Van Weezer

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Van Weezer
Van Weezer cover
Studio album by Weezer
Released May 7, 2021
Format Digital, CD, LP, Cassette
Recorded 2018-2019
Genre Alternative
Length 30:49 (Digital, CD, Cassette)
35:02 (LP)
Label Crush Music/Atlantic Records
Producer(s) Suzy Shinn
Professional reviews
Metascore 69
Weezer chronology
OK Human
(2021)
Van Weezer
(2021)
SZNS
(TBA)
Singles from Van Weezer
  1. "The End of the Game"
    Released: September 10, 2019
  2. "Hero"
    Released: May 6, 2020
  3. "I Need Some of That"
    Released: April 21, 2021

Van Weezer is the fifteenth studio album by Weezer. The title is a reference to the band Van Halen, as the album features a focus on heavy guitars and more arena-rock styled songs. Originally slated for release on May 15, 2020, the album was postponed until May 7, 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

History

Origins

Rivers Cuomo first publicly mentioned the album title Van Weezer while discussing the band's progress on the album OK Human in an interview with Los Angeles Times in February of 2019, indicating that the album was inspired by Van Halen.[1] When asked about Weezer's two upcoming albums in an interview with Billboard published March 1st, Cuomo said: "One was mostly done before the Black Album. It’s currently called OK Human and was produced by Jake Sinclair, who did our White Album. The other one, I’m depressed thinking about it. I have this huge emotional block. It’s called Van Weezer, and it’s basically a super-rock album. Like the Blue Album, but more guitar riffs."[2] Brian Bell acknowledged the album's existence in various interviews throughout 2019. In an August interview with Spanish blog Binaural, Bell suggested that Crush Management would prefer to release Van Weezer before OK Human.[3]

2019: Announcement & "The End of the Game"

In August of 2019, a casting call was posted to backstage.com looking for extras to play "Weezer party goers" in an upcoming music video.[4] On August 23, musician and producer Tim Pagnotta posted a story to his Instagram page that read "Jammin’ new @Weezer I worked on :)". On September 6, 2019, the song "The End of the Game" leaked onto the American television music service Music Choice. The song's music video was released alongside the announcement of the album on September 10, 2019.

2020: Album delayed, "Hero" & "Beginning of the End"

On March 26, a promotional browser game was released titled "The End of the Game" Game [5]

On April 9, it was revealed in a Zoom chat with fans that a single for the album was originally scheduled to be released either that day, or the next, but had been delayed (likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Karl Koch posted on the Weezer Fan Club Facebook group asking for footage of people involved in the outbreak, and that a deadline would be on April 15, leading fans to speculate that the footage would be used for an upcoming video. The next day, on April 10, Cuomo mentioned that there would be a Homie song on Van Weezer, as well as a bonus track originally written around 1992.[6] It was also revealed that all the album's tracks were fully mastered, with the only track ordering left to be determined. On April 14, Cuomo sang a small segment of the song, "Thrown It All Away", during a webinar with fans hosted by Cuomo on the video platform Zoom, for which co-writer Jason Cropper was present.[7] On September 2, Cuomo confirmed via a Riverpedia entry that the 1992 song "Thrown It All Away" had recently been recorded with the band. The article was later updated on September 6 to specify that it would be on the album. On September 3, Cuomo confirmed via another Riverpedia entry that "Sheila Can Do It" was the aforementioned Homie song appearing on Van Weezer. On April 17, during a Zoom chat with fans, Cuomo stated that the release of Van Weezer had been postponed (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The postponement was formally announced alongside the release of the second single, "Hero", on May 6, 2020.

On April 30, the track names "Precious Metal Girl", "Beginning of the End", "She Needs Me", "I Need Some of That", and "Blue Dream" were confirmed by the June 2020 issue of the magazine Guitar Player.

