Rhythm & Views


Weezer's story is perhaps the saddest in recent rock history. Their first album (known as "the blue album," seeing as Weezer had the audacity to release another self-titled album in 2001) gleamed amid the angry growls on the record shelves in the mid-'90s; their Ric Ocasek-produced guitars had a delicious crunch; their lyrics were cute and sentimental.

Then Weezer started trying too hard, and instead of intelligent sweetness, Weezer has become a stupider version of themselves, trying to re-create their original sound and failing. Their more recent albums, self-titled take two (otherwise known as "the green album") and Maladroit (2002), were increasingly sugary boxes of fluff and marketing.

Which brings us to Make Believe, which is indigestible. The songs play like the soundtrack to a low-budget afterschool special sponsored by the government, with predictable power chords and dramatics, and trite, cliché lyrics. "My automobile is a piece of crap / my fashion sense is a little wack," sings Cuomo on "Beverly Hills," and on "Best Friend," "There is no one who can take your place / I feel happy inside when I see your face."

The ridiculousness peaks on "We Are All On Drugs": "You're really sick of it and you really want to quit but you're ... on drugs" sings Cuomo. It's laughably bad. "Perfect Situation" is the closest the band gets to succeeding at their original sound, but it still pales in comparison to its older siblings, back when Weezer was actually Weezer and not another generic knockoff.

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