By: Eric Greenwood
If you've heard Weezer's comeback single, "Beverly Hills", and think it's good, please stop reading now. You're obviously a glutton for aural punishment, and there's nothing I could say to fix your taste. For the rest, who full-body cringed at the embarrassing lyrics, the lame, chant-along chorus, and the Peter Frampton-style talking guitar solo, this is for you.
Weezer is a sad shadow of its former self. Rivers Cuomo has lost touch with whatever it was that inspired the goofy nerd-pop of Weezer's self-titled Blue album and the awkwardly confessional follow-up, Pinkerton. I don't know if it was the whoring or the fame or the money, but Cuomo is too wrapped up in his contradictory narcissistic inferiority complex to cough up a decent tune these days.
Weezer's grand return in 2001, in the form of the Green album, was a knee-jerk (albeit very slow) reaction to Pinkerton's commercial failure. It was inarguably watered down Weezer- perfect on the outside with its obvious reverence and reference to the Blue album, but soulless and shallow within. Every single song had a guitar solo that mimed the lyrical melody, which – by about track five – just sounded insulting. "Hash Pipe" was the only salvageable song that rocked or revealed any sort of spark or character indicative of the band's early days.
The rushed feel of Maladroit embodied all of Cuomo's insecurities. From its hurried release to its hollow melodies, Maladroit should never have happened. When it bombed, Cuomo predictably retreated back into his self-obsessed shell of a persona, heading back to Harvard to hide from his rock-star lifestyle.
The three-year break absolutely did no good. Weezer is back with Make Believe, but it's not the same band that charmed its way through so many Spike Jonze videos a decade ago. It looks like Weezer on the cover – another Blue album knock-off, except a million times uglier. It sounds like Weezer- catchy, crystalline choruses and choirboy hooks. But it's like a bizarro version of the band. The self-effacing sense of humor has been smoothed over for calculated, mass appeal. Cuomo's confessional angst has been replaced with generic absurdities. It's as if Make Believe were made by robots.
Things haven't been the same since Matt Sharp left, so my advice would be to beg him to rejoin the band because without him Weezer is ass.