Monday, January 27, 2014

Weezer Week: Make Believe

I’ve already written about my conflicted history with Weezer, so I won’t rehash it.  I will use this space to explain my grand design. 

I’ve decided that I’m going to pick one artist a month and devote a week to writing about five of their albums, an album a day.  This week it’s obviously Weezer and I’ll be looking at their five most recent albums.  Today is Make Believe.

Beverly Hills – Not as offensive as it used to be.  Since nearly a decade has passed since Make Believe was released I’ve got to believe that time has softened my stance.  Used to hate this song, because for me it epitomized Weezer selling out.  To me, this song sounded like Weezer asking to be played on the radio and it made me sick.  Now it sounds like a pretty harmless little ditty. 

Perfect Situation – I’d be lying if I said that this song really evoked anything truly strong in my being. I don't hate it and I don't love it.  I guess I tolerate it?

This Is Such a Pity – This song sound Cars-esque which makes me think that perhaps Ric Ocasek produced this album.  Sadly, he didn’t.  It’s a Rick Rubin album.  Still, this song is an undeniably catchy tune.  The lyrics are mildly whiney, but it’s a Weezer song, so par for the course.  I want to say that this was one of the songs that I gravitated to the first time around. It also doesn't really feel like a "Weezer" song, which makes it interesting.  

Hold Me – Typical Weezer song with both quiet and loud parts.  To me it feels like Cuomo is trying to recapture some of the their former magic. 

Peace – This is a perfectly acceptable Weezer track. 

We Are All On Drugs – I can remember not really caring for this song the first time around.  Even now it still feels very heavy handed and simplistic.  I get that it’s not really about drugs, but it still feels super judgmental. 

The Damage In Your Heart – I really like this song.  I think it’s the build to the chorus that really does it for me.  And the message isn’t half bad either.  It’s a pretty mellow affair, just like some of my favorite Weezer songs. 

Pardon Me – On one hand, this is not my favorite Weezer song.  On the other hand, how can you really hate on a song about a dude apologizing and politely? 

My Best Friend – Here’s where I think I figured out what my problem is with the album and to a lesser extent Weezer; I miss mopey Weezer.  I’m pretty sure their first album has been rectonned as an Emo classic, but that outcast nature on those first two albums is what drew me in.  This song is so peppy and upbeat, it just rubs me the wrong way. 

The Other Way – Again, this is another peppy song.  Sure the song is full of fears and doubts, but the music itself is so upbeat.  I miss underdog Weezer. That said, this song isn’t really all that bad. 

Freak Me Out – I dig the subtle distortion on Rivers voice.  This is one of the songs that I remember liking the first time around, I think it was mainly because of how different it sounds from most of the songs thus far.  And it’s got a harmonica solo, so there’s that. 

Haunt You Every Day – Y’know I don’t really dig the piano at the beginning of this song.  It feels so very ballad-y and really sours me on the entire affair.  This feels like a song that you’d hear in a movie, but not a good movie, like a romantic drama. 

The Verdict: This really isn’t that bad an album.  It’s certainly not worthy of the hate that I threw on it at the time.  Time has certainly dulled that hatred and nostalgia has filled that void.  If you told me ten years ago that one day I’d be totally cool with Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” I’d probably have stabbed you (I lead a different life a decade ago.)  But here we are. 

Tomorrow: The Red Album

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