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Make Believe

Make Believe

4.5 78
by Weezer

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It's never easy to predict exactly which of his multiple personalities Rivers Cuomo will put on display when he returns from one of his side trips away from Planet Weezer -- the most recent of which took him to another stint at Harvard. Judging by the overall tone of Make Believe, the granddaddy of emo is still in close touch with his inner geek, the socially


It's never easy to predict exactly which of his multiple personalities Rivers Cuomo will put on display when he returns from one of his side trips away from Planet Weezer -- the most recent of which took him to another stint at Harvard. Judging by the overall tone of Make Believe, the granddaddy of emo is still in close touch with his inner geek, the socially inept outsider desperate for love and totally unsure where to look for it. That anxiety lurks at the core of sadly soaring hook fests like "Hold Me" and the obsessive "We Are All on Drugs" -- on which his yelp conveys all the tortured post-adolescent yearning of Pinkerton's best moments. The disc, which clocks in at an epic (for Weezer) 45 minutes, has its share of unabashed rock moments, most notably the purposefully cheesy, inexorably driving "Beverly Hills," but the sonic palette is considerably broader than the band's earlier offerings. As often as not, the songs take surprising shapes -- from the neo–Todd Rundgren dream-pop tone of "The Damage in Your Heart" to the airy, harmony-centered "Freak Me Out," on which Cuomo croons atop a synthetic beat like the bastard child of Paul McCartney and one of the guys in Naked Eyes. The band saves the biggest departure for last, closing the disc with the deliberately paced ballad "Haunt You Every Day," which takes seven full minutes to wind its way through a forest of piano and strings, leaving an appropriately misty wake. Make Believe isn't rife with the sort of instantly contagious sing-alongs that normally mark Weezer discs, and the angst is tempered somewhat by a new sense of melodic maturity. But beneath the placid surface, there's still plenty of passion -- and that's something few bands can convey with the honesty of Weezer.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As a Rolling Stone cover story on newsstands the week before the release of Make Believe made clear, Weezer leader Rivers Cuomo is an odd, ornery sort. He's a genuine rock & roll maverick, at once attracted and repelled by his star status, disappearing for long stretches at a time, often to return to college. He writes and records far more songs than whatever winds up on a final Weezer record, which are often whittled down to just 30 or 40 minutes, leaving untold numbers of songs in the vaults. What makes the situation even stranger is for as obstinate and unpredictable as he is, Cuomo does not make odd music: he's a pop songwriter fronting a hard rock band, equally enamored with big choruses and loud guitars. While each of Weezer's records has a defining characteristic -- whether it's a sound, a lyrical theme, or simply an emotional feel -- that separates it from its predecessor, each album is clearly written from the same perspective: that of a brainy misfit raised on cheap metal and new wave, whose nerdiness always kept him on the outside looking in. This was true even after Cuomo became a star, thanks in large part to how he had a gift for articulating how very awkward he felt within the constructs of a catchy, melodic, concise pop song. But as rock stars since Elvis have learned, fans are a demanding lot, especially when they identify so heavily with a specific work, as Weezer's cult did with Pinkerton, the band's second album. It flopped upon its 1996 release but became a word-of-mouth hit over the next five years, leading up to their eagerly awaited comeback, Weezer, their second eponymous album that is otherwise known as The Green Album. Appropriately for a self-titled affair, Weezer functioned as an introduction to a new incarnation of a band, one that sounded similar but had a different outlook: namely, one that was deliberately notintrospective, a conscious shift away from plaintive introspection of Pinkerton. The Green Album and its quickly released 2002 follow-up, Maladroit, were both sharply written, tightly constructed, quite excellent, and popular rock records, but that didn't stop some fans from grumbling that neither album was as affecting as Pinkerton. Those same fans will likely not be happy with Cuomo's return to musical, emotional bloodletting with 2005's Make Believe. It may be a spiritual cousin to Pinkerton, yet it's far removed from the raw, nervy immediacy of that album. Nearly ten years separate the two records, a long time by any measure, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Cuomo has a far different emotional outlook here. On Make Believe he purposely avoids the pain and torture of Pinkerton, where the guitars exploded and scraped, complementing the torment in his lyrics. Here, Cuomo is trying to sort things out, sometimes beating himself up over past mistakes, sometimes looking at his surroundings sardonically, but something separates Make Believe from previous Weezer albums: a palpable sense of optimism, a feeling of hope, a new positivity. That's not really what the legions of Pinkerton fans are looking for. They're likely going to find some of his lyrics perilously close to a self-help manual, particularly when Cuomo writes a sappy ode to his best friend -- and it's pretty much a given that they won't respond to Rick Rubin's sleek, layered, propulsive production, which makes Weezer sound far more new wave than Ric Ocasek ever did. (Rubin also keeps the band far away from the pseudo-new wave of the Killers and the Bravery, which is why he's a highly paid pro.) But let those fans pine for the past, because the very things that they'll find irritating about Make Believe are what make it yet another first-rate Weezer record. Part of the band's appeal is that Cuomo not only skirts the edge of embarrassment, he frequently passes far beyond it, and while that very trait is irritating in the hands of lesser-talented emo bands, in Rivers, it's quite ingratiating and endearing because he has the musical skills to back up his self-analysis. He never overwrites, either in his words or melodies, his songs are carefully, precisely crafted pop, and his love of metal and rock gives his music muscle and balls. These gifts are as evident on Make Believe as they had been on every other Weezer record -- the only difference is this has a lighter, brighter feel than any of its predecessors, not just in the music but in its outlook. It might not be what Weezer fans want, but as that aforementioned Rolling Stone article made clear, Cuomo never cared much about that in the first place. If they're not immediately taken with Make Believe, give it time. After all, Pinkerton didn't win fans immediately.

