Um, yeah. I don’t know what to think about this album. As a longtime Weezer fan, it really hurts me that the dread of never hearing another great Weezer record is now a reality, plain and simple. Face it folks, Rivers Cuomo should have thrown in the towel back when he locked himself in his Los Angeles apartment after Rolling Stone called Pinkerton the worst album of 1996.
But he stuck with it, gave us several mediocre songs and a few good ones along the way. But Make Believe has officially crossed the fail-safe point. Rick Rubin, who produced the album, turned Rivers on to a bunch of new-age meditation nonsense, which apparently has a nasty side effect of crappy poetry. The old Weezer is dead and gone.
The word that best describes Make Believe is “boring.” The riffs are pretty generic, the songs sound overproduced and bland save a few exceptions, and the lyrics are so vapid that Cuomo might as well make up words on the spot. The songs are generally not the type that you would gladly hum in your head on the way to class; some of the choruses here are so obnoxiously simple that you’ll spend your walk onto campus wishing you had a baseball bat with which to bash the songs out.
The riff in “Beverly Hills” isn’t bad but it screams “pilfered,” from Joan Jett in particular. And the “gimme gimme” in the chorus is terrible. The first thing that comes to my mind when hearing this song is this comment posted on Weezer’s MySpace page: “Oh my god i love u guys ever since island in the sun but then i kinda lost track about u guys (sic)… and suddenly my best friend started singing BEVERLY HILLSSSSSS … THATS WHERE I WANNA BE …” No comment necessary.
“Perfect Situation” is the best track on the album; this is probably due to Rivers choosing to vocalize the chorus with a bunch of “whoa-ohs” instead of actual words. “This is Such a Pity” goes eighties as it tries to emulate The Killers with a good rhythm but stupid transcendental meditative hippie clich