Perhaps that's why Make Believe, Weezer's first record in three years, has spots of Def Leppardesque brooding or fanfares in the style of Europe's "Final Countdown" -- even as it motors through familiar cloudy-rock fuzzballs and zippy new-wave pop. Nevertheless, Cuomo is still the self-flagellating Reverend Dimmesdale of the cardigan set, a demigod to fumbling nerds who fuck up their love lives. But his innate Van Halen-level ambition still conflicts with his outward Harvard-student geekdom -- or, as he puts it on "Beverly Hills," "I wanna be just like a king . . . Truth is, I don't stand a chance." The difference now is that instead of being bitter about not being cool, Cuomo is apologetic, hesitantly asking for affection on "Hold Me" and even titling a song "Pardon Me." This humility echoes Weezer's earliest successes and makes Believe charming, rather than whiny.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.