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Say Anything

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Album Review

Clocking in at 46 minutes — nearly half the running time of 2007's In Defense of the Genre — Say Anything's fourth album is both trim and tuneful, with Max Bemis devoting more focus than ever to the tightening of his quirky, unchained pop songs. "Focus" is a relative term, of course; the frontman still finds time to run wild throughout this disc, rearranging conventional song structures like Picasso and sampling from multiple genres — emo, rock, punk-pop, R&B, even doo wop — with greedy glee. The choruses boast stronger hooks this time around, though, which lends heft to Say Anything's musical mish-mash, and the band's willingness to break rules is what makes this album so refreshing. Arriving at the tail-end of 2009, a year in which most emo-pop was compressed, polished, and wholly indebted to Top 40 radio, Say Anything is as unpredictable as they come, boasting 13 tracks that sound dangerous and delicious at the same time. "There are babies with guns beheading their friends in shopping malls around the world, yet somehow the Kings of Leon still have time to write songs about girls," Bemis sing at the beginning of "Mara and Me," adding "I don't suck much less" in a guttural scream. It's this combination of self-loathing and pop culture critique that fuels most of the album, and Bemis distances himself from his contemporaries by briefly embracing their tricks — the palm-muted guitar chords, the "whoa oh oh" background vocals, the dramatic delivery — before turning them on their heads, whether that means adding pizzicato strings to "Do Better" or circus-styled keyboard to the aforementioned "Mara and Me." This is an impulsive album, an odd piece of work that manages to be puzzling without alienating the listener.

Customer Reviews

An Amazing Next Step

As an avid fan of Say Anything, I was a bit disappointed in IDOTG since I felt it didn't quite have the energy or feeling Is a Real Boy did, but this album really has brought back the spark they had in prior albums and demos. Max Bemis and the band as a whole really have matured and grown as musicians. They learned the best parts of IDOTG and used them with the wonderfulness that is Is a Real Boy. I've listened to this album through once, and I can say that I'm excited to have many more wonderful listens just like I had with Is a Real Boy.

This album is most definitely worth buying.

dissapointed

i think this is the most let down I've ever been from a band's new cd before. At first i couldn't wait for the new album but now i don't want to buy a single song. Other Say Anything albums are stellar even their old eps but this is horrible. There's almost no creativity or originality. All the songs sound the same and are super boring and is there really a song with lyrics that go like, "I have a total crush on you.." lame. I hate to put down Say Anything... but what the hell happened?

Truly Solid Album

Max Bemis put his heart and soul into this album and it shows. There is not a lot of musical progression (when it comes to style) by Say Antyhing but you can tell that the band has progressed instrumentally. I appreciate that SA decided to stick with a one disk album and avoid the fillers. Bemis is still wearing his heart on his sleeve and he is backed by catchy (but not generic) guitars, harmonistic vocals, and good use of the synth. Old SA fans will be sure to enjoy it due to its similarity to older albums and new fans will easily be able to catch on. Solid Album. Top three tracks...."Ahhh...Men" "She Won't Follow You" and "Property"

Biography

Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Say Anything are the pop-punk brainchild of Max Bemis, who founded the band while its initial members were still attending high school in Los Angeles. Although the lineup has since featured a rotating cast of characters, Bemis remains at the band's core, spinning tales of insecurity and frustration with help from longtime drummer Coby Linder. Say Anything made their studio debut with two self-released and self-produced EPs — Junior Varsity! and Menorah/Majora, the latter being released online...
Full Bio
Say Anything, Say Anything
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