CD Review of Make Believe by Weezer
Label
Geffen
Weezer: Make Believe

Reviewed by John Paulsen

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W
eezer’s much anticipated fifth effort, Make Believe, isn’t your typical Weezer album. Generally, you can throw in their new disc, crank up the volume and, for lack of a better term, “rock out” to an album full of vicious hooks and smoking guitars. Make Believe begins that way with its first single, the blistering “Beverly Hills,” - which will be instantly added to mp3 players across the country - but the rest of the album is more melodically subtle and it takes several listens before the disc’s essence fully settles in and favorites begin to emerge.

It’s unclear if über-producer Rick Rubin was the cause, but spanning twelve tracks and forty-five minutes, Make Believe is positively epic for a band known for its succinct running times. This means longer songs, some of which take a while to get going. But like all Weezer albums, Make Believe sounds better with the volume turned up. This is especially true for the anthemic “We Are All On Drugs” and the ballad/thrasher “Hold Me”.

With its structure, “The Damage in Your Heart” sounds like a leftover from the Green Album sessions, which isn’t really a bad thing. Other than the first single, the song with the most potential for radio airplay is probably the Beatles-esque “My Best Friend,” which, not coincidentally, is the shortest track on the disc. On “This is Such a Pity,” the band shows that retro-rock isn’t just for new artists; the opening sounds like it could be a lead in to a new wave hit from the 80’s. However, frontman Rivers Cuomo does seem apologetic throughout the album. On the chorus of “The Other Way,” he confesses “I have many doubts about my motives / I have many fears about my greed / I have always hurt the one I love / So I will turn and look the other way.”

I do wish that “Mo Beats,” a demo that the band released to fans post-Maladroit, had made the disc. But all in all, Make Believe is a good album. Fans might not be blown away at first listen, but if patience triumphs, they will likely appreciate another fine effort from the boys.

Key tracks: “Beverly Hills,” “My Best Friend,” “We Are All On Drugs,” “This is Such a Pity” 

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