Product Details

Release Date:
Geffen Records

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Weezer   Primary Artist
Akiko Tarumoto   Violin
Jason Freese   Saxophone
Stephanie Eitel   Vocals,Background Vocals
Doug Forsdick   Guitar
Akiko Turamoto   Violin

Technical Credits

Weezer   Producer
Rick Rubin   Producer,Audio Production
Jim Scott   Engineer
Rivers Cuomo   Composer
Francesca Restrepo   Art Direction
Chad Bamford   Producer,Engineer
Jordan Schur   Executive Producer
Mike Fasano   Drum Technician
Bobby Schneck   Guitar Techician
Jeff Kwatinetz   Management
Carson Ellis   Illustrations
Doug Forsdick   Guitar Techician
Kelly Perkins   Management
Chris Bamford   Producer,Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Make Believe 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
w words to describe weezers new cd, weezerific, weeztastic, wow. My complimimints to the band for making such outstanding cd. sitting on the bus yesterday listening to weezer was just great. i love their beat their music lyrics. no matter what anyone else tell you about it its you who has to decide weyther you like it or not. so before you brag that this cd sucks then y dont you listen to it first. also those fans who say that thias cd suck are you listening to what imn listening? but anyways this cd is weezers comback. it blends everything that i love about weezer with such songs as "beverly hills", "perfect situation "freak me out. with my personal favorite "my best friend" i recomend this cd to all. =w=
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is great! the vocals in this album are almost as good as the ones on the blue album. There are many awesome songs on here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like the two previous records, Make Believe should be purely listened to with the melodies and not the lyrics in mind. The album hardly contains any filler and the only two songs on this album that should be B-sides are We Are All On Drugs and My Best Friend. Also, it contains some of his most expressive singing since the Pinkerton B-side "Waiting on You". On the negative side, I do miss the way the band used to express themselves back in the old days. All of those songs had a visceral, raw, and natural feel in which they each had their own personality. Those were the reasons they became icons...not because of some stupid so called whiny movement called "emo". They were a great band before Pinkerton came along in which it became cool in the exclusive indie circles because it bombed in terms of record sales. The record just confirmed that they were not a one album fluke. They were like a cross between the Ramones, early Elvis Costello, Pixies, and Van Halen. Rivers used to express his songs with whimsy, wit, and raw emotion with vivid images that any person from the ages 13-24 can identify with. Plus Matt Sharp used to always add a little goofiness with his high falsettos which balanced out the brooding nature of Rivers. This review is not written to discourage you from buying this record. It just needs to be understood that Weezer can no longer make special albums any more. That is all part of the past now. Buy this album if you like good, run of the mill pop music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not just a casual Weezer fan. My love for the band goes deeper than my feelings for any other band probably do. I grew more anxious to hear Make Believe as its release date neared. I was one of the crazy fans that bought the album the day it came out. I listened to the album for the first time through normal speakers, not through headphones as I normally do. I was very pleased. Though the songs were obviously Weezer-ish, they were not just a rehash of old Weezer songs--they were different enough to intrigue you, but they won‘t make you say, “This is the band that made these other records??” The songs obviously belong in the =w= catalogue. Many of the songs now incorporate keyboard parts, either as the basis of one of the songs, or to embellish them. The new key parts are a welcome addition to the Weezer sound, enabling it to sound more full and layered. However, it should be noted, that the keys do not detract from the main elements of Weezer, and they have not been thrown in “just because.” The keyboard parts are an integral part of the songs they are in. Although there are a few weak moments on the album (the song “My Best Friend“ has yet to grow on me) overall, the album is very well put together and quite enjoyable. Songs such as “Perfect Situation”, “We All on Drugs”, “This is Such a Pity”, and “Pardon Me”, should be in any Weezer collection. “Freak Me Out” (apparently, about an encounter with a spider) and “Beverly Hills” showcase Weezer’s ability to write songs about almost any subject. The album is one that moves along nicely, and gels together wonderfully. I would recommend Make Believe to anyone, regardless of their previous attachment to Weezer. If you are a big Weezer fan and have yet to pick up the album, you should; there are moments when it is as good as Blue or Pinkerton. If you are just getting into the band (shame on you!), it is a great starter course, and very easy to get into, and you, too, will soon be on your path to Weezer obsession.