Weezer fans rejoice: After a marathon recording process that stretched all the way back to mid-2003, after the demotion of Rick Rubin from producer to the somewhat nebulous role of "mentor," and after scrapping an album's worth of material, the band has finally entered the homestretch, and its new album is tentatively scheduled for a May release.
According to a lengthy — and oddly detailed — posting on Weezer.com, the track list for the yet-to-be-titled fifth album has been selected (though not sequenced) after some "heavy listening sessions" between the band and Rubin.
"The track list for album 5 has been 97 percent settled," the post reads. "A few songs got swapped out and switched around, and there is high confidence in the final selection, which now includes a few songs from the late '03 recording sessions that were originally left behind in favor of the new sessions in July-October '04."
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo completed a semester at Harvard last month and returned to Los Angeles to put the finishing touches on the album (see "Weezer Album Nearly Done — But First, Rivers Has To Finish His Homework"). He's now hard at work finishing up vocals on three of the tracks, and then the album will be "99 percent" ready for mixing.
The artwork for the album is being finished up, too, with the band's art director assembling "CD art that may include exclusive photo selections from the recording sessions, fresh unseen imagery, and/or new photography taken expressly for the album art."
The band also said that "Beverly Hills," the first single from the new album, will be sent to radio stations in late March.
In the meantime, fans can catch Weezer on the first night of the 2005 Coachella festival (see "Coachella Snags Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Bright Eyes, Wilco"), which isn't just the only date the band has confirmed for this year, it's also, as the post points out, "the first Weezer show since 2002."