Make Believe (Weezer album)

Make Believe (Weezer album)
Make Believe
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
Genre Alternative rock, power pop, pop punk
Length 45:09
Label DGC/XL (U.S.)
B0004520-01 (LP)
B0004520-12 (CD)
Producer Rick Rubin
Weezer chronology
Make Believe
Singles from Make Believe
  1. "Beverly Hills"
    Released: March 29, 2005
  2. "We Are All on Drugs"
    Released: July 2005
  3. "Perfect Situation"
    Released: December 2005
  4. "This Is Such a Pity"
    Released: February 2006

Make Believe is the fifth studio album by Weezer, released on May 10, 2005, the eleventh anniversary of the release of their debut album. Bolstered by the Top 10 hit single "Beverly Hills", it gave Weezer their biggest chart album peak yet, hitting #11 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #2 in the U.S., where it went gold quickly, and eventually platinum. The song also earned the band their first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song. Despite this, Make Believe has received mixed reviews from critics and fans, though it has remained a consistent seller.

As of December 2007, Make Believe has sold 1,215,000 units in the U.S. alone.[1] It reached number two, the band's highest peak to date.

Make Believe features the band's first two songs to top the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, the aforementioned "Beverly Hills" and "Perfect Situation."


Writing and recording process

As early as spring 2002, and at random points in late 2002 and early 2003, demos for possible use on Weezer's fifth album would be uploaded to's audio/visual page. After some time, the band decided to start from scratch with a fresh group of songs. 28 songs in all were uploaded on the website (and can still be found on various fan sites) yet none made the actual album. This batch of songs is commonly referred to as "The A5 Demos" or "Album 4.5", amongst fans.

Rivers Cuomo's discovery of meditation in the three years between this and their previous release, Maladroit had a great influence on the content of the album. Mainly on "Pardon Me," which was written after a ten day guided meditation course, in which he learned the ancient techniques of Vipassana (Insight Meditation) and Metta (Lovingkindness) which encourages those who practice to "seek pardon from all those who I have hurt in action, speech or thought."[2] He also claimed the title of the album came to him while meditating.

Make Believe marks a return to Cuomo's more personal songwriting style after taking a more distant approach on the previous two albums.[3] An example of this is "The Other Way," which was written for Rivers' ex-girlfriend Jennifer Chiba after her then boyfriend Elliott Smith died. Cuomo said, "I wanted to console her, but I was confused and skeptical about my own motives for wanting to do so, so I wrote that song about that."[4] "We Are All on Drugs" was inspired by Cuomo hearing party-goers on Sunset Strip.[4] "Hold Me" was written during a songwriting experiment in which Cuomo fasted for 24 hours and then wrote a song.[5]

Producer Rick Rubin told Rivers Cuomo to "write a Billy Joel or Elton John type of song." The result of Rubin's request was "Haunt You Every Day" which is not the first Weezer song to feature piano, but is the first that Rivers wrote entirely on piano. According to Cuomo, Rubin told Tom Petty the same thing and he wrote "It's Good To Be King."[5]

As the band was working on the album, they struck a deal to have "My Best Friend" be included in the film Shrek 2 yet this deal was scrapped when the makers of the film didn't think it fit to the timings of the visuals. The Counting Crows song "Accidentally in Love" took the place of "My Best Friend."[6] However, in late 2010, "My Best Friend" was included on the soundtrack to the film "Yogi Bear", and can be heard during the end credits.

Hundreds of songs were demoed during the three year period of making of the album. Despite the abundance of release-able material, to the dismay of many fans, this is the first Weezer album not to feature any b-side releases. Of the notable unreleased material, partial rough versions of "You're the One" and "Love is the Answer" can be heard on the "Making of Make Believe" special feature on the disc's Enhanced CD feature. A cover of Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" was in consideration for the album and later for a soundtrack, although it would only see release five years later on the Death To False Metal album.[7] Six other Make Believe era outtakes including three which were contenders for the final album would also see release on various versions of the same album.

While deciding on the name of the album, one of the title suggestions given by Patrick Wilson was One Thousand Soviet Children Marching Towards The Sun.[8] Another suggestion was Either Way I'm Fine (something Cuomo said often during the sessions when discussing changing elements of a song or sound).[2] Ultimately the title of Make Believe won over his suggestion.

While most Weezer albums are quite short, with a time span around 30 minutes, Make Believe is the longest album they have released to date, clocking in at 45 minutes.

Artwork and liner notes

Much of the album's art direction was handled by Francesca Restrepo with photography from Karl Koch and Sean Murphy. The album cover was done in a similar manner to both the band's debut album, The Blue Album and their 2001 album, The Green Album.[9][10][11] It featured Patrick Wilson, Rivers Cuomo, Scott Shriner, and Brian Bell standing left-to-right in front of a black backdrop with illustrations by Carson Ellis.[12][13]

The liner notes feature a monologue from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.[14] The monologue is taken from Act 5, Scene 1 of the play in which Prospero gives up his magic.[15] This had prompted many fans to speculate that Make Believe would be the band's final album.[16] 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.[12]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Rivers Cuomo

No. Title Length
1. "Beverly Hills"   3:16
2. "Perfect Situation"   4:15
3. "This Is Such a Pity"   3:24
4. "Hold Me"   4:22
5. "Peace"   3:53
6. "We Are All on Drugs"   3:35
7. "The Damage in Your Heart"   4:02
8. "Pardon Me"   4:15
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
Total length:
Bonus tracks

