Review: Say Anything – Say Anything

sayanything-albumArtist: Say Anything
Album: Say Anything
Genre: Rock
Label: RCA

Max Bemis is no longer the angry, confused mind he once was, but with a career as successful as his along with his young marriage, what is their to complain about? Well don’t worry old school fans fans, Max still has quite a few bones to pick as well as some new life and far fetched tales to share on the new, self titled, release from Say Anything. The album hits stores this week and just might be the best album you’ll hear this season.

Starting with the instantly memorable “Fed to Death,” Bemis welcomes us back into the world of Say Anything with a twisted relation between watching someone gorge themselves and the followers of Christ of Nazareth. Shocking right from the get go, just the way I like my SA. This is then followed by the ri-dic-u-lous-ly catchy, “Hate Everyone” that has been on constant repeat for the UTG staff since we first heard it in September. There hasn’t been a catchier song released this year. End. Of. Story.

As we finally hit the meat of the record with “Do Better” we’re instantly reminded of why it’s so hard to classify the sound of Say Anything as a slew of strings met with a simplistic hip hop beat serves as the backing to this compelling track. Bemis’ tongue seems to begin to smoke as even this early on in the record it’s evident his writing is more focused than ever before. For example, a few tracks later on “Eloise,” Bemis paints a dark and depressing world of a relationship gone awry. His menacing vocal track will sink into your very core and stay with you for days, don’t doubt me on this.

The album does go a bit off the beaten path, even for Say Anything, with the track “Mara and Me” which begins simply enough with some Kings of Leon [and indirectly mainstream rock] trash talk before breaking into nearly every genre of rock imaginable over the course of a few minutes in an attempt to quote, “not write the same song over and over.” In theory, it’s a great idea, but I’m still a bit iffy on the overall payoff.

The band quickly recovers with the completely enjoyable, “Crush’d” which leads to a slew of twisted life tales as “Cemetary” and moreso “Property” paint a very tainted world view before digging into the decision to let life end on its own on the darkly anthemic “Death For My Birthday.”

The album eventually culminates on the absolutely perfect, “Ahhh…Men.” I don’t know if Max Bemis or any other lyricist today could make a more poetically compelling song than this track. Simple accompaniment leads a particularly monotone tale into a near explosive outro that will have reaching for repeat as soon as the fade out begins. It’s breathtaking.

Just when you think Say Anything have pushed their creative sides as far as they possibly can, they prove they’ve only just begun. Their self titled third release is their most solid to date and that’s saying a lot as Is a Real Boy remains one of my favorite albums of all time. Nearly every artistic challenge Bemis and crew put before themselves seems easily conquered and I simply cannot wait to see what they do next.

Score: 9.8/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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