Say Anything
...Is a Real Boy


5.0
classic

Review

by Tyrannic USER (9 Reviews)
December 28th, 2011 | 50 replies | 3,380 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The portrait of a 20-something, angst-ridden you.

5 of 7 thought this review was well written

Generally, reviews of most Say Anything albums are prefaced with one (or more) of three paragraphs. The first one paints a picture of the band, with descriptions of where they’re from and what impact that had on the album. Another paragraph would attempt a long-winded description of their sound, where pop-punk with rock leanings would easily suffice (but by no means will be complete). The third will try, and fail, to describe Max Bemis, frontman and general mastermind of the outfit. These will lead into good reviews, but again, they will be no means cover the whole picture.

The best place to begin a review of Say Anything’s 2004 effort titled, ...Is a Real Boy, is to identify the three dimensions of Max’s character. We have Max the musician, a multi-instrumentalist and all-around impressive character, but that only describes the sound. We have Max the lyricist, penning the most heartfelt angst out of his contemporaries, but then again, that only covers the words. Finally, we have Max the lover. This Max, in my eyes, is the most interesting of the three, because he is essentially the other two combined. Max the lover is a mosaic, made of stones for each story he can tell and every woman along the way. ...Is a Real Boy is a celebration of that work, and its most obvious example.

Bringing up specific songs almost devolves into tedium, because each song stands on its own merits. The opener, Belt, rips the curtain from the stage with a searing guitar tone and Max’s cut-throat lyricism. Alive With The Glory of Love, the borderline-popular song, is a surprisingly beautiful tribute to his grandparents, while never crossing the line into sap with his words. Admitt It!!!, the album’s closer, is a venomous, seething attack on, well, hipsters. Without even trying, I’ve essentially fallen into my own tedious trap.

Really, the only proper way to cover ...Is A Real Boy is to work out nagging questions after wiping off the acid from the last song. After absorbing the words, I still can’t help but wonder what, exactly, half of these women did to Max. As an extension, without questioning his integrity as a storyteller, what did he do to them? Each relationship seemed to be mutually parasitic, evidenced by Every Man Has a Molly. Max gets to have rough sex and write songs, but what does she think the relationship was? Was she scared by the lyrics of some song? This is unlikely considering the only obvious example of this would be Shiksa (Girlfriend) and that came three years after this release.

The point is that the previous paragraph was worthless. We can discuss his motivations, the thoughts running through his head while penning the chorus to Spidersong, or even the existential freak-out that is Red Cat/Yellow Cat. But all of that will be wasted, for the only explanation required would be a repeat listen. ...Is a Real Boy is a portrait of an angst-ridden 20-something at the height of his creativity. He doesn’t wear thick-rimmed glasses and he isn’t aggressively atheist; however, he is distinctly you. Each of us can look in a mirror, reflect on the day’s events, run through the conversations one more time, and still see a bit Max staring back.



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user ratings (1227)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dammit i hit enter before finishing my rec'd section. uhm, well two tounges is a side project that's similar and they have a self titled.

constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
December 28th 2011



3663 Comments


Good review, pos'd

CaptainDooRight
December 28th 2011



28844 Comments


"Generally, reviews of most Say Anything albums are prefaced with one (or more) of three paragraphs. The first one paints a picture of the band, with descriptions of where they’re from and what impact that had on the album. Another paragraph would attempt a long-winded description of their sound, where pop-punk with rock leanings would easily suffice (but by no means will be complete). The third will try, and fail, to describe Max Bemis, frontman and general mastermind of the outfit. These will lead into good reviews, but again, they will be no means cover the whole picture."

Doesn't make sense.

"The best place to begin a review of Say Anything’s 2004 effort titled, ...Is a Real Boy, is to identify the three dimensions of Max’s character. We have Max the musician, a multi-instrumentalist and all-around impressive character, but that only describes the sound. We have Max the lyricist, penning the most heartfelt angst out of his contemporaries, but then again, that only covers the words. Finally, we have Max the lover. This Max, in my eyes, is the most interesting of the three, because he is essentially the other two combined. Max the lover is a mosaic, made of stones for each story he can tell and every woman along the way. ...Is a Real Boy is a celebration of that work, and its most obvious example."

Doesn't make sense.

"Bringing up specific songs almost devolves into tedium, because each song stands on its own merits. The opener, Belt, rips the curtain from the stage with a searing guitar tone and Max’s cut-throat lyricism. Alive With The Glory of Love, the borderline-popular song, is a surprisingly beautiful tribute to his grandparents, while never crossing the line into sap with his words. Admitt It!!!, the album’s closer, is a venomous, seething attack on, well, hipsters. Without even trying, I’ve essentially fallen into my own tedious trap."

Doesn't make sense.

Neg.

BigHans
December 28th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

aside from Admit It, which has some of the best lyrics ever, I find this to be immensely overrated.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2011



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't agree. This is overwhelmingly good considering it's basically a pop-punk album.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hans- I feel like the number one problem with this review is my fanboyism, but i guess i've been spinning this record for so long that it's almost become a part of my daily speech. I have a small paragraph of negatives, but i felt like it detracted from the 5... so yeah i probably overrated this.

BigHans
December 28th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah man everyone is different, Im in the minority when it comes to this album.

Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

edit: ugh.

BigHans
December 28th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I would guess its him.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2011



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The review is quite good. Have a pos.

Hep Kat
December 28th 2011



15349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i wish i was max bemis he my supah role model

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

CaptainDooRight
December 28th 2011



28844 Comments


"I have a small paragraph of negatives, but i felt like it detracted from the 5... so yeah i probably overrated this."

*didn't detract from the 5

Also, make sure you capitalize your "I's".

IAmKickass
December 28th 2011



840 Comments


A pretty decent review, have a pos.



pmmets07
December 28th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

if tracks 11 and 12 were better this would be a 5

Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dude if you're going to critique the grammar of comments at least be somewhat funny when you do it now you're just a shitty troll. Please don't feed him further kthanks.

CaptainDooRight
December 28th 2011



28844 Comments


^But the Captain's gotta eat!!

Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I plan on getting physical copies of whatever I 5, so yeah this is definitely on my list. How's the bonus disc? I'm just waiting for dev to read this, I don't think the man likes me very much haha.

CaptainDooRight
December 28th 2011



28844 Comments


Yeah he told me he doesn't.

Crymsonblaze
December 28th 2011



7479 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Pretty cool review. This is probably my favorite album.

Pos'd.

Tyrannic
December 28th 2011



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Gracias señor, I almost did the double album instead but spidersong just might be my favorite sa track



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