Make Believe

Weezer

Make Believe

As long as Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo writes catchy pop hooks all else is forgiven. On the surface, Weezer is a standard-issue pop-punk-metal group – two guitars, bass, drums, and harmonies – but to their fans they are something of a revelation. They jump-started the emo-core movement and best serve adults in a permanent state of adolescent arrested development. That remains true for the band’s fifth studio album, the Rick Rubin-produced Make Believe, where Cuomo’s still mired in identity issues and the search for the arena-rock bic-flickin’ riff. “We Are All On Drugs” belies his ‘80s hair-metal roots, while “Beverly Hills” could be a football chant for the athletically disinclined. Rubin’s production is surprisingly neutral, lacking the grittier edge of the band’s previous album Maladroit and the walls of guitar can be a bit wearing. “Peace” is a near-ballad that finds Cuomo heading for the middle of the road, while the pesky rhythm of “This is Such a Pity” highlights the band’s new-wave interests.

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