By Timothy Guy
By Timothy Guy
The last we saw of Weezer they were hanging out with the Muppets in the video for the single “Keep Fishin’.” Now with the release of “Make Believe” and its first single, “Beverly Hills,” the boys in Weezer are hanging with bunnies.
Playboy bunnies that is.
“Beverly Hills” is the first track off the new album and is the type of rocking Weezer sound that we have all come to know and love. The video, filmed at the Playboy mansion, echoes the feeling of the lyrics with the sense of not belonging; “I didn’t go to boarding schools/preppy girls never looked at me/why should they I ain’t nobody got nothing in my pocket.” The song is catchy and does stick in your head for hours most times in not really an annoying Macarena like fashion, but this is a good time song.
Lesson No. 1 for those who are not diehard Weezer fans, lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo has a lot of issues and each song on this album (and every one before this) reflects that.
“Perfect Situation” is about loneliness and looking for love, another ongoing theme, but is something that a lot of young people can relate to. The song is full of heavy guitar action and the lyrics are good: “Get your hands off the girl/can’t you see that she belongs to me/and I don’t appreciate this excess company.” This is one of my personal favorites on the entire CD.
Lesson No. 2, even at age 34 Cuomo and his lyrics seem to relate better to teens and young adults.
Another rock out song is “We are all on Drugs” which no doubt will be the next single because of its catchy nature and melodic sound. It has the same feel as the song “Hash Pipe” off the often referred to as the Green Album. Good, but annoying for the fact that the words “you’re on drugs” follows almost every line in the song, like “When you wish you could quit/cause you’re really sick of it/when you’re on drugs.” Trying to find the true meaning of this song is like trying to finish a Rubik’s Cube; sure, there are people who can do it, but the average person gives up after a few times.
Make Believe is not just a hands down rock album; there are some ballad/slow songs. For example, “The Damage in your Heart” and “Freak Me Out” both are good songs that are toned down a bit.
Now that we have firmly established that Cuomo has issues and every listener knows this, I got a little tired after most of the songs. When I got to the eighth song, “Pardon Me,” I was a little sick of the whining. At one point in the song Cuomo says he’s sorry: “So I apologize to you and anyone else that I hurt, too.” You say you’re sorry, but how do I know I can believe you Rivers?
The obligatory Cuomo raging guitar solos are present and I do kind of look forward to them when listening to new Weezer tracks, but they tried something new with “Freak Me Out,” a harmonica solo. Blues Traveler called, it wants its gimmick back.
Overall the album is good; not as good as “Pinkerton” but better than the Green Album. One downside is the lack of inclusion of the early demos that were originally supposed to make up this album. Tracks like “Mo Beats,” “Hey Domingo” and “Fontana” are original and departures from the previous Weezer sound. All of the “Album 5” demos were officially released by the band a few years ago, so a simple search on the Internet should yield some results.