The Starting Line
Say It Like You Mean It


3.5
great

Review

by Ben Greenbank USER (41 Reviews)
February 11th, 2007 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable album which provides the link between the genres so-cal skate punk era and its faux-emo future.

In 2002 The Starting Line managed to write somewhat of a sleeping classic in Say It Like You Mean It. At the time the band really didn’t stand out too strongly unlike say New Found Glory but with the benefit of hindsight this album really paved the way for what pop punk has become some five years later. Where as Green Day and Blink 182 built pop into their punk rock roots The Starting Line took that sound and added a melodic, even poppier element which is now clearly visible almost all mainstream pop punk bands currently filling up the airwaves. Where as New Found Glory and Allister owed their sound largely to Blink 182 and Green Day with The Starting Line there is a stronger link to The Get Up Kids and Saves The Day. Unfortunately The Get Up Kids never really broke into the mainstream like they deserved but their sound as inherited by countless other bands broke through around the time of this album. Say It Like You Mean It provides the link between the old and new sound of pop punk and for better or worse it is clear by the downfall of bands like Allister and Home Grown that The Starting Line won out. The album itself in one of transition for the band as well as the scene, it appears by 2005’s Based On A True Story that the band had found the sound they wanted to make where as on Say It Like You Mean It we have a mix of extreme pop hooks with at times a slower more insightful style which became more prevalent on the bands follow up.

Of course it would be madness to even begin to discuss this album without mentioning its catchiest, greatest and most successful song, the pop punk classic that is, The Best of Me. The song is to my mind the perfect pop punk track, it has a huge chorus, great catchy versus and even the lyrics aren’t that bad. The harmonies are flawless as you’d expect from any Drive Thru Records band and Kenny’s youthful boy band vocals only seal the deal. The guitars aren’t anything spectacular but there interesting and more than just power chord after power chord. Looking back the lyrics seem basic but when this album was made they were actually deep when compared to Blink’s songs about having intercourse with a variety of animals. Up and Go kicks of the album and is in a similar vein to The Best of Me, as is Leaving the song which follows it. Both have that anthemic sing-a-long feel which just begs to be played to a crowd of adolescents.

Sadly like many influential albums it in itself is not actually all that great an album. Yes there are songs here which stand as some of the finest pop punk ever written but at the same time there is much in the way of filler which harks back to their uninspired debut EP, With Hopes of Starting Over. For example Left Coast Envy and Cheek to Cheek both add nothing other than being an extra song, in truth neither are particularly bad songs per se, but there weak in comparison to the rest of Say It Like You Mean It. Decisions, Decisions is somewhat slower and features an excellent outro with the lyrics, “He loves you, who loves you more.” Kenny isn’t a brilliant lyricist but there is a charming yet simple honesty about them. In the same way that Jimmy Eat World’s lyrics have never been anything special but that there is an endearing quality in their simplicity.

Within the genre this album sits just below definitive classics like Green Day’s Dookie and Blink 182’s Enema of The State and like those albums the actual songs don’t truly merit that particular moniker. Yet Say It Like You Mean is still a truly enjoyable record in every sense of the word, it doesn’t provide anything stunning but its packed with some of the catchiest pop punk ever recorded and is definitely both a refreshing change from the current scene but also more meaningful that what there contemporaries ever achieved.

Recommended Songs
The Best of Me
Leaving
Up and Go



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
February 11th 2007


4827 Comments


Working on the Drive Thru catalog, are we?
Anyways, another great review. I'm not really a big fan of this band, their singer has always come across as too whiny to me and their music sounds kind of generic but, then again, I've only heard singles of the newer CD.

lunchforthesky
February 11th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm really trying to run through pop punk reviewing albums that dont have reviews or the review is quite old.

Guess i'll do the newest Starting Line next.

cbmartinez
February 14th 2007


2525 Comments


I'd give this a 5. My favorite pop punk album ever.

lunchforthesky
February 15th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I probably enjoy this more than 3.5 but i try to be balanced when i review.

the comfort of home
March 2nd 2007


15 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review. i love the album.

Iamthe Nightstars
August 19th 2009


2286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their best for sure.

RosaParks
August 5th 2011


14927 Comments


people say the wonder years sound like this band so i should probably check it out

Yotimi
August 5th 2011


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they sound exactly like this

Spluger
January 1st 2012


1179 Comments


Holy shit I never realized it, but TWY does kinda sound like these guys.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19933 Comments


classic

Digging: Coldworld - Melancholie

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19933 Comments


lame

Cygnatti
January 30th 2013


21353 Comments


I heard the dangerous summer sound like these guys too...

but the dangerous summer sounds nothing like twy...

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19933 Comments


this is better than the dangerous summer. you should check this album out chippy

Cygnatti
January 30th 2013


21353 Comments


i dunno...

Hospital
January 30th 2013


2061 Comments


i dont see the TWY comparisons

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19933 Comments


please chippy

Cygnatti
January 30th 2013


21353 Comments


every other new pop punk band wants to be twy or man overboard

sucks

Hospital
January 30th 2013


2061 Comments


i'd want to be saves the day or alkaline trio personally

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19933 Comments


i enjoy this album more than any saves the day.

Hospital
January 30th 2013


2061 Comments


lol ;~;



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