Everything Will Be Alright in the End

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Article marked: August 3, 2021
Everything Will Be Alright in the End
Everything Will Be Alright in the End cover
Studio album by Weezer
Released October 7, 2014
Format digital, CD, LP, cassette
Recorded January 16 - August 2014
at The Village, Los Angeles, CA
Genre Alternative rock
Length 42:07
Label Republic Records
Producer(s) Ric Ocasek
Professional reviews

Metascore 77
Weezer chronology
Death to False Metal
(2011)
Everything Will Be Alright in the End
(2014)
Weezer (The White Album)
(2016)
Singles from Everything Will Be Alright in the End
  1. "Back to the Shack"
    Released: July 22, 2014
  2. "Da Vinci"
    Released: November 18, 2014
  3. "Go Away"
    Released: July 24, 2015

Everything Will Be Alright in the End (hereafter abbreviated as EWBAITE) is the ninth studio album by Weezer, released on October 7, 2014. It is the only Weezer album released by Republic Records. It is the third and final Weezer album produced by Ric Ocasek (following the band's self-titled Blue and Green albums).

Overview

Rivers Cuomo first mentioned a follow-up to Weezer's eighth album, Hurley, shortly after that album's release. Cuomo told The A.V. Club, "I was talking to the producer and he was saying 'These songs sound totally different from Hurley. Hurley was kind of dark, and the new songs sound like you’re 16, riding your bicycle to get a Slurpee.' As a writer, I had no idea—I wasn’t shooting for anything different. That’s just what happened to come up."[1]

In 2020, upon the release of the digital compilation Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years, Cuomo summarized the period of songwriting (2011-2014) that ultimately resulted in EWBAITE by citing several important life events: On December 6, 2009, during Weezer's tour in support of Raditude, the bus carrying Rivers Cuomo, along with his wife, daughter, nanny, and assistant Sarah Kim, skidded off an icy road in Glen, New York. Cuomo suffered three cracked ribs and some internal bleeding. Weezer subsequently cancelled the remainder of the tour.[2][3][4] "Lying on the floor of the bus, I couldn’t move, could barely breathe," Cuomo told Rolling Stone in 2014, "I didn’t know if I was going to live."[5] On October 8, 2011, former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh was found dead in a hotel room as a result of an overdose.[6] Cuomo also lost his grandfather, a former girlfriend, and his Vipassana meditation teacher, and was separated from his family for five months due to the difficult birth of his son, Leo, during this period.

According to a press release for EWBAITE, Rivers Cuomo, after Weezer had put out three albums in only three years, decided to begin writing at a slower pace, composing songs on the piano first before transferring them the to guitar and presenting them to the band.[7] Cuomo's first draft for the album was titled Ecce Homo (Latin for "Behold the man"), deriving the title from the book of the same name by Friedrich Nietzsche. "I wanted to make a complex, classic album,” Cuomo told Rolling Stone, "And I knew it was going to take time."[5] The concept for Ecce Homo centered around a character named Sebastian who, for deliberately ambiguous reasons, appeared to exist throughout various eras of history and, over the course of the narrative, realize the necessity of faith in a higher power. Some of these ideas carried over into the narrative of EWBAITE. Around this period, Cuomo reconciled with his father, Frank, who left the family when Rivers was very young and later became a Pentecostal preacher (as alluded to in the Weezer song "Say It Ain't So,"). Said Cuomo, "Now that I’m a father, I’ve forgiven my parents."[5]

From 2010 through 2014, select fans were invited to attend focus groups to listen to in-progress demos and allow Weezer to receive feedback.

Each song on EWBAITE belongs to one of three thematic groupings: "The Panopticon Artist" (songs about the band's relationship with fans), "Belladonna" (described by Cuomo as "classic girl songs"), and "Patriarchia" (songs about father figures).[5]

Recording

In October of 2013, Cuomo confided with fans that Weezer would begin working with producer Ric Ocasek in January.[8] On March 19, 2014, Weezer uploaded a short teaser video, featuring clips of the song "Flight Plans" and "Ain't Got Nobody," to their official channel announcing that they had entered the studio. The band continued uploading teasers on a weekly basis until the album's release. Cuomo, however, soon felt he had hit a creative wall. Said Cuomo, "I had a lot of songs, but I didn’t have total confidence in anything I was doing."[5] After his Vipassana meditation retreat that May, however, Cuomo found clarity on the album's direction.[5]

EWBAITE was recorded at The Village in Los Angeles in West Los Angeles, California.

Possibly at the suggestion of Ocasek, the unreleased song "Homely," originally recorded for The Green Album, was reworked into the EWBAITE track "Lonely Girl."

EWBAITE was originally given a release date of September 30, but was delayed until October 7.


