So. I have to admit I have a problem with birkenstocks, and i have to admit that my father has something to do with it. I wouldn't give oedipus a call just yet though. Sadly enough, one of the first images that come to my mind when i think of my father is him watching television on a leather armchair dressed in faded-blue shorts and a faded-grey sleeveless shirt, with those old, brown birkenstocks. Watching the look on my girlfriends' faces when they entered the living room, facing the truth, made me swear to myself never to: a. wear birkenstocks or any "shoe" in which people could see my feet and b. wear shorts. So far i've succeeded and never felt tempted to break my vow, even though some people say that i have confidence issues. they're wrong of course. I have lovely feet.
Even though it may seem unlikely to you after this fair and intriguing introduction, i'm not going to bash the new weezer record, mainly because i really like it. It's much better than their last two records and the band comes close to making another Pinkerton.
I used to really like Weezer. And i think, like most people, for wrong reasons. For instance I have always thought that in "Pink Triangle" Cuomo was trying to be funny, while he was not. Cuomo's lyrics have always been as deep as a puddle. The thing is, we were younger, he was younger, we changed. The thing is: he didn't. The guy singing in the Beverly Hills video looks just like the guy singing in the Buddy Holly video. Only a bit weirder. He's just the same 16 years old guy. Except he's thirtysomething now. That's why i've decided to take the famous "Daniel Johnston approach."
THIS IS ART BRUT. Widely popular art brut. I smile and bob my head. And, frankly, i think it's what weezer is about. Laughing at Rivers for being such a psycho and enjoying a good rock tune. Of course it's easier for me, i'm French, and even though it's hard not to understand Cuomo's sixth grade songwriting, i can disconnect the lyrics from the actual song and enjoy it the way i enjoyed the two first weezer records. Guy is emo, quite pathetic, but in the same time i can't help but feel sorry for him. He embodies that bastardized genre. He's got good old Michael Jackson syndrome (replace childhood by teenagehood to get a clear picture) and knowing it makes the music actually enjoyable. I guess it depends on what you expect. This is much more than what I thought he was capable of.
There are rock anthems: "We Are All On Drugs" is awesome and totally unstoppable, "This Is Such a Pity" sounds like Europe's "The Final Countdown," which is great too, "Pardon Me" features the funniest line i've heard in a while -"i may not be the perfect soul / but i can learn self control", "Hold Me" is emo at its worst/best depending on the point of view. I know one thing for sure: wouldn't want to be the person Cuomo wrote "My Best Friend" for (it's probably Rick Rubin actually). "Freak Me Out" is embarassing. "Haunt You Everyday" is an explicit account of Cuomo's mental issues.
I enjoy Make Believe the way i enjoy Daniel Johnston's "Living It for the Moment" (and i think it's totally appropriate to compare, even though i expect some flaming) except that even though he's living in a world that's definitely not ours, Cuomo succeeds in reaching a popularity he obviously has no clue what to do with. Make Believe stands as a quite unique record that shouldn't be dismissed quickly.
/may 15th 2005/