After Weezer released Blue, they were on top of the world. With clever videos accompanying such great hits as Buddy Holly however, critics wrote them off as one hit wonders. And the hoitey toitey critics seemed to be right after the MTV-shunned Pinkerton. So Rivers got pissed. He left to study and got massive writers block. Just when it seemed that Weezer had left the face of the Earth, they came back in 2000 without their popular bassist Matt Sharpe and some other guy replacing him. They then released Green which initially made the fans go into a euphoria because Weezer was back! Then that feeling diminished when the quality of Green was so far from the marvelous Blue and Pinkerton. In fact it was nothing like the charming first two albums. Then there was Maladroit, which really had no great hits, just some solid loudness and yet another bassist. Weezer was again faling off the face of the Earth.
Fast Forward to 2005. Weezer is dying. Again. The bandmates have resigned themselves to just being executors of Rivers songs. So Weezer, instead of making fan-pleasing numbers, they make that one damn pop-song. That one song that would Weezer back on top. Yes, Weezer made that song you've heard 80 bazillion times, Beverly Hills
. Beverly Hills is nothing like the rest of the album. It's rapping verses and easy as hell bassline make any Weezer purist puke. However, if you're not a Weezer purist, you can't help but sit back and mouth the words along with Rivers. It's catchy without a doubt, although I think the world could do without the "gimme gimme's".
The rest of the album is a whirlwind of mediocrity and self deprecating lyrics. Starting from the fairly good, even though it's incredibly emo and self hating Perfect Situation
, the quality of the album dies incredibly. It's interesting to watch them go from the "sigh, I can't get the girl" to "I'm sorry cuz I beat my girlfriend" This is Such A Pity
. This Is Such A Pity is driven by an electronic thing, and Rivers' voice kills it on the line "You Think I'm A Facist Pig!" *Shudders*. This is followed by the even worse Hold Me
, a song dwelling on the fact that River's is so lonely, for being a multimillionaire rock star. Awww how sad. Look at me. I'm tearing up.
Every song on Make Believe follows a very strict formula. 1. Don't let happy verses enter any song. It'll ruin the effect of the album in general. (This rule is best followed in tracks... ok every track). 2. Have an ear blowing chorus where everything gets loud and Rivers hollers his lyrics. And Rule number 3. Don't let any band member do ANYTHING interesting. There's not a damn song where Scott Shriner plays anything but root notes, which is incredibly boring. Pat Wilson's drumming has never been fantastic, but the least you could do is give the guy a damn tempo change every once in a while. Brian Bell's guitar never strays from the path Rivers beat, so once again, Rivers becomes a self obsessed dick making Weezer: Rivers' and the Nerds. Now wait just a gosh darn minute, you're thinking. Why do you hate Rivers Cuomo so much? Ok. Well, I didn't hate him when Weezer was Weezer and all the band memebers had says in their songs. But wouldn't YOU hate a person who fined your partner in crime thousands of dollars because he played his guitar out of tune?!?!? I think you would.
The absolute lowest points on the album would have to be the drug loathing (or is it loving?) We Are All On Drugs
and My Best Friend
. We Are All On Drugs is so incredibly terrible with lines like "I Want To Confiscate Your Drugs". I mean come on! That just makes me want to cry. I mean Weezer's always been known for stupid lyrics ("Flip On The Telly, Wrestle With Jimmy" wasn't exactly U2), but good god, this is just terrible. The fact that the verses are marevelously hypocritical doesn't help the song either. It sounds like they're damn trying to piss off all the people who have done drugs at least once in their life. And I'm expected to listen to Gruff The Crime Dog over here tell me drugs are bad when he obviously must have been on drugs writing most of Pinkerton? Yeah I think I'll pass. Added to that is the happy go vomit My Best Friend. It begins with some ear shattering guitar. It's sickening radio friendly verses are something to definitely skip. And the chorus.... Oh the pain. Rivers croons his "You're my best friend/And I love you (Looove You)/ Yes I do". It's so hypocritically bad, I can't stand it.
There are 2 saving graces in the album that make it bearable. 1 is the apology we fans deserve, Pardon Me
. Pardon Me does follow the strict code of ethics I mentioned earlier, but it does have the gift of melody. It starts off nice and soft, but it's crisp vocals, a welcome change, make the song actually very good. It is piano driven in the verses, which makes you believe the emo self depreciating lyrics this time. It has an easy solo, but it's gentle and not at all terrible. Also in the chorus, instead of busting down your ears, it slowly grows. The other saving grace is the softer, much more laidback, although extremely paranoid Freak Me Out
. It's gentle beat on the ride cymbal is very mellowed out for "Nu-Weezer". It has a gentle verse, and the nice harmonies done by Brian in the chorus are really quite good. Rivers makes me sick again, with his panicky words, but disregarding that, the nice melody he brings is good. The soloing guitar does not kill the song at the end, in fact it does a great job of maintaining that mellowed out feel.
Weezer's 5th effort is laden with mediocre words and some terrible songs. For a band that had so much potential in the early nineties, to see what they became makes one want to sit down and weep. I miss Matt Sharpe. Scott Shriner has no charisma, and unfortuneately, he has become the posterchild for the crap that is New Weezer. If you want actual Weezer, skip this, because there's so much better out there.
Freak Me Out
There's two or three good tracks
The CD cover makes an excellent coaster
Some terrible lyrics
All the songs begin to sound the same.
No work done instrumentally
Some truly hypocritical songs
When will Matt Sharpe return?!?!
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