Everything Will Be Alright in the End
|Everything Will Be Alright in the End|
|Studio album by Weezer|
|Released||October 7, 2014|
|Format||digital, CD, LP, cassette|
|Recorded||January 16 - August 2014
at The Village, Los Angeles, CA
|Singles from Everything Will Be Alright in the End|
Everything Will Be Alright in the End is Weezer's ninth studio album and their third produced with Ric Ocasek. It was released on multiple formats including CD, vinyl and cassette tape through Burger Records. There was a large promotional campaign of teaser videos with an on-going story for months leading up to the release of the record, giving fans a glimpse at a new song in each update. Much of the information in this article was gathered by forum member Ammar on the AllThingsWeezer.com forums.
In a press release it was stated that the songs were written at a slower pace compared to songs in 2010, which allowed them to gradually grow into their final forms. Rivers started almost every song on the piano, eventually transferring them to the guitar before taking them to the band. The press release stated that the album "utilizes that sound from the band’s earliest days to tell new stories in 2014." Rivers was extremely enthusiastic about the album, saying "It's some of my favourite music I've ever heard" in an article with NME. Pat Wilson's thoughts on the album popped up in EW where he said, "If you took the Pinkerton band and then play all the other records—that’s what we sound like now. Bombastic, loose, kind of booming. This record sounds like it’s going to have the tight structure of Blue Album with a little bit more abandon like Pinkerton.“
Rivers stated that the album was a culmination of four years of interacting with fans "all of whom have the same desire as him, a classic Weezer album." In a Rolling Stone article, Rivers says "I [Rivers] wanted to make a complex, classic album," he says. "And I knew it was going to take time." But early this year, he hit a creative wall. "I had a lot of songs, but I didn't have total confidence in anything I was doing." This past May, he says, "I came out with such a strong vision of the album. I tried to calm down, but it was very hard." His vision, he says, was of a three-part structure for the album. One third is made up of "classic girl songs - we'll call that 'Belladonna,' " he says. The second batch covers Weezer's relationship with their fans. "That section is called 'The Panopticon Artist,'" he says, referencing the concept of a prison whose inmates are constantly watched. "Then there's a third and final group of songs about father figures," Cuomo says. "I'm going to call that 'Patriarchia' - that's a new word I came up with." He went on to add "I haven't felt this protective of an album in a long time," Cuomo adds. "I put so much of the deepest part of my soul into this that it feels like I'm really on the line, in a way that I haven't been on many albums."
Rumor has it Rivers was asked by Ric Ocasek to revisit some of his favorite unused songs from The Green Album, the last time the producer worked with the band. The first was an unknown demo that was reworked into "Lonely Girl", and the second was "Burning Sun", which was reworked into a song called "Weekend Girl". The latter went unused until Pacific Daydream, when it was reworked again into "Weekend Woman." There were also focus groups held after concerts in which hardcore fans were played some of the new tracks and asked to give feedback. In an interview with NPR on October 2017, Rivers revealed that the Pacific Daydream track "La Mancha Screwjob" was also considered for this album, but didn't fit with the overall theme.
Although the album was originally given a release date of September 30th, it was delayed until October 7th.
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 peak 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.
|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|
|8.||"Go Away" (feat. Bethany Cosentino)||Cuomo/Cosentino||3:13|
|10.||"Foolish Father"||Cuomo/Patrick Stickles||4:31|
|The Futurescope Trilogy|
|11.||"I. The Waste Land"||Cuomo||1:56|
|13.||"III. Return to Ithaka"||Cuomo||2:17|
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 on the Album
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"
- "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"
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.
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."
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".
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.
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.
- Rivers Cuomo – guitars, lead vocals
- Patrick Wilson – drums, additional backing vocals
- Brian Bell – guitars, backing vocals
- Scott Shriner – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Ric Ocasek – production
- Sam Bell - engineering