On May 1, Weezer posted an image to their social media accounts of a piece of paper with the date of May 6 written on it.[8] Many assumed this was signaling the release of the next single, "Hero", as the image lined up with an additional request by Karl Koch for the Fanclub to provide videos of people "passing a blank piece of paper from left to right". These suspicions were confirmed on May 4 when the band updated the photo to feature the song's name written above the date.[9] On May 2, producer Suzy Shinn posted a snippet of a song to her Instagram account.[10] It was later revealed in an Island in the Zoom conference that same night that the snippet heard was from the track "One More Hit". On August 21, Cuomo confirmed via a Riverpedia entry that the song would no longer be on the album, adding that it was "In talks with a video game." On May 7, it was revealed that Weezer would appear as guests on the animated sitcom The Simpsons on May 10, and that the Van Weezer track "Blue Dream" would be unveiled during the episode. A short instrumental clip of the song could be heard.

On August 14, a version of the song "Beginning of the End" (dubbed the "Wyld Stallyns Edit") was released as a track from the soundtrack to the forthcoming film Bill & Ted Face the Music. The band's official social media accounts also announced that the album would be delayed until May 2021 [11] in order to coincide with the also-postponed Hella Mega Tour. The band additionally commented "More music coming for you Humans real soon, Ok?"[12] hinting at the possible forthcoming release of OK Human.

2021: "I Need Some of That", album leak & release

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On January 18, a new release-date of May 7, 2021 was confirmed alongside the official announcement of OK Human.[13]

On January 28, a full track listing for the album appeared on Amazon.com, but was removed shortly thereafter.[14] This listing was confirmed legitimate on April 20, when the full track list was officially revealed (albeit with track placement of "The End of the Game" and "Hero" swapped). [15] The album's next single, "I Need Some of That", was also confirmed to be releasing the following day, April 21.

On May 4, the entire album was leaked online and spread around fan circles. The following day, Weezer posted a video to their social media pages featuring previews of each track on the album. [16]

On May 6, Weezer announced a limited deluxe vinyl box-set for Van Weezer.[17] Among other collectibles, the set includes the only cassette release of the album.

On May 7, the album was officially released along with a music video for All the Good Ones directed by Jim Dirschberger with artwork by Jay Howell.[18] A short clip of Ric Ocasek singing "I Need Some of That" is included as a hidden track on the album's vinyl release. It was originally supposed to be included on the album track, however, according to Rivers Cuomo, the band was unable to procure clearance from Ocasek's record company.[19]

Track listing

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Hero"  Cuomo, Daniel Bedingfield, Dave Basset, David Charles Marshall Biral, Denzel Michael-Akil Baptiste, Daniel Omelio 3:56
2. "All the Good Ones"  Cuomo, Luke Atlas, Coleman Trapp 2:44
3. "The End of the Game"  Cuomo, Tim Pagnotta 3:01
4. "I Need Some of That"  Cuomo, Pagnotta, Josh Alexander, Billy Steinberg, Geoffrey Downes, Donald Roeser, John Wetton 3:19
5. "Beginning of the End"  Cuomo, Billy Joel 3:15
6. "Blue Dream"  Cuomo, Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley 2:50
7. "1 More Hit"  Cuomo 3:05
8. "Sheila Can Do It"  Cuomo, Kevin Ridel 2:57
9. "She Needs Me"  Cuomo 2:52
10. "Precious Metal Girl"  Cuomo, Nick Long 2:50
Total length:
30:49
Vinyl Bonus Tracks
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
11. "Thrown It All Away"  Cuomo, Wilson, Jason Cropper 3:23
12. "I Need Some of That (R.O.)" (A cut verse sung by Ric Ocasek)Cuomo, Alexander, Steinberg 0:50
Deluxe Box-Set Picture Disc
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Beginning of the End" (Wyld Stallyns Mix)Cuomo, Joel 3:27
2. "Hero" (Mix Mago Mix)Cuomo, Bedingfield, Basset, Biral, Baptiste, Omelio  

Additional writing credits

Some tracks feature writing credits for musicians who were not involved in the production of the album. This is due to these tracks featuring heavy inspiration and/or interpolation of these artist's work.

