27 Songs, 1 Hour, 28 Minutes





Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5

329 Ratings

329 Ratings

Let Me Be the First of Many to Write Nice Things About This Album


incredible lyrical development over an hour and a half of amazing collaborations provided to you by Max Bemis and Say Anything.



Really Solid record from start to finish! Great Guest Vocals on this record

In Defense of Something New

Chase Hoffman

Well, after 3 years of …Is a Real Boy sitting in my CD player, I can finally put in, not one, but two new CD’s by Say Anything. It’s hard to know what to expect from them, especially since it has been so long, and it seems like everyone is expecting so much from this ambitious sextet.
Needless to say, the first track was already released as a single, and came as a bit of a shocker for quite a few fans out there. The deep distorted voice in the beginning, and the awkward chord progression seemed out of place for them. However as soon as the verse begins, it is obvious that we haven’t lost the heart and soul of Max Bemis, the amazing lyricist/vocalist behind it all.
“No Soul” is a familiar sound, and gives us a bit of hope for the rest of the album. “That Is Why” almost reminds me of a song that you would hear in a 50’s movie while they’re sitting at a diner or an ice cream shop or something. I don’t know why, it just has that catchy melody and guitar riff. The next standout track is “This Is F***ing Ecstasy”. It has a great style to it that would be very easy to get caught in even the least sticky of heads. Obviously, “Shiksa (Girlfriend)” is a fantastic song, but surprisingly, up to the rest of the CD, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a standout as it did from the other singles. Next is “Baby Girl, I’m a Blur” which sounds like Max decided he was going to go Nine Inch Nails for a track. It has a lot of electronic sounds and an infectious melody that doesn’t quit.
“Retarded in Love” is one of those slow/chill tracks that you listen to when you’re over crazy about this girl, and she doesn’t even get it. The lyrics are overly sweet, like most of us guys can be, and it’s easy to relate to. Now the song title “Died a Jew” really threw me off when I saw it, but the fact is that the track is really catchy. “An Insult to the Dead” is another acoustic track that has overlapping melodies, and great lyrics. The first disc ends with “Sorry Dudes, My Bad”. This track does an awesome job summing up the first disc, especially because it’s one of the best on the album. There are talking lines, and then other vocals singing back to Max.
The next disc starts off with “Spay”, the first lyrics being “I f****d someone with words, broke a promise”. It’s an interesting start to an disc, but makes sense, and is very deep when thought about. The album’s title track “In Defense of the Genre” is a great catchy track that takes on the same type of form as “Admit It!!!”. It talks about music today, and tackles some of the issues with the business in general. “Vexed” is another great chill track that has an interesting lyric that is repeated in the end, “You think you’re Jesus Christ,” and then switches to “You’re not my Jesus Christ”.
The next track “About Falling” has a great power-pop synthesizer sound in the beginning, and continues to be a very melodic and catchy track. The next standout track on this disc is “We Killed It”. It has a great song structure, including the way the beautifully sung verses float into the chorus’s yelling. It’s amazing to hear such a contrast sound so great. “Goodbye Young Tutor, You’ve Now Outgrown Me” is a strange song title, but doesn’t disappoint as a song. It’s slow, but still beautifully done. Bemis’s vocals could not get any better, and the acoustic guitar playing is wonderful. The last track of the disc, and overall album, is “Plea”, which is a catchy track that features Kenny Vasoli of the Starting Line.
Overall, the album is actually very good. A lot of fans will be shocked, awed, and maybe a little put off, but believe me, it grows on you. By next week, you’ll be like, “this is the new Say Anything, and I’m perfectly fine with that.”

About Say Anything

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 -- as well as a full-length album, 2003's Baseball. These releases saw the band leaning toward the same mix of emo, rock, and pop-punk made popular by bands like blink-182 and Saves the Day. Bemis soon grew tired of the genre and revamped his band's sound for ...Is a Real Boy, which marked Say Anything's first release for Doghouse Records in 2004. A self-described punk rock musical, the album was fittingly produced by Tim O'Heir (Dinosaur Jr., the All-American Rejects) and Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), with Bemis playing nearly every instrument.

Bemis' bipolar disorder proved to be increasingly disruptive, however, plaguing both the recording of the album and its aftermath. Struggling with crippling stress, the singer suffered a nervous breakdown that ultimately led to Say Anything's cancellation of two tours in 2005, including an opening slot with one of the band's idols, Saves the Day. Despite the setback, the band signed with J Records that same year and reissued ...Is a Real Boy in February 2006. The re-release boasted two discs, pairing the original record with a bonus EP containing demos, re-recordings of previous songs, and sessions from a never-released AIDS benefit record. A national headlining tour followed the reissue, and the single "Alive with the Glory of Love" found some success on radio and the MTV networks. Momentum continued to build as the band toured into 2007, eventually pairing with Saves the Day for a second attempt at touring. The effort was successful this time around, and Say Anything released a two-disc concept album, In Defense of the Genre, that October.

Bemis announced plans to record a new album in early 2008, and the resulting record (a self-titled effort) arrived in late 2009, several months after Bemis and Saves the Day's Chris Conley released an album by their side project, Two Tongues. The singer returned to Say Anything in 2012 with the release of the band's fifth album, the edgy and biting Anarchy, My Dear. In 2014, Bemis opted to take an unflinching look at himself on Hebrews, an album that found the band ditching the driving guitars for dramatic string arrangements. After a couple years of silence, at the stroke of midnight on February 4, 2016, Bemis announced a surprise new album titled I Don't Think It Is, which was released a day later. ~ Corey Apar & Andrew Leahey




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