The bulk of the recording was done with Ric in three sessions of three weeks each, in January 2014, March 2014, and June 2014 at Village Recording Studios in Santa Monica, CA. A great deal of the recording sessions can be seen in the teaser videos leading up to release, including a peek at Ric Ocasek's notebook outlining various tracks they were working on, some of which did not get released. Those included titles such as "Live My Life", "I Need Some of That", "Are We Good?" and "It's Been So Long". All were potentially tried out in the studio.

It was revealed in Rolling Stone that Rivers used a "Google doc with a hyperspecific outline of everything left to do on this album. Each song has a number, with a long list of lettered tasks under it: Redo this solo, blend that intro better, and on and on." Brian Bell also stated in Rolling Stone that Rivers presented the band with "maybe 80, maybe 100" new songs before they made this album. Adds the guitarist, "I was like, 'Where did you find the time to write all these songs?'" Rivers stated that the oldest song goes back to late 2010.

Some other bits of information:

  • Sam Bell was engineer for the sessions.
  • "Da Vinci" was tracked on the first day of recording, 1/16/14.
  • Ric brought in his guitars that were used on the Blue album.
  • An extra session began on July 28th to record one more song for the album. Ric and Sam Bell were present.
  • Based on Snapchats from Rivers and comments from Scott, it seems likely that other aspects of the album were also worked on during the extra July session.
  • From 94/9:
"Scott: We're just making sure we have the right song. We made our decision while touring last week and here we are doing it, so we should finish it up today." (July ~31st)
"Scott: Usually while we're mixing we're also in the studio changing stuff around and adding parts and trying to make it as good as we can for the folks out there."
  • From Karl: "The guys are putting the finishing touches on the album in between our summer tour dates, and its very very close to completion." (August 1st)
  • From Zane Lowe: "Rivers: I think we're about 99% done. We're just putting the final touches on. A little narration here and there, special effects, that sort of thing." (Interview recorded sometime before July 21st)

One of the last tracks worked on was Foolish Father, in which Cuomo gathered some random fans via his Twitter and studio hands or anyone else around to sing the choral section at the end of the song... which was a last minute addition. According to the band, recording wrapped on August 20th.

Release

It was released on multiple formats including CD, vinyl and cassette tape through Burger Records.

Track listing

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Ain't Got Nobody"  Rivers Cuomo 3:21
2. "Back to the Shack"  Cuomo/Jacob Kasher 3:05
3. "Eulogy for a Rock Band"  Cuomo/Daniel Brummel/Ryen Slegr 3:25
4. "Lonely Girl"  Cuomo/Josh Alexander 2:49
5. "I've Had It Up to Here"  Cuomo/Justin Hawkins 2:49
6. "The British Are Coming"  Cuomo 4:08
7. "Da Vinci"  Cuomo/Alexander 4:05
8. "Go Away" (feat. Bethany Cosentino)Cuomo/Cosentino 3:13
9. "Cleopatra"  Cuomo 3:11
10. "Foolish Father"  Cuomo/Patrick Stickles 4:31
The Futurescope Trilogy
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
11. "I. The Waste Land"  Cuomo 1:56
12. "II. Anonymous"  Cuomo 3:19
13. "III. Return to Ithaka"  Cuomo 2:17
Total length:
42:07

Promotional teasers

Prior to the release of EWBAITE, a series of videos were uploaded to Weezer's official YouTube channel on a weekly basis, with the first video being released March 19, 2014, and the final video on October 8, one day after the album's release. On October 16, 2020, Rivers Cuomo uploaded the script for the video series to Riverpedia.

Themes

The album features three distinct themes that are referenced in the opening lyrics to Foolish Father. "Simple love songs, drenched in blood songs, coming out all wrong songs." The liner notes of the album present the tracks, not in chronological order but rather grouped by theme. This was also referenced in the teaser videos leading up to the release of the album. There are cryptic messages and quotes littered throughout the liner notes that allude to a deeper meaning or a possible storyline that follows the narrative found in the teaser videos. If you follow the tracks as they are listed in the liner notes, each section ends with an instrumental. This could be viewed as an "alternative" way to listen to the album.

The Panopticon Artist (Relationship With Fans)

Listed as a Male in his 20's.

  • "I've Had it Up to Here"
  • "Back to the Shack"
  • "The Waste Land"

Belladonna (Relationships with Women)

Listed as a Female in her 20's.

  • "Go Away"
  • "Lonely Girl"
  • "Cleopatra"
  • "Ain't Got Nobody"
  • "Da Vinci"
  • "Return to Ithaka"

Patriarchia (Father Figures)

Listed as a Male in his 30's and "The Magical Man."

  • "Eulogy for a Rock Band"
  • "The British are Coming"
  • "Foolish Father"
  • "Anonymous"

Cutting room floor

Karl Koch had said that "there are numerous great songs that didn't make it onto EWBAITE". An early contender, "Everybody Needs Salvation", was released on a fan club exclusive 7-inch. The most talked about of the unreleased tracks was "The Rules of Life", which Rivers had specifically mentioned in a few articles. In Entertainment Weekly, he said of the song: "Sometimes there’s just songs that are really difficult for me to finish a lyric. The one we may start today, ‘The Rules of Life,’ that’s another one. The chorus is great, but I can’t tell you how many verses I’ve written trying to figure out what my perspective is on that chorus". Other songs included the aforementioned titles in Ric's notebook and the unknown song featured in the very first teaser video.

