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Say Anything - Say Anything Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 87%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.44
Musicianship 8.35
Lyrics 8.33
Production 8.58
Creativity 8.19
Lasting Value 8.06
Reviewer Tilt 8.07
Average: 83%
Inside AP.net

Say Anything - Say Anything

Reviewed by: Adam Pfleider (11/03/09)
Say Anything Say Anything
Release Date: November 3, 2009
Record Label: RCA


Max Bemis isn't pissed anymore. Well, he's still got a bit of a chip on his shoulder about a few things, but when you just got hitched to a beautiful singer, wife Sherri Dupree of Eisley, why would you continue to be a shell of a man, one that seems bitter at the world they're playing their heart out in? Bemis is no longer the little kid scared of the world, maturing from a real boy to a kid set to save it. The band's self-titled isn't the double disc venture of last time, but a compact one still attempting different elements of pop: some great, some confusing, all Say Anything.

From the start of the disc, the band's attempts of "pop," or something like it, are well received through the guitar work of the opening "Fed to Death." For a second, the opener shines over the city, and possibly sounds as uplifting as anything from Andrew McMahon vocally, but lyrically, a religious open forum, two stories, the later obviously about Jesus Christ.

Piano leads into the album's first single, a bitter seeded (or hyperbolic tongue in cheek) Disney sing-a-long that has Bemis, well, hating everyone and everything on "Hate Everyone." Bemis, through happier instruments, still wears a bit of animosity on his sleeve ("Rich hippie girl with a gas guzzler/forced myself to fall in love with her/she was so strung out she'd swear it never occurred/the honkey king went back on his word/the next one did the same/the blind leading the lame"). This may be what throws older listeners off. The bitten tongue of Bemis and the expected bite of his band has been replaced by the unexpected upbeat backing of strings and hand-claps ("Do Better"), piano drives ("Eloise") and clean guitar strums ("Cemetery").

Say Anything isn't without its heavy side. The guitar solo feels right on the quick paced middle and end of "Mara and Me," and the fuzz and drive of "She Won't Follow You" will surely make one remember their days of quick riffs and Drive-Thru. Bemis still has his writing prowess with lines like, "They say rebellion exists in despair and their ironic facial hair/the devil may, or may not care."

Sure, ballads like "Cemetery," and the synthesize backdrop of the "Really Max? You wrote a song like 'Admit It!' I can't believe you wrote a cheese chorus like this" mid-album "Crush'd" won't set well with older fans, but after the bright angst of "Young, Dumb and Stung," the album closes with what could be one of the best songs of the band's career, "Ahhh...Men." Bemis and distant guitar begin the closer, leading into the track's choral line to back Bemis' crescendo'd rant, "There's a crack in the edge at the end of the world/where i will sit with my love in its fluorescent swirl/eat us up, break it down in the tiniest cell/in our room with a view and a window to hell-/with those who bury bodies and the barrels of fun/who will march through museums that display what they've done/they'll be shot up through the sky by a cannon of sin/who will reluctantly let them in."

The album's closer and mood seem to sum up Say Anything's, and especially Bemis', feelings on how this record will be perceived. Say Anything have put together an album of songs that seems fit to have a self-titled behind it, because this album isn't as unexpected as many listeners are finding it. Hell, Bemis says it himself: "Wait a second- I can't write the same damn song over and over again." No good band should, instead, constantly growing and trying new things, even if sometimes they are the only ones that get it.


Track Listing1. Fed to Death
2. Hate Everyone
3. Do Better
4. Less Cute
5. Eloise
6. Mara and Me
7. Crush'd
8. She Won't Follow You
9. Cemetary
10. Property
11. Death For My Birthday
12. Young Dumb and Stung
13. Ahhh... Men


Recommended If You LikeThe Starting Line's Based on a True Story; Jack's Mannequin's Everything in Transit; The Format's Interventions and Lullabies
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 233
01:52 AM on 11/03/09
#2
TheHeretic
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Very well written review, although I don't think as highly of the album as you. Good album nonetheless.
02:10 AM on 11/03/09
#3
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Great stuff Adam! I like this album more than the last one, but still think it has a few problems. "Ahhh... Men" is irresistible and despite a few snoozers, it holds up better than I expected it to with me.
05:02 AM on 11/03/09
#4
BozzBlonde
adieuxmusic.bandcamp.com
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Amazing album. Listening to it on repeat at the moment.
05:33 AM on 11/03/09
#5
DanTGD
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Loved the album, really loving "She Won't Follow You" and "Less Cute"
05:38 AM on 11/03/09
#6
blimpcityhero11
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Love this album... Much better than their last effort, but it's hard to determine the lasting value at this point. "Do Better" is so good though...
05:38 AM on 11/03/09
#7
notfallingapart
running around in circles
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Excellent album. Surprised me completely.
05:39 AM on 11/03/09
#8
heroesofthepast
can i lie with you in your grave?
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i love this album so much max really matured from IARB to SAS/T anyone notice the "Belt" reference in Mara and Me? god i fucking love this band
and this review was really well written do work adam
05:44 AM on 11/03/09
#9
Eminor3rd
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Incredibly vague. Do you like it?
05:52 AM on 11/03/09
Mattylikesfilms
If You Dig Up The Dead...
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I liked about almost half of this album.. Maybe it will grow on me?
06:03 AM on 11/03/09
tisTriNkA
you could do better
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majorly in love with this album! reminds me of was a real boy with just a pinch of in defense, channeling is a real boy and an older, matured opinion and voice. do better is the best song on the album imo, followed by young, dumb, and stung. looking forward to hear the b-sides.
06:03 AM on 11/03/09
alilbravetoaste
http://www.thefairweathered.com/
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I like it better than IDOTG, there's a lot more cool songs on the album. "Do Better" is my current favorite.
06:07 AM on 11/03/09
stereokiller
Howdy.
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Say Anything has never put out a bad record since ...Is A Real Boy IMO. And this one is no exception.
06:07 AM on 11/03/09
BozzBlonde
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I like it better than IDOTG, there's a lot more cool songs on the album. "Do Better" is my current favorite.
Agreed. But I'm not really sure I can like an album more than another. They're all unique and amazing in their own way.
06:14 AM on 11/03/09
JordanBuell
and sail belly up to the clouds
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those are some odd recommend if you likes
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