it shows that the band hasn’t lost its ability to craft a perfect pop song: Choruses are catchy in an infectious, sing-along way, and there’s a sense of fun in the album that the band hasn’t really shown since The Green Album (2001). The album seems to exist, however, as though the last decade and a half never happened, and it’s hard to care when the sound—bearing few traces of the irony that shows up on other Weezer albums—is refreshingly happy.
Lyrically, though, the album is a mess. It seems that after Pinkerton (1996) was initially derided by critics and fans, Rivers Cuomo resolved to never write an interesting lyric for the rest of his career. He’s given interviews saying that he wants to explore deeper topics like his relationship with women and his father. Instead, the album plods through ‘heavy topics’ like a checklist, resulting in lyrics that are maddeningly unspecific and add no real insight. Content ranges from cringingly undercooked “Don’t want to be mass consumed/ I’m not a happy meal,” to faux-profound “Don’t want my ideas polluted by mediocrity/ Don’t want my sentiments diluted,” often in the course of the same song. Perhaps that’s why the mostly-instrumental three-song suite that closes the album is by far its best stretch of music.