The UK and Japan versions of the album came with two additional bonus tracks, live versions of "Butterfly" and "Island In The Sun" which originally appeared on "Pinkerton" and "The Green Album", respectively. The Japanese version also featured a live version of the song "Burndt Jamb", which appeared on "Maladroit".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Blender 3/5 stars link
Yahoo! Music 8/10 stars link
The Guardian 3/5 stars link
IGN (9.3/10) link
Kerrang! 3/5 stars
NME 5/10 stars link
Q 4/5 stars
Pitchfork Media 0.4/10 stars link
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars link
Metacritic (52%)

Opinion towards Weezer's fifth album was mixed, receiving both accolades and derision from the music press. Its Metacritic score reflects this, where the album is currently listed at 52 (out of 100).[17] Some publications like Allmusic and Rolling Stone gave it high remarks, like comparing the album to the band's earlier release Pinkerton in terms of its songwriting, sound, and initial critical reaction.[18] However, Allmusic changed its rating for this album from 4 stars to 3 stars years later. Other reviewers panned the album, like Pitchfork Media's stark 0.4 (out of 10), where reviewer Rob Mitchum stated, "Sometimes an album is just awful. Make Believe is one of those albums."[19] Adam Downer of Sputnikmusic gave the album a 1.5 out of 5, saying "... the album is a whirlwind of mediocrity and self deprecating lyrics."[20]


The wrong version of "We Are All on Drugs" appears on the first CD release and all vinyl releases of Make Believe. It was later replaced with the correct version on subsequent CD releases. The two versions of the song are sonically identical, but two lines of lyrics are different. The incorrect lyrics contained on the first CD release and the vinyl releases are: "I want to confiscate your drugs. I don't think I can get enough." whereas the correct lyrics on subsequent CD releases are "I want to reach a higher plane. Where things will never be the same. "

Shedding light on the many versions that were released of the album, Weezer archivist Karl Koch posted the following at on June 20, 2007:

Originally, the album was released (May 11, 2005, contrary to what iTunes says) and that was that. But then it was discovered that there were 2 problems. The wrong version of 'We Are All on Drugs" was included, and there was a minor audio problem in "This Is Such a Pity". (Both of these things were things that the band could hear, but if you hadn't heard the song before, you wouldn't know what was 'wrong'.) So, early on, a second version of the album was issued with the 'Drugs' and 'Pity' corrected. Its [sic] not known if any of the original copies were returned and destroyed at that point. There's likely plenty of both of these first two versions out there, as "Make Believe" sold half a million copies in a matter of weeks (and is currently well over 1 million sold). But then, when it came time for a 3rd single, the band made some changes to "Perfect Situation", changing the "whoa oh" melody and adding the "Perfect Situation" background vocals near the end of the song. This became known as the 'single version' or the 'video version', but the band decided it was better than the original and wanted all further pressings of the album to have this new version instead. So, therefore, a 3rd version of the album was made, and that's the version that's currently on iTunes and in stores (unless they still have very old stock of the CD).[21]

Chart positions


Chart Peak position
U.S. Billboard 200 2[22]
UK Albums Chart 11[23]
Sweden 15[24]
Norway 7[25]
Finland 13[26]
Netherlands 82[27]


Year Song Peak positions
US Modern Rock
stream Rock

Hot 100

Top 40

New Zealand
2005 "Beverly Hills" 1 26 10 9 31 19
2005 "We Are All on Drugs" 10 35
2005 "Perfect Situation" 1 51
2006 "This Is Such a Pity" 31



  1. ^ "Album Sales". Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  2. ^ a b Grigoriadis, Vanessa. "Weezer's Weird World". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  3. ^ Luerssen D., John. Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story. ECW Press, 2004, ISBN 1-55022-619-3 p. 476
  4. ^ a b "Weezer discography: Make Believe: Track By Track". Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  5. ^ a b Sullivan, Kate. "I, Songwriter". Los Angeles Weekly. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Shrek 2". IMDB. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  7. ^ "The Weezer recording history: Page 15". Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Weezer Interview". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  9. ^ Weezer: Blue Album booklet and liner notes
  10. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 326
  11. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 327
  12. ^ a b Make Believe booklet and liner notes
  13. ^ "Weezer - Make Believe - Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  14. ^ Rafaello, David. " - Music - Reviews - Albums - Weezer - Make Believe". Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  15. ^ "The Tempest, Act V, Scene I". Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  16. ^ "Weezer Tease Fans With Shakespeare Split Riddle". NME. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  17. ^ "Weezer: Make Believe (2005): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  18. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Allmusic: Make Believe: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  19. ^ Mitchum, Rob. "Weezer: Make Believe: Pitchfork Record Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  20. ^ Downer, Adam (November 6, 2005). "Weezer - Make Believe Review". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  21. ^ Koch, Karl. "06/22/07 Blantons, Crampons, Shunts, Crunts 'n Pundits". Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  22. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard.!-914498186&pid=36614&aid=678014. Retrieved 2007-11-27. [dead link]
  23. ^ a b "UK album chart archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  24. ^ "Sweden Chart Archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  25. ^ "Norway Chart Archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  26. ^ "Finnish Chart Archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  27. ^ "Netherlands album chart archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  28. ^ a b c "Weezer Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  29. ^ "New Zealand album chart archives". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  30. ^ "Australian Charts". Retrieved 2007-11-27. 

External links

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