Although Rivers Cuomo may not have been the first of his kind, geek rock wouldn't quite be the same without Weezer. Having released four albums in a ten year stretch, Weezer definitely feels the pressure to constantly cultivate Cuomo's repressed genius lyrics into an album fans can appreciate as much as the Blue album or Pinkerton. With Rick Rubin in as producer, Maladroit's long awaited successor Make Believe is a much poppier album than its predecessors, recalling more simplistic themes and lyrics traditional to Weezer's sound.
First single and catchiest track is "Beverly Hills," playing homage to a Joan Jett beat ("I Love Rock and Roll") and the geek party romp of "Buddy Holly" all at once. The band recalls the eighties on "This Is Such a Pity," which shows off Cuomo's finest Ric Ocasek impersonation, providing the album's best find. "Peace" deals with a non-political battle going on inside Cuomo's head (There is no way I can stop/My poor brain is gonna pop/And I don't have a purpose/Scattered on the surface/I need to find some peace). Tracks annoying at first listen become palatable through consumption, from the over-apologetic sappiness on "Pardon Me" to the hyper-punchy "We Are All on Drugs." The singer's voice turns to a romantic whisper on "Freak Me Out" clashing with the album's closing track, "Haunt You Everyday," with dark lyrics: I don't feel the joy/I don't feel the pain/You were just a toy/I am just insane, crushing any hope Cuomo crooned about in preceding songs, reassuring fans let down by the album the singer still has a dark side. Despite opposition from the album's foes, Make Believe is proof that Weezer can still rock.
Crystal at 6/14/2005 09:08:00 AM