Some songs that were not included and not released were "The Rules of Life", "When We Were Young", "Hyde", "Gravity Will Bring You Down", "Flight Plans", and "I Need Some of That". A song called "Weekend Girl" was later reworked into "Weekend Woman," which appeared on Pacific Daydream. In October of 2017, a demo called "Caveman" leaked which was reportedly in contention for the album.

In November of 2017, a handful of songs that were in contention for the album were leaked. These songs are the previously unreleased "Call the Police," "El Presidente," and "East Coast vs. West Coast".

In December of 2017, an early version of the album was leaked.

In 2019, a list of notes about various Rivers Cuomo demos from the era, written by an A&R assistant, were obtained and shared online, shedding insight on the existence of various otherwise unknown songs.

In 2020, Rivers Cuomo released Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years, a compilation of demos and voice notes recorded in the years leading up to the release of EWBAITE, on his personal website, riverscuomo.com.

Reception

Critics

Reviewer Rating Review date Author
Pitchfork Media 6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars6.5/10 stars (6.5/10) October 2, 2014 Ian Cohen
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars (4/5) October 2, 2014 Caryn Ganz
Allmusic 4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars4/5 stars (4/5) Unlisted Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The Onion A.V. Club 7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars7.5/10 stars (B; 75/100) October 7, 2014 Evan Rytlewski
Stereogum Positive September 30, 2014 Michael Nelson

Everything Will Be Alright In The End receieved strong reviews, with a Metacritic score (an aggregation of many critic scores) of 77, the highest score since 1996's Pinkerton. Pitchfork, in their 6.5/10 review, asked "How good does a Weezer album have to be before it can be considered actually good? As it turns out, about this good." Kerrang! praised the album for doing what Weezer does best in their 10/10 review: "It's just an album of bona fide, polished, often odd, perfect pop-rock."

Fans

EWBAITE is well liked among fans. Some criticize the song "Back to the Shack" for it's pandering lyrics as well as faulting the album's production, which to some sounds "muddy." Nevertheless, the album is almost universally seen as an improvement over the band's output in the late 2000s. Fan favorites include "Cleopatra" and "The British Are Coming".

Artwork

The album's artwork is by Chris McMahon and is a result of adding monsters to old thrift store landscape paintings. The monster featured on the cover has been lovingly referred to as #Smooch by the Weezer fan community. His official name is unknown.

EWBAITE shows

In the fall of 2014, a small club tour was held in select cities where the band played the entirety of the record from start to finish. The shows were often held in extremely small venues. Ric Ocasek attended one of these shows in New York City.

Each show would start with a low booming ominous sound with the house lights down as flashes of light enveloped the stage. The entire show referenced things found in the teasers leading up to the album's release. Video monitors were placed throughout the venues with pre-recorded footage featuring some of the actors, while the stage itself was set up to look like the bunker/lab where J. Laffoley did his research. Rivers also would don a costume featuring the name Sebastian printed on the front, the name of the main character in the teaser videos.

Personnel

See also

References

  1. Adams, Erik. "Rivers Cuomo" The A.V. Club. 14 September 2010. "Rivers Cuomo" https://www.avclub.com/rivers-cuomo-1798221611
  2. Collis, Clark. "Weezer bus crash: Photos and chilling details" Entertainment Weekly. 7 December 2009. https://ew.com/article/2009/12/07/weezer-bus-crash-photos-and-chilling-details/
  3. Kreps, Daniel. "Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo Injured in Tour Bus Accident" Rolling Stone. 6 December 2009. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/weezers-rivers-cuomo-injured-in-tour-bus-accident-236013/
  4. Karl's Corner - 12/06/2009
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Vozick-Levinson, Simon. "Rivers Cuomo Is Trying to Be All Right" Rolling Stone. 23 September 2014. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/rivers-cuomo-is-trying-to-be-all-right-167180/
  6. Nickeas, Peter. "Drug overdose suspected in death of former Weezer bass player" Chicago Tribune. 9 October 2011. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/chi-weezer-bass-player-dies-in-chicago-20111009-story.html
  7. "Weezer to Release Everything Will Be Alright In The End September 30" https://www.umusic.ca/press-releases/weezer-to-release-everything-will-be-alright-in-the-end-september-30/
  8. Heisel, Scott. "Weezer to record new album with Ric Ocasek starting in January; greatest hits album in the works" Alternative Press. 28 October 2013. https://www.altpress.com/news/weezer_to_record_new_album_with_ric_ocasek_starting_in_january_greatest_hit/