Although Rivers has said that 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End' would be an album their “fans” will enjoy and they'd stop pandering to the masses, he does so in the fucking lyrics of lead single, 'Back To The Shack'! It only comes across as cheesy. While the much maligned 'Pork and Beans' was as self-referential, 'Back To The Shack' does not have the melodies to back it up.
'Ain't Got Nobody' starts with a chugging distorted guitar not dissimilar to 'Hurley''s 'Trainwrecks'. There is a difference to this and 'Trainwrecks' and it's Ric Ocasek's (producer of Weezer's blue and green albums) rougher production. It is anthemic and exciting opener to the album.
'Eulogy For a Rock Band', a tribute to 'one of Weezer's forefathers is also one of the better tracks of the album. While the verses' lyrics don't seem to rhyme whatsoever, it can be overlooked with such a rich chorus, a great contrast to the minimalist verses.
There's a lot to be nostalgic about with 'EWBAITE'. The production, solos and falsetto sections really take you back to listening to 'Blue' or 'Maladroit' for the first time. Unlike past albums, this is definitely the same Weezer we know and love. The problem is that it's still a disappointing record.
While there's great moments here and there, it's plagued with missteps like 'Eulogy''s verses. 'Lonely Girl', for example, starts with, presumably, an incredibly catchy chorus. After a cool minor pre-chorus (or is it?), you're ready for it to come back in and for you to sing “My Lonely Girl” at the top of your lungs. However, it only comes back at the very end of the song.
The verses in 'The British Are Coming' have a really pretty melody sung in unison with the lead guitar but the song's title is such a weird lyric that it detracts from the rest of the song. This doesn't ruin the song but there are songs where that is the case. 'I've Had It Up To Here' (or 'Back To The Shack 2' as it could be named) has really funky falsetto verses (with noticeable input from co-writer Justin Hawkins) but is squandered by a shitty chorus. The same goes for 'Cleopatra' which has awkward irregular timing but still managed to be boring. 'Foolish Father' starts off really cool and dark but has the happiest, poppiest chorus on the album. It's not bad and the track becomes its own thing with a cool outro (the album's title being sung by a children's choir) but the verses are just so out of place with the rest of the track.
The album does, however have one Weezer's best songs ever. 'Go Away', a duet with Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, is so catchy and more importantly so Weezery. It has 'In The Garage' style underneath 'Don't You Want Me, Baby' style lyrics.
The thing with Weezer's lyrics, is there's no subtlety to them. While effective in Pinkerton in portaying multiple fuck ups with women, the lyrics in EWBAITE either seem too tongue-in-cheek (Back To The Shack, Ain't Got Nobody), overearnest (Eulogy For a Rock Band) or dishonest. Rivers is a married guy with a kid. Nobody is buying that he 'Ain't Got Nobody' or that he's been told to 'Go Away' by a girlfriend after screwing around.
While Ric Ocasek's production of 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End' is a welcome return to Weezer's sound, the songs are simply not there. I hope Weezer continue to work with Ocasek but write better songs like those on 'Hurley'.