Rivers Cuomo may have struck out on the last two Weezer CDs but the modern day Buddy Holly has gone back to the drawing board with Weezer’s latest opus Make Believe.
After some bumps in the road, it is good news to find this troubled individual back at the top of his game. I once heard that Rivers Cuomo writes songs through mathematical calculations. If that is true, he deserves to win the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship Award for his latest achievement in musical computation.
It was not long ago that Pinkerton inspired a generation of emo
bands and Rolling Stone got caught with their pants down, after naming it the worst CD of 1996.
Now Rivers and his faithful followers from California drop the atomic bomb U2 failed to dismantle last October and release one of their most exciting and engaging LPs yet. Make Believe is a rockin album, with more variety than anything found on The Green Album or Maladroit, and a solid attempt at picking up where Pinkerton left off.
Beverly Hills is the opening anthem that the record company must have cornered Rivers to release as the first single. It pays tribute to the Weezer trademark: An upbeat and catchy song about being a loser. Simply put, It is what it is.
The keyboard addition to this album gives added dimension to such songs of creepy despair like “Perfect Situation” and “Such A Pity”, a catchy throwback to the 80s that is just as sweet as Pop Rocks candy.
You have to be on Drugs to take “We Are All On Drugs” seriously but somewhere between asking myself if this song will show up in a DARE commercial, I remember that Rivers is a Buddhist monk or something now so his parody of the rock n star lifestlye seems a little out of place on this CD. But then again being “out of place” has been Weezer’s trademark.
“Peace” is the closest Weezer has come to a song that could warrant a Beatles comparison, even though it sounds nothing like a Beatles song. A perfect blend of acoustic and electric guitar that oozes of emotion. “The Other Way” is a gem that reminds us of the journey this band has made from garage band rockers to Emo Gods.
There is no surpise that Rivers has achieved some humility in life and found a way to deal with the temptations of his worldwide fame. “Freak Me Out” a haunting song about Rivers’ encounter with a spider that reminds us we’re all vulnerable on the inside. So very true.
For the most part Make Believe is a one man’s search for finding peace and overcoming his demons. The subject matter gives a nod to Pinkerton’s fears and despairs but this time around Rivers isn’t afraid to spit out his guts. Their is no guilt on this CD, just a bunch of catchy songs that seek to find balance, honesty and truth in a crazy world.
This CD has it all. Catchy melodies, sweet guitar solos, silly harmonies and a bold honesty that makes us believe Rivers Cuomo has finally found a place of peace and comfort in his rock nobility.
4 out of 5 Stars