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There was quite a gap between Maladroit and Weezer's fifth studio album, Make Believe. Or maybe there wasn't. Maybe I just missed them too much...anyway, my anticipation towards this album before it was released was unbearable and all I talked of in the three weeks preceeding it was inextricably linked. On first listen, every song is amazing. No other band can execute the perfect combination of pop and rock as well as Weezer. Perfect Situation (the album's stand out track) has a drum beat that feels like it is hopping and an ecstatic chorus of merely 'oh's'. Hold Me is one of Rivers' masterpieces. There is a level of irony that one must get to fully appreciate Weezer, and although Cuomo can sing of metaphors as tired and used as "You are deeper than the sea" this twisted understanding lets one realise that there is no other phrase he could use in the socially niche environment he inhabits.
Some of the songs may loose a lot of their replay value (Beverly Hills), but this is still an excellent entry into Weezer's oveure.
Weezer formed in 1992 and to date have released five studio albums and have a sixth on the way which is due out at some time in 2008. It is as yet untitled and the last time we heard from the band was with their 'Make Believe' album way back in 2005. It's not that long ago really though when you put things into perspective; it was three years between the release of 'Maladroit' and 'Make Believe' also so Weezer are no strangers to making fans play the waiting game.
'Make Believe' explodes into action with the lead single 'Beverly Hills', an excellent way in which to begin the album? Not at all, there's actually a slight hint of sarcasm in what I say there as 'Beverly Hills' is an exceptionally awful track and 'explode' is not at all how I would describe this dreary and dull opening. Thankfully the album as a whole is not as bad as the opener, and with second track 'Perfect Situation' things soon start looking up. It doesn't sound very much like Weezer, in fact it sounds nothing like the band in the conventional sense, however it is a decent track nonetheless. After 'Beverly Hills' anything would sound good though really, there's not a lot worse you can do than that. 'We Are All On Drugs' is a close rival for the track however in the category of 'Worst Track On The Album', it is another awful offering in which the band drone their way through the most uninteresting and uninspiring of tracks. What exactly the band were thinking with these two I have no idea, the less said about them the better really.
So 'Perfect Situation' impresses with some fine guitar work and there are a number of other tracks that shine through from this release. 'Hold Me' for example is a fine specimen of a track and is one of the best that the band have written in a long while. It progresses well and the vocals of Rivers Cuomo are really quite impressive here. It is not vintage Weezer, but it's certainly worth a listen, that's for sure. 'The Other Way' is another of those that impress. Again it is the guitars that shine through and it is actually extremely fantastically catchy and a thoroughly enjoyable Weezer song truth be told. The problem with this album however lies in the fact that other than these three tracks, there is little else that anything positive can really be said about and the band are for the most part really rather disappointing here. Their album lacks life and a lot of the tracks are dreary and at times difficult to listen to because there is just so little going on creatively. They certainly seem to be lacking something in this album and a lot of the tracks sound like B-Side cast-offs that never should have been anywhere close to selection as album tracks.
Weezer are a good band, they just don't really show it with their 'Make Believe' album. That's not entirely true I guess as there are a couple of tracks that are pleasing, but the problem here is that there literally are only a 'couple' that don't make for painful listening. I would consider myself to be quite a Weezer fan, but when they're releasing albums as inconsistent as this one then to label myself as so is just a bit on the embarrassing side. No way would I recommend listening to this album as a whole, by all means check out the few tracks I have highlighted as key but the album lacks consistency and a lot of the time substance also.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Beverly Hills
2 Perfect Situation
3 This Is Such A Pity
4 Hold Me
6 We Are All On Drugs
7 The Damage In Your Heart
8 Pardon Me
9 My Best Friend
10 The Other Way
11 Freak Me Out
12 Haunt You Every Day
14 Island In The Sun
15 Weezer Talks About Make Believe