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|Studio album by Weezer|
|Released||May 10, 2005|
|Recorded||December 2003 – February 2005, at Cello Studios, Grandmaster Recorders, Henson Studios, and Rick Rubin's home studio, Los Angeles|
|Singles from Make Believe|
Having started Vipassana meditation practices at producer Rick Rubin's suggestion, Rivers soon felt the effect of the discipline on his songwriting. One song, "Pardon Me" (Rubin's favorite) was written because meditation asked that he seek forgiveness from all those he harmed. Another song, "Hold Me", was written on a fast. The songs began to reflect a more personal side to Rivers that was suppressed on Maladroit and virtually absent from The Green Album.
The demo process
Over the course of a year and a half, several rounds of demos sessions saw the band record countless songs. The actual recording of the fifth album would not commence until December of 2003. That process also lasted the better part of fifteen months.
Album Five Recordings
- Main article: Album 5 Demos
After Maladroit was released in 2002, Weezer began work on recording a new set of songs for their next album. These songs showcased a shift in Rivers' songwriting style, focusing more on storytelling, rather than his own personal experiences.
- Main article: S.I.R. Demos
After returning from the Enlightenment Tour in September 2002, the band reconvened to record, and sessions carried through to early 2003. Many different songs were recorded, most of them multiple times.
Acoustic Office Demos
- Main article: Acoustic Office Demos
Leaving S.I.R. Studios, the band began to work up almost exclusively acoustic material at an office space they had rented. This process lasted throughout the summer and fall of 2004.
Make Believe demos
- Main article: Make Believe Demos
The recording process
- Main article: Make Believe Sessions
Rivers would write several demos, leave them to the band to work with, and then go back to Harvard. During breaks, the band would record and rehearse new songs. Rubin oversaw all of the recordings. The band was able to work with a new found cooperation. The band setup themselves as a democracy and for the first time since the old Amherst days, were getting along well.
Tentative album titles
During the development of Make Believe, several titles were offered both jokingly and for serious consideration.
- One Thousand Soviet Children Marching Towards The Sun
- Somnambulist's Dream
- Either Way I'm Fine
At the video shoot for "Beverly Hills," Patrick Wilson shared with fans that both "Make Believe" and "a self-titled Red album" were being considered.
Make Believe was released on May 10, 2005, eleven years to the day of The Blue Album. Make Believe received mostly strong reviews, but was met with some fan criticism. The most pervasive criticism is in regards to the slick and clean production provided by Rubin. Many fans have stated that had it had the more "raw" production of Pinkerton, the album would have been stronger. Many of these fans fail to realize that Rubin was often absent from these sessions, and that engineer Chad Bamford arguably had a bigger hand in its 'slickness'.
The individual songs seemed to be hit-or-miss with fans. Typical fan favorites include "The Other Way", "This Is Such a Pity", and "Perfect Situation", while many are quick to dismiss "Beverly Hills" and "We Are All on Drugs", the two lead off singles. Despite fan criticisms, Make Believe was quick to go platinum and its lead single, "Beverly Hills", was Weezer's first #1 single. It was also the most popular download of 2005 (although technicalities make Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" the most popular).
There was some controversy regarding the second single, "We Are All on Drugs". Despite a fantastic reaction to the song at live shows, fans were quick to dismiss the song as a single. Furthermore, MTV demanded that the song be censored before they aired the video. The song was re-dubbed with the new chorus "We Are All in Love". When the band was asked to censor it, Pat wanted to give it the sarcastic name "We Are All on Hugs". "In Love" was recorded at the suggestion of Brian Bell.
Later, when "Perfect Situation" was announced as the album's third single, it was decided to remix the track with a new chorus. According to Cuomo, he had written two different versions of the chorus melody. When fans at live shows inadvertently sang it the way he originally wrote it, he realized he should change it. The new version also features backing vocals of "perfect situation" during the outros because Geffen felt the song's title wasn't repeated enough for it to be a single. "Perfect Situation" trumped "Beverly Hills" on the charts, remaining #1 for four weeks despite having no physical single release.
Make Believe received mixed reviews from fans and critics. At Metacritic, it is scored as a 52 out of 100, their lowest-rated album. Some say it is similar to Pinkerton, but with a more polished sound, which many believed to be its downfall. Pitchfork Media gave the album a 0.4/10, and deemed it a "terrible album", citing Ruben and Cuomo as the culprits. The review described the writing as "lazy", and said that not only was the album terrible, but it makes the listener rethink their opinions on past Weezer work.
Many songs were written and recorded during the Make Believe demos and sessions, but few have surfaced. They include a few leaked home demos, a song on Alone, and two acoustic office demos that were not released until 2008 as iTunes bonus tracks for The Red Album.
The "fallen soldiers"
- Main article: The "fallen soldiers"
The "fallen soldiers" refers to finished recordings done during the Make Believe sessions that were ultimately left off of the album in favor of the twelve tracks that went on Make Believe.
The first pressing of Make Believe was in a digipak and featured different mixes of several songs than later editions. There was an error on "We Are All on Drugs" (the wrong bridge was used), "Perfect Situation" was remixed when it became a single, and "This Is Such A Pity" (which originally featured a drum fill near the end) was replaced with a second incorrect mix (no drum fill, no high note on the word "that" in the third verse), then again with the 'correct' mix (no drum fill, high "that"). Due to all the confusion, it is unclear how many copies of each pressing were made, and exactly which versions of the three songs were used on each one.
The liner notes feature a monologue from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. The monologue is taken from Act 5, Scene 1 of the play in which Prospero gives up his magic. This had prompted many fans to speculate that Make Believe would be the band's final album. The monologue is as follows:
"This rough magic I here abjure, and, when I have required some heavenly music, which even now I do, To work mine end upon their senses that This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I'll drown my book."
|"This is Such a Pity"|
|"We Are All On Drugs"|
|"The Damage in Your Heart"|
|"My Best Friend"|
|"The Other Way"|
|"Freak Me Out"|
|"Haunt You Every Day"|
|3.||"This Is Such A Pity"||3:24|
|6.||"We Are All on Drugs"||3:35|
|7.||"The Damage in Your Heart"||4:02|
|9.||"My Best Friend"||2:47|
|10.||"The Other Way"||3:16|
|11.||"Freak Me Out"||3:26|
|12.||"Haunt You Every Day"||4:37|
International bonus tracks
- "Butterfly" (Live) - UK and Japanese version (Recorded on July 12, 2002 in Detroit, MI.)
- "Island in the Sun" (Live) - UK and Japanese version (Recorded on July 12, 2002 in Detroit, MI.)
- "Burndt Jamb" (Live) - Japanese version only (Recorded on July 26, 2002 in Camden, NJ.)
- Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals
- Patrick Wilson – drums
- Brian Bell – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Scott Shriner – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Rick Rubin – producer
- Chad Bamford - engineer, production
| Studio LPs: Weezer (The Blue Album) | Pinkerton | Weezer (The Green Album) | Maladroit | Make Believe | Weezer (The Red Album) | Raditude | Hurley | Death to False Metal |
EPs: Weezer's Christmas CD | The Lion and the Witch | Christmas with Weezer | Six Hits | ...Happy Record Store Day!