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Album Review

It's too bad that the Academy Is... have one of the more unfortunate names of the whole early-21st century Chicago emo scene, since they actually sound like they could be one of the few to outlast the rest. Their sophomore effort, Santi, picks up where the well-received Almost Here left off, but instead of just rehashing the pop sweetness that appealed to so many Warped Tour attendees (though there's plenty of that, too), the guys incorporate more grit and muscle into the mix. The record has a more varied and self-assured feel to it, and though definitely still poppy, considering Butch Walker sat in the production chair, it's almost surprising the glossy sheen isn't blinding. But that's a good thing. "Same Blood" is a peppy little number that manages to be simultaneously expansive and wholly grounded, owing much of its earnest charm (as with most of the crew's songs) to the winsome vocals of William Beckett. He's a bit more playful this time around and his confidence lends itself to the rest of the album, where songs sparkle with freshness. Cuts like the spunky "Neighbors" and alternative rock-leaning "You Might Have Noticed" show the guys mixing their youthful yearning with a more straightforward rock backbone, and a confident cool is allowed to invade the swaggering (and surprisingly well-done) "Bulls in Brooklyn." Even when the Academy Is... amble into the dancey territory of "LAX to O'Hare" — a song that seriously evokes Communiqué — the vaguely post-punk vibe and brittle guitars remain more fun than overdone. The thing with this Windy City crew is that it never seems like they're trying too hard or being unnatural, which makes songs that don't quite hit the mark — as in "Sleeping with Giants (Lifetime)," where echoing guitars cut out into a fluffy chorus that kills the mood — easier to take. An enjoyable next step for the Academy Is..., this album shows that the guys are still growing, but maybe just starting to figure themselves out.

Customer Reviews


Whoa, I'm so glad I discovered this band, they are great! At first I wasnt sure about Santi, cause I'd heard mixed reviews about it, but I'm so glad I brought it. The Academy Is.. are simply brilliant, their not really like any other band, they do have their own unique style of rock/pop but in some songs it does seem a bit repetive. Even if you didn't want the whole album I'd definitely reccomend buying "Bulls in Brooklyn", "You Might have Noticed", "LAX to O'Hare" and the first single off Santi, "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands". If your a fan of rock/pop I'd definitley reccomend buying Santi.

Awesome Record!!

I really liked their last CD(Almost Here) and Santi is even better! If you like Fall Out Boy you'll probably like most of their songs. Standout songs for me would have to be Chop Chop, Same Blood, LAX to O'Hare and We've Got a Big Mess On Our Hands.


as a massive fan of the academy is... i couldnt wait to get my hands on the new album, and it didnt dissappoint. while it may have recieved mixed reviews, dont be too quick to judge - the melodies are tight, well thought out, and big enough to make them stand out from what can be a tough genre. each song is very well rounded, and is quite different to all of the others, while still being similar... if you know what i mean. my favourite would have to be neighbors.


Formed: 2003 in Hoffman Estates, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formerly in rival bands on the Chicago local scene, guitarist Mike Carden and vocalist William Beckett came together in 2003 to mark the beginning of emo-pop outfit the Academy Is... (originally named "the Academy"). Naming influences from U2 to Weezer to Pink Floyd, the duo added bassist Adam Siska (Beckett's classmate from high school), along with a second guitarist and drummer, to record 2004's The Academy EP for hometown label LLR Recordings. As luck would have it, fellow Chicagoan Pete Wentz...
Full Bio
Santi, The Academy Is...
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Indie Rock
  • Released: 02 April 2007

Customer Ratings


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