"I Need Some of That"

"Beginning of the End"

"Blue Dream"

Other songs recorded during Van Weezer sessions

See also

References

  1. Wood, Mikael. "Being Rivers Cuomo: Why Weezer’s frontman put his life into a spreadsheet." Los Angeles Times, 22 February 2019. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-rivers-cuomo-weezer-teal-album-black-album-20190222-story.html
  2. Ginsberg, Gab. "Rivers Cuomo on His Data-Driven Approach to Weezer" Billboard. 1 March 2019. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8500614/weezer-rivers-cuomo-data-driven-approach-interview
  3. Porcar, Pablo. "[Entrevista] Weezer: «Nos funciona confeccionar los discos de forma encadenada»" Binaural, 6 August 2019. https://www.binaural.es/entrevista/entrevista-weezer-nos-funciona-confeccionar-los-discos-de-forma-encadenada/
  4. "Popular Band Music Video - Extras for Party Scene." Backstage. https://www.backstage.com/casting/weezer-music-video-extras-for-party-scene-312219/
  5. "The End of the Game" Game http://theendofthegamegame.com/
  6. Clay, Tiffany. "Rivers Cuomo Island In The Zoom 4-10-2020." YouTube, uploaded by Tiffany C, 4 October 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23lKoWnxEVc
  7. "04-14-20 Rivers Cuomo Zoom Jason Cropper Lonely Girl, Cant Fight this Feeling, Purification of Water." YouTube, uploaded by stupidsuck1010, 18 April 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOkTmq3x87s
  8. @weezer. Twitter, 1 May 2020, 4:27 p.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1256319393010798593
  9. @weezer. Twitter, 4 May 2020, 1:00 p.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1257354314802237449
  10. Weezer B-Sides "Weezer - One More Hit [clip]." YouTube, 4 September 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toBrCApBFXk
  11. @weezer. "Quick update on Van Weezer, it is now coming in May 2021 right before the @HellaMegaTour. If you pre-ordered a bundle from our webstore, the merch will begin shipping early next week." Twitter, 14 August 2020, 12:08 a.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1294123815954534400
  12. @weezer. "More music coming for you Humans real soon, Ok?" Twitter, 14 August 2020, 12:09 a.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1294124031612989442
  13. @weezer "p.s. Van Weezer is still coming out on May 7th". Twitter, 18 January 2021, 3:11 p.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/weezer/status/1351260915413512203
  14. "Van Weezer". Amazon. 28 January 2021. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XGN4PT7 Wayback Machine https://web.archive.org/web/20210128130052/https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XGN4PT7
  15. @weezer "It’s almost Van Weezer time. These are all the songs on the album that comes out on May 7th. "I Need Some Of That” drops tomorrow at 9am PT/12pm ET." Twitter, 20 April 2021, 12:13 p.m. UTC, https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1384540735895130112
  16. @weezer "A taste of Van Weezer. Full album out Friday." Twitter. 5 May 2021. https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1390000134021427200
  17. @weezer "Van Weezer box set available for pre-order http://weezerwebstore.com Limited to 1100. The first 500 orders come signed. Just like lightning, these will be gone in a flash ⚡" Twitter. 6 May 2021. https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1390351304355155972
  18. @weezer "Start your morning off right by watching the video for All the Good Ones featuring artwork by Jay Howell (aka the one who helps bring @bobsburgersfox to life) https://youtu.be/9uf31SSKloM Then follow it up with a little Van Weezer" Twitter. 7 May 2021. https://twitter.com/Weezer/status/1390698645889163265
  19. Wilson, Rob. "Interview: Rivers Cuomo on the future of Weezer" Gigwise. 6 May 2021. https://www.gigwise.com/features/3398730/interview--rivers-cuomo-on-the-future-of-weezer