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i LOVE this new album. it keeps their classic sounds and mixes them with various classic old school sounds and beats. it's original and familiar at the same time and demonstrates that they can delineate from the main stream that is overtaking pop culture. they give a whole new sound and meaning to the term "garage band"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Weezer has been one of my favorite bands since they came out with the blue album and I have to say "Make Believe" doesn't dissapoint. Every time I listen to this album I love it more and more. It has definitly become one of my favorite cds. Some of my favorite tracks are "Peace," "Perfect Situation" and "Other Way."
Guest More than 1 year ago
With 'Make Believe,' one can easily tell how Weezer has grown as a band. The music is different and incorporates many new instruments like piano and saxophone, but it Weezer still maintains the quirkiness that makes them so unique. The singing is "better," as in it's less pitchy while still showing a lot of emotion. The record is an amazing compilation of songs that could have belonged on any other weezer c.d. yet, it still has it's own unique "twang." The album displays a weezer that has grown and matured while maintaning the same boyish style that made them big to begin with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Upon my first listen, the record felt kind of foreign, but I've enjoyed this album a lot more after listening to it a few more times. It's great, fun, and easy album to sing along to. Rivers voice throughout the album is convincing, and Pat, Brian and Scott really play it up. There is a mix of instruments on the album including violin, sax, acoustic guitar and keyboards that add interest to each song. There is a mix of styles on this album that draw from all of weezer's past releases. Songs like 'Damage In Your Heart' and 'The Other Way' are instant classics, but then again most of the songs on this CD are great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you already like Weezer, you'll love this album. If you're new to Weezer, this album is a good introduction. Although it is not like the previous albums, it definitely has some great tunes which are soon to be favorites. I can't wait for the radio stations to start playing some of the other songs on the album. If you've only heard "Beverly Hills" thus far, wait till you hear the rest! It's great. There are some upbeat songs like "Beverly Hills", but there are some slower, sadder songs too, that are a great listen. You can definitely sense River Cuomo's spirit in the music. This album is better than the last two, for sure! Try it! You'll love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do like the album because I love the band and feel obligated, I suppose. The album just seems so heartbreaking to me. Rivers seems really down in this cd and some of the songs sad to say seem like they were put together with very little effort into the words for example "Pardon me" I still enjoy the band and the cd isn't terrible, it's just not the Blue album. It is just different.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time Weezer comes out with a new album they combine their old styles with some new and unique ones never heard before. To say the least, this album takes the best of all of it's predecessors and puts them all in an awesome, one of a kind package. Weezer has come a long way since Blue Album and it is safe to say that they did not, in the least, go wrong with Make Believe. Buy it now! My favorites are "Perfect Situation", "Hold Me", "We Are All on Drugs", especially "The Damage Your Heart" because it reminds me of "Pink Triangle" from Pinkerton, "Pardon Me", and "The Other Way."
