Review Summary: Say Anything's eponymous fourth album is pop-punk's small penis slowly revealing itself to both stoic and casual listeners. Bravo Bemis, bravo.
Some people only wish that they could conjure up the confidence that, so it seems, any other human acquires. Others are completely unaware of their narcissistic qualities, and, in due course, the state of their social and mental health flies over their heads. For the former and the latter, some people blame the parents. Perhaps they had not the wherewithal or the desire to teach their children that a lack of self-esteem was just as bad as a bloated ego. Some blame the parents of said progeny's low self-confidence for actions they took which affected said behavior. Although some of these may be true, we can now blame another source for the high extremity in self-esteem. That source is titled Say Anything.
Sure, arrogance is obnoxious. It's the off-putting aroma of an egotist. However, this smug behavior should not become an intrusion upon the music. The lyrical content oftentimes is affected; however, it should not intrude upon the instrumentation, right? Well, it seems that it has on Say Anything's eponymous fourth LP. First off, Max Bemis' voice is at the forefront of the songs; subsequently the musicianship has to try to work around it. Besides an awkward, or completely unnecessary pinch harmonic thrown in here and there, the musicianship on Say Anything
centers around rehashed musical elements that have been achieved by far superior bands.
Recycled riffs are prevalent as are a plethora of cheesy openings and overtly simplistic drum beats. Because these bland musical components are so palpable, the songs in turn are generic. The compilation of forgettable songs translate into the quality of the album. Overall, this album is like pity sex with your fat virgin friend - unsatisfying and forgettable. There might be a few unexpected initiations along the way, but the events that lead to the climax are mostly, dull, dry, and uneventful (emphasis on dry).
The verses of “Hate Everyone” share resemblances of Green Day's version of “I Fought The Law”. “Mara and Me” tries to set a fleeting, spastic pace; rather than sounding energetic, it is an entirely forgettable as the faux-histrionic “Death For My Birthday.” “Crush'd” is a completely unnecessary track with the sole purpose of perturbing the fluency of the album as a whole. Plain and simple, the tracks are either acceptable (“Hate Everyone”), useless (“Death For My Birthday”), or terrible (“Crush'd”), save for “Ahhh... Men”. The closing track gets off to a great start before ascending to an outstanding climax. Said climax leaves every other memorable moment in the dust, making point of the album's inconsistencies. The inept musicianship and sub-par songwriting shine here like the pretentious, ironic lyrical dribble that is such a palpable drawback.
Rather than present a series of words that are so heartfelt that they melt the listener's heart, Say Anything just provide words that try too hard to bring about self-importance. It's sad to see such literary devices like irony and sarcasm being defecated upon. Said sub-par lyrical content becomes a staple of the band's sound, acting more as a gimmick than a series of introspective purgative poems. It's truly like a thirty-year-old man buying three Hummers to hide the fact that is brought about by his size seven sneakers. In this case, the small phallus is the large quantity of musical gimmicks.
This transfers over to the acoustic guitars in “Fed To Death” as well as the strings section that accents “Do It Better”. While the latter is slightly attractive, there's still a sense that Max Bemis is using a penis pump on behalf of the band's undesirable musicianship. The horns on “Less Cute” also follow the same path. Despite the fact that an evident attempt at diversifying the pop-punk scene is made by Say Anything
, nothing is all too memorable. Anything that is memorable seems too gimmicky or contrived to be interesting, or amidst a shroud of tedious notes. Even though Bemis is trying his hardest to disguise the poor songwriting found on the outfit's fourth album, it is still apparent that listening to Say Anything
is like biting into a wheel of Gorgonzola. It's as cheesy as you can get, as well as being extremely uncomfortable.