Swear I'm not Paul: Vintage Review: Weezer - Make Believe

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vintage Review: Weezer - Make Believe

Weezer - Make Believe album cover art

Weezer - Make Believe

Originally Posted: 7 June 2005

This is the third attempt at reviewing this album. I wanted to approach this album differently, and comprehensively compare it with the band’s previous albums. First time around, I listened to all the albums, starting with The Blue Album and making my way up to Make Believe, giving each song a little comment of analysis along the way. However, on re-reading the review I found it to be pedantic and boring. Second time around I thought I’d compare each of the songs on the new album to one from a previous album, but then it was pointed out to me: “What if the reader has never heard a Weezer album? What use is this review to them?” So now, I’m on my third draft, which looks set to be a normal, straightforward review.

Most people know what to expect from Weezer: catchy (and cheesy) choruses, backed up by bouncy, fun melodies. If that floats your boat, you’ll be glad to hear that nothing’s changed here. This is why the album is an extreme let-down for me. In my frivolous attempts to make this review somewhat innovative, I went back and listened to Weezer’s four previous albums – Weezer could never exactly be called prolific – and found out why the world once loved Weezer. In the early nineties their music found a niche – it was perfect radio-fodder in our pre-Blink 182 world. Yes, I did just compare Weezer to Blink 182, because that’s what they feel like to me now. A band that I once thought were good, but now see the error of my ways. Go back and listen to their old albums if you don’t believe me. Each contains numerous radio-friendly songs, but only about three of these songs (from all their albums, including Make Believe) will last the test of time.

Recent single “Beverley Hills” fails to inspire; fails to find that special something that made “Buddy Holly” and “Island In The Sun” such great power-pop songs. And that’s the case with the entire album. “Hold Me” and “Haunt You Every Day” are more introspective songs than what we’re used to from Cuomo, but when looking inside he should also have looked to see what was missing. The only song which shows any glimmer of hope is “We Are All On Drugs”, which has a chorus that wouldn’t have appeared out of place on Pinkerton.

So what are Weezer doing wrong with Make Believe? Well, in their opinion: nothing. However, what Rivers Cuomo & Co. need to realise is that it’s now the 00s. Maybe it’s because they only release an album every four years or so, that they’re a decade behind. The love for their style of music has disappeared. It’s been replaced by our love for throwback-80s music. So maybe if they continue at their level of productivity, their seventh album, released in 2012 will cash in on the then love of throwback-90s. At the moment, it’s hitting no nerves, and misses almost every target.

Download these tracks: We Are All On Drugs – but only if you are a really big Weezer fan. Otherwise save your bandwidth for something better.

2.3 – One song can’t make an album, but it has worked in the past. Unfortunately for Weezer, this album doesn’t even contain one song that sparkles. “We Are All On Drugs” gives a dull glow, but nothing here should make you want to invest in this album. Weezer really need to evolve, or else they face extinction.

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