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great album!! The songs are so innovative and yet keep the same great rockin weezer sound!! I haven't stopped listening to it since it was released!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great album with bittersweet tonality and lyrics to match it. The hit track "Beverly Hills" topped #1 on the Billboard charts and other great songs including "This is Such a Pity", "Hold Me", and "We Are All on Drugs" are also key tracks to look out for. Rivers' lyrics, however, seem more straight forward and "cliche-y" if you will, opposed to the clever, witty lyrics of the Pinkerton days. Over all, it is an excellent (and catchy!)album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was worried when i bought the cd. i am a weezer fan, but as usual, that means i am there hardest critic. but have ne fear, the new album is amazing. it gives weezer a whole new sound, while bringing back some older stuff from Blue, and Pinkerton. its well worth your money
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really heart weezer and this is a pretty rad album. It's not as catchy as my favorite Blue Album and i miss the quirkiness of some of their older songs. But all is well in the world because weezer is back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the album sounds more like the blue album and pinkerton which is good
Guest More than 1 year ago
Weezer changes it up a little bit. The CD is full of great songs, I haven't heard one that I dislike yet. I think it is their best CD since the blue album. There is a good mix of upbeat and mellow songs. I strongly reccomend this CD. I am going to buy it as soon as I can.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok this album brings weezer back to its roots the songs are more like pinkerton and they brought the harmonica back! best tracks include perfect situation we are all on drugs freak me out and best friend
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of you left wondering "what happened?" after hearing Weezer's last two albums, 'Make Believe' is return to the Weezer you all know and love. Catchy riffs, heart-felt lyrics and sassy hand claps will put 'Make Believe' at the top of your summer play list. I recently had the chance to check out the band in Chicago and the new stuff, as well as the old, sounds absolutely amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By now, true Weezer fans should know that their beloved '90s band will never again produce an album like Blue or Pinkerton. Since the new millennium has started, Weezer has produced three albums of very different statures. "Make Believe," in my opinion, is the band's third best album and definitely one you should not miss picking up. From the catchy chorus of "Beverly Hills" to the resounding guitar and words in "Haunt You Every Day," the album brings an unforgettable quality to the listeners' ears. Weezer also embarks on some untouched territory, such as bringing an '80s feel to "This Is Such a Pity" and finally apologizing in the lyrics of "Pardon Me." Overall, this is a great album for both old and new Weezer fans. Don't miss out by not buying "Make Believe"-- you will regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You know I am always a little unsure when a new Weezer album comes out because they are my favorite band and I hold them in such high regard. However, there is no reason to be unsure anymore because their new album "Make Believe" is a hit!! I am enjoying all of the tracks on the album compared to some artists that they only have a few good hits on each album. All of the songs on Make Believe are Awesome!! From "This is such a Pity" to "Hold me" I HIGHLY recommend this album to anyone!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love The Single "Beverly Hills". Its a new Style to their music, while still staying true to that Weezer way of doing things. It'll be a great addition to any Long Term Fan's Collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like many other weezer fans that I'm sure are sick of all the "I want more blue album stuff, or more pinkerton" etc. While I enjoyed Green and Maladroit, I think that Make Believe is a suberb cd, maybe there best, maybe not I'm still out to lunch on whether We are all on drugs beats Hashpipe or if Hold Me beats Don't Let Go or Island in the Sun, but I would recommend this cd to anyone who's heard a weezer song before or likes rock songs that don't whine. I give it a 98%. 1% for not having more tracks and 1% for not having any of the SS2k songs like My Brain or Modern Dukes
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though this album at first may seems something hard to swallow but after hearing it a couple of times you begin to see that Rivers was not the instigator of this album but it's clearly the rest of the group. In fact the band asked Rivers to write songs again. You can hear the input of the each member of the band in this album and since this is an album that they really wanted it to be made for themselves then we clearly see the creative input by who. I guess the bands might be going a different direction with the new bass player in tow and all.