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Say Anything - Say Anything Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Final Verdict: 91%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.92
Musicianship 8.17
Lyrics 8.23
Production 8.15
Creativity 8.46
Lasting Value 8.08
Reviewer Tilt 8
Average: 81%
Inside AP.net

Say Anything - Say Anything

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (12/17/09)
Say Anything - Say Anything
Record Label: RCA Records
Release Date: November 3, 2009

You can see progression when it happens.

You're a young student in elementary school, and your teachers are explaining to the class what similes are. You go into middle school using "like" or "as" to draw comparisons between everything you've ever imagined, when in sixth grade they hit you with a bomb. Metaphors. Metaphors are comparisons that don't use "like" or "as". You are blown away, and now all you can do is spend half of the time allotted to you for essays thinking of the perfect metaphor. You are progressing as a writer.

Say Anything have progressed too. No, not in a way similar to upgrading your rhetorical tools from similes to metaphors, not at all. Really, I just wanted to use metaphors as a metaphor for progression. Max Bemis is no longer that bipolar oddball that we all grew to love with Say Anything's debut ...Is A Real Boy and their follow-up In Defense of the Genre. He has matured, he has married, and he now seems to be a man with a plan. The self-titled third effort from the group has a lot to it. You could easily describe the songs on this album among about seven different genres. Progress, people. "Fed to Death" is a shining introduction to the album, as an excellently arranged piano part takes listeners into first single and everyone's new cheer-me-up song, "Hate Everyone." Bemis sings about, um, hating everyone, over a pounding, relentless drum beat to get the listener in the mood to hear what's next.

"Do Better" and "Less Cute" are a one-two punch of pop prominence. The former showcases Bemis' vocals while the latter focuses more on the instrumentation, with brass leading you into the song and a driving guitar riff taking you out. After these two, if you're anything like me, is when you'll start getting skeptical of Say Anything. "Eloise" starts off with a piano and an acoustic guitar, and as you're bracing yourself for another future pop hit, the chorus kicks in to reveal one of the most rock-and-roll tracks Say Anything have recorded to date. Following the trend, "Mara and Me" starts off wonderfully upbeat, continues with the listener having a few "did he really just say those lyrics?" moments, and concludes with a chant of "fake players are the ones who play the game/ go to sleep, go to sleep, come on" and a head-banging guitar solo. So, now you're a bit confused. Is this pop music, is this pop rock, or is this straight rock and roll? Well, don't expect answers anytime soon. "Crush'd" is the softest, poppiest song on Say Anything. Bemis continues with the heartfelt, gutsy lyrics that again and again inspired this listener to drop his jaw in disbelief. This track may be quickly forgotten though, by listeners who favor Say Anything's heavier side, as it sets up "She Won't Follow You." Calls of "meet me in the back room/I'll tell you everything, everything whoa-oa-oa" are complemented by a bridge solo that will have you begging to hear it live.

I almost never review every song of an album. I usually try to pick out a few highlights or the tracks that really stick out to me for whatever reason. Well, if I were reviewing basically any other album this year, I would have to include "Cemetery", with its goosebump-inducing chants of "you're in my body"; "Property", where Bemis pays homage to his influences, starting off with 40 seconds of The Beatles before a verse reminiscent of Green Day; "Death for My Birthday", another seemingly effortless pop masterpiece; and "Young, Dumb, and Stung", with another load of heartfelt lyrics and an awesome closing breakdown.

However, this is not every other album this year. This is an album that gets comments about all of it songs. This is the best album of the year that isn't called Mean Everything to Nothing. This is the most all-over-the-place record put out by a band since, um, ...Is A Real Boy. Regardless, the four songs most recently discussed are overshadowed by album closer "Ahhh....Men." While "Young, Dumb, and Stung" sounds like it would be an acceptable album closer, "Ahhh...Men" was written for this position. The song is highlighted by its midpoint onward, where Bemis begins with soft, acoustic strumming and a peaceful plea of "can I lie in you grave?" before he turns those words into a background group chant while yelping over them the last phenomenal set of lyrics found on Say Anything. The record finally comes to a close with nothing other than the listener feeling purely stunned and a burning urge to replay it.

