Say Anything - Say Anything


New member
Hey all. I just created an account and I guess I just decided that the best way to make my debut would be to just talk a little bit about music. Also, I thought I might contribute a little more to the Music Reviews board (which I found surprisingly small) along the way. So here's my review of my newest musical fad - Say Anything's eponymous album, released this year on Nov 4th.

I've got a headache right now; my brain is on fire. The reason for this is that I've been listening to this album non-stop and on repeat for the best part of the night, and I don't think my head was simply built for such large amounts of rage and energy. But then again, almost all good things are detrimental to health when in excess, I suppose. For those of you not familiar with the band, Say Anything is the brainchild of Max Bemis, who along with his friend and drummer Coby Linder has seen the band through many lineup revisions. Max has had his share to write about as the primary lyricist and singer of the band; he's been put into hospitals for bipolar disorder, as well as drug abuse. His apparent insanity has shown throughout the albums that Say Anything has produced, and in this latest creation there are signs of maturation, while at the same time retaining signs of complete craziness.

The band's name speaks for itself: They really do say anything that they want to speak about. I'm going to talk a little bit about the lyrical content first, as the composition of the songs is what truly makes SA (the band, not the album) shine. The subject matter of the album's 13 songs encompasses religion, death, hatred, love, and these aren't cryptic lines that require repeated listening (although there will be listening, over and over) and careful dissection. These are in-your-face, brutally honest and absolutely unmerciful attacks on cultural taboos that few other bands would even dare attempt, let alone make into an album that is actually good. From the complete embrace of suicide in "Death for My Birthday" to asserting complete dominance over a girlfriend (up to the point of prostitution) in "Property", there is no true moral low for this band. They're not above naming names, either; "Hate Everyone" has references to Kanye West and Brandon Flowers (which were later confirmed through admission in their blog) as well as Kings of Leon in "Mara & Me". It is this complete freedom of speech and thought that makes the songs so refreshing, especially when there is good to balance out the evil - "Crush'd" is a love song written for Max's wife, complete with cheesy lyrics that only he could actually sound sweet singing ("Did it hurt when you fell from heaven, girl?").

Complete honesty is one of the things that make SA stand out. Combined with their musical style, the album is filled with almost laugh-out-loud moments as the most ludicrous things that you ever thought heard in a song will pop out. Without spoiling any of these moments too much, the little touches (such as maniacal laughing at the most inappropriate of timings, both musical and contextual) are what make this album unique. And the music itself? Say Anything has always been a loud band, and they haven't been straying far from that image. The guitars are loud, Max often goes from expressive singing to plain shouting, and there are breakdowns and buildups right where you'd expect in this sort of genre. And there's nothing wrong with that; the pacing hits the spot exactly. There's a slight bit more diversity than your usual pop-punk fare, however. Intros, bridges and endings can include keyboards, strings, and brass; the beginning of "Property" is from a complete left field, but complements the ironic style of the band entirely. In the end, it's still Say Anything - They haven't been doing anything I would consider experimental, but at the same time keeps things fresh (and this is coming from a fan familiar with previous albums).

A little side note: Don't take this album seriously in terms of opinions and worldviews. This album is a delight to listen to, but in it is the potential to bring out the worst in people. It offers us a glimpse of the worst parts of humanity, which are hidden, but there nonetheless, and the worst reaction to this album would be popularization of rage, and the touting of hatred as hip. Not all of us have the license to be as insane as Max Bemis (and I hope that none of us have the mental papers to prove it), although his efforts have given us one of my favorite albums of the year. Just put it on loud, sit down (or jump around, if you prefer), and enjoy bobbing your head to lyrics about hating everyone and everything, ironically posed as one of the catchiest songs I've heard all year.

TL;DR - Good loud album, funny yet poignant lyrics. Must listen.
Last edited: