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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Weezer
Make Believe
Geffen Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


June 6, 2005
Rivers Cuomo may take all the writing credit for Weezer's freshman and sophomore sets, but since the departure of original bassist Matt Sharp, the group has failed to recapture the youthful energy and spirited spunk of the blue album and Pinkerton. Later efforts have been less tongue-and-cheek, less raw, and ultimately, they feel less honest. Pinkerton may have been almost too personal, but, being such, pulled people to it.

Perhaps age, rust or fear directed the at-arms-length material of 2001's Green Album, which catapulted Weezer back on the charts - despite blatantly lacking the magic that made their early efforts so endearing. Maladroit, which followed in 2002, emerged a more substantial effort, yet, with a few exceptions, it ultimately disappointed its audience.

Make Believe, Cuomo and Weezer's third post-Sharp, post-hiatus release - although touted as Cuomo's new-era diamond in the rough - simply follows close behind its recent counterparts. Some songs are worth a listen, but the overall package sounds and feels redundant and, putting myself at the mercy of =W= fans everywhere, renders itself irrelevant.

Pinkerton moved us because we loved Cuomo for his irrational worry, denouncement of sex, his unfortunate ability to fall for lesbians, and even his preoccupation with young Asian girls. It stirred us because, perhaps, we're all a little screwy and Cuomo's admissions made our flaws acceptable. We could relate.

And, unlike his songs, Cuomo hasn't become more typical - swearing off sex and embracing religion - he just doesn't write about it. Instead he opts to pen clichéd, optimistic pieces of radio pop. However, as with Maladroit, some songs are worth the plastic they're spun on. Lead single "Beverly Hills" sees Cuomo admit that despite fascinations with Booty and Bling, he's just a geek at heart. He nails the current fixation with superficiality in a way that's just mocking enough to roll the windows down and roll to.

"Freak Me Out" is the real gem of Make Believe because of its subject matter and over-the-top balladry: Cuomo sings about accidentally throwing down with a homeless man: "Did I hurt you?/Are you okay?/Can I buy you a drink?/Oh, what's the world coming to?" The song works both as a painful reminder as well as a hilarious anecdote rolled into one. The kicker, however, is Cuomo's claim that everyone, yes, everyone is his friend. It's a nice mantra - one more people should adopt - but just makes the song funnier and more enjoyable to listen to.

Although Sharp can't really be blamed for Weezer's downfall, something did walk out the door with him. The moral of the story? No matter how hard a band tries, after a long, band-altering sojourn, most efforts to top such remarkable underground followings end up toppling esteemed reputations.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David

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