Say Anything have again perfectly pulled off the no-genre approach, and Max Bemis has only confirmed to the scene his rightful place as one of the most creative musicians of our time. With a passion and natural ability for writing songs that is matched by few in this world, Bemis shows us all why Say Anything is one of the most popular bands around and primed and ready for an explosion onto the mainstream, whether fans like it or not.

It's a metaphor, fool.

Recommended If You Likethe no-genre genre, the album that should have followed ...Is a Real Boy, Max Bemis' witty lyricism


Download These First"Do Better", "Mara and Me", "She Won't Follow You", "Ahh...Men"


Track Listing
1. "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. "Cemetery"
10. "Property"
11. "Death for My Birthday"
12. "Young, Dumb, and Stung"
13. "Ahhh... Men"


Check out Say Anything on Myspace.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 30
08:59 PM on 01/02/10
#2
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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I'm not sure what the no-genre approach that you're explaining exactly is. But good review.
06:22 PM on 01/03/10
#3
denissuxx
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Great review, although the start is soo confusing hah
06:37 PM on 01/03/10
#4
Matt Chylak
contextblues.wordpress.co m
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i don't like the first line
06:56 PM on 01/03/10
#5
ManInMusicBox
Says the spider to the fly...
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why do some reviewers make up storylines? just review the damn album....and they are a genre. and max bemis is not the best. p.s.....i like say anything but i loved this album for two days and then i just stopped playing it.
06:57 PM on 01/03/10
#6
Audiohawk
@audiohawk
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I don't like that you say this is the album that should have followed ...Is A Real Boy

I know not everybody connected with In Defense Of The Genre (personally I can listen to it start to finish no problem), but it has some of the best songs Max has written on it. If it was cut down to 12/13 songs, it easily matches ...Is A Real Boy and the self titled, but to do that would go against the point of it's overarching story/themes.

Also, I feel obliged to point out that you mention that the self titled doesn't stick to one genre as a plus point, when In Defense Of The Genre is equally, and I'd argue more varied, admittedly helped by the 27 track length


standout tracks of the self titled for me are Do Better (ok it's poppy, but the guitar solo part is killer), Cemetery, and Ahhh...Men for its ending.
07:04 PM on 01/03/10
#7
alexa_ATL
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"This is the best album of the year that isn't called Mean Everything to Nothing. "

agreed, good review.
07:38 PM on 01/03/10
#8
lbc182
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why do some reviewers make up storylines? just review the damn album....and they are a genre. and max bemis is not the best. p.s.....i like say anything but i loved this album for two days and then i just stopped playing it.

This is your opinion.
07:38 PM on 01/03/10
#9
lbc182
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Great review.
07:56 PM on 01/03/10
wroteurname
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I'll be the one to say it,...Is a Real Boy was not Say Anything's debut album. Pretty decent review though. I feel like a lot of people overlooked this release because it's not cool to like Say Anything anymore. However, I really enjoyed it.
08:05 PM on 01/03/10
xdillonjamesx
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i love this album.
08:07 PM on 01/03/10
introduction
You're not real musician!
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i don't know if i'd say this album had no genre, it's pretty much pop most of the way through.
08:13 PM on 01/03/10
Chris Collum
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Aight...I don't agree with everything you said, but
Damn. This is a good review. Props, man. I really like this album a lot, and I feel like you more than did it justice despite what I disagree with you about (namely: I really like IDOTG, I think a buncha good shit besides this and METN came out this year).
But fuckthahatas...I like your intro thingy, informal though it may be.
If someone had to post the millionth review for this I'm glad it's you.
I'd be curious to know what you think of my review of this.
08:16 PM on 01/03/10
Chris Collum
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I know not everybody connected with In Defense Of The Genre (personally I can listen to it start to finish no problem), but it has some of the best songs Max has written on it. If it was cut down to 12/13 songs, it easily exceeds ...Is A Real Boy and the self titled, but to do that would go against the point of it's overarching story/themes.
Fixed ;)

"This is the best album of the year that isn't called Mean Everything to Nothing. "

agreed, good review.
Owned.
Sorry but it's true.
08:45 PM on 01/03/10
alexa_ATL
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Fixed ;)


Owned.
Sorry but it's true.
Daisy was good but c'mon who can resist ManOrch? This was thier year
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