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Album Review


Make Believe (2005)



The kings of geek-rock just seem to always persevere. Even after over a decade of weirdness (lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s leg lengthening operation, his tenure at Harvard University, etc..), Weezer are still prevalent in the new rock community and have just released their new 5th studio album titled Make Believe. The new disc is Weezer’s first since 2002’s Maladroit and first ever working with rock super producer Rick Rubin. Staying consistent with his strange past, Cuomo somehow apparently wrote over one hundred songs on his own for the new album and had to narrow it down to the best twelve. After giving the disc several listens, it became evident to me that Make Believe is a very appropriate title for the new Weezer album because one can only make believe that it were a better album.

Make Believe kicks off its twelve tracks with the first single “Beverly Hills,” a song about feeling left out and unpopular. And while the song has a catchy, head bobbing beat to it and is probably the best of the album’s twelve cuts, it doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the album. In addition, the lyrics are a tad stupid. For instance, part of verse two goes “look at all those movie stars, they’re all so beautiful and clean, when the housemates scrub the floors they get the spaces in between…,” obviously not on the level of Shakespeare here. Next comes the classic Weezerish sounding “Perfect Situation,” another catchy song and one of the better cuts off the disc.

Probably the second best song off the album comes at track three, the desperate and sad sounding “This Is Such a Pity.” Cuomo sings the verses and chorus like he really means it and the result is a pretty solid song. Track four “Hold Me” features some good verses and vocals from Cuomo, but the chorus is a bit annoying. Like so many other albums, the quality of the rest of the album drops off after track four, but the drop off on Make Believe is a little more drastic than usual. There is nothing particularly special about the final eight songs on the album, except track six, “We Are All On Drugs,” and track nine “My Best Friend,” even though if features some lyrics that could use a touch up. The last three songs of the album are in all honesty pretty awful and not worth more than a couple of listens.

Overall, Weezer has produced a disappointing fifth album. My expectations for the disc were quite high after I heard that Rick Rubin would serve as producer, but the presence of Rubin in the studio seems to have gone to complete waste. This album is in no way different in sound than previous Weezer albums and it seems as though Rubin was not a good match for the band. Even though Make Believe is a bit of a let down, it does contain a few songs worthy of some praise, most notably the first four songs as well as “We Are All On Drugs.” Cuomo has proven in the past that he is capable of writing some very good pop/rock songs and while his talents show through on a few songs, for the most part, he is off his game on Make Believe.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Beverly Hills
02. Perfect Situation
03. This is Such a Pity
04. Hold Me
05. Peace
06. We Are All on Drugs
07. Damage in Your Heart
08. Pardon Me
09. My Best Friend
10. Other Way
11. Freak Me Out
12. Haunt You Every Day

Run Time: 45:09