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Weezer, Make Believe

Weezer has always gotten the bum rush when it comes to their releases: 2001’s comeback The Green Album was derided as being too poppy, and their roll licking, hard rock 2002 monster Maladroit was also universally panned. So with their fifth album, Make Believe, Weezer does what they do best — piss off critics and fans by creating a very personal, poppy, hard rock album that sometimes doesn’t even sound like original Weezer material. Producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash) gives lead singer Rivers Cuomo and co. the passion to play with their pop-rock sound, especially on highlights like the infectious summer single “Beverly Hills” (which features an incredibly cheesy talking guitar effect), The Killers-influenced “This Is Such A Pity,” the anti-drug statement “We Are All On Drugs,” and the dreamy ballad “Freak Me Out.” Just like Weezer’s past records, Make Believe will slowly grow on you with each listen but don’t expect anything innovative; Weezer are just a fun rock band with likable pop songs. (Geffen) Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

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