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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

ZOMG.

This is one of the best albums I've heard this year...I mean, WOW. "Seed" is an amazing song. Buy it...you won't be let down. <3333Hearts.

Great Album. Different. Takes a while to warm up to. Great.

I was shocked with this album at first, but it REALLY grew on me after a couple of listens. Same Blood - It's a great start to Santi. Not the best song on the album, but still, very good, not depressing, or overly emotional, A good start to the album. LAX to O'Hare - I love the verses in this. not so much the chorus, though. Don't get me wrong. VERY good. We've Got A Big Mess on Our Hands - I hated it at first, but it's REALLY grown on me. It has a very classic rock feel to it. Sleeping With Giants - Not my favourite, but definetly not bad. At all. Pretty powerful. Everything We Had - Very good song, but not really my style. I've never been in to ballads, but William DOES pull it off. Bulls in Brooklyn - Some people say it's the best on the album. I really don't think so. But AMAZINGLY close. This song is extremely powerful, & has such an original sound to it. Love it. If you're going to buy one song off the album, get this, or seed. Neighbors - This is more like the old TAI, & I'm glad they put it on here. Like, SERIOUSLY glad. I would have been even more shocked at the album if this wasn't on here. Very good, & upbeat. Seed - My favourittteeee. Like I've said, I've never really been into slower songs, but this is AMAZING. It's deep, powerful, strong, & extremely catchy. All at once. (wowzuhh.) Chop Chop - Not really my favourite. At all. I still like it, It's just not really, I don't know, I feel like it's lacking something You might have noticed - I LOVE William's vocals in this. Like, absolutely ADORE. ESPECIALLY in the chorus. It goes perfectly with the song. (well. duhh.) I've heard some bad reviews on this one. Different tastes? I don't know. Unexpected Places - My opinion is very similar to Chop Chop's. I like it, I just don't LOVE it. Overall, Very good album, But extremely different from Almost Here. They're taking on a whole new sound, & I think it worked

=DDD

wowww really good album! LAX to O'Hare is amazing!! i love it =DD haha like wow loll. defenetly a good buy!!

Biography

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: Apr 02, 2007

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