There are feelings of teenage angst and despair that nearly everyone goes through during those ages. Loneliness and isolation, amongst anxiety and anger, are some of the negative emotions that a teenager generally goes through. And pop-punk is seemingly very good at displaying these emotions and connecting with teens.
Max Bemis gets it. Max Bemis epitomizes everything a teenage boy feels on ...Is A Real Boy
without hesitation in a massively sarcastic way, making the true message very genuine. The honesty in every word he sings is palpable, from the brilliantly catchy Holocaust love story of "Alive With The Glory Of Love" to a feeling of misguidedness and depression on the short and sweet "The Futile." That's what makes ...Is A Real Boy
so special; nothing he sings feels like he doesn't one hundred percent believe in his lyrics. He'd make a great politician.
While the lyrics are the foundation, the pop-punk peppy melodies are fantastically catchy and surprisingly original for a genre that generally wallows in the same three chord progressions. The songs are excellently structured, and a prime example of that is the second track "Woe," whose upbeat, chiming verses eventually fade into a slower, synth-laden ending. Again the lyrics on "Woe" are excellent and shows Max Bemis (once again) lamenting: "She took pity on me horizontally/But most likely because of my band/And that's all I can get/When I'm lonely."
Not a minute on ...Is A Real Boy
is wasted with unnecessary break downs or slow sections; it's all quick, fun, surprisingly original pop-punk. The song that differs most from the rest is the superb closer, "Admit It!!!" Its effectively decimates anyone the least bit pretentious, yet towards the end Bemis is realizing his own pompous ways. Simple, yet extremely effective. It's a rollicking, fantastic, long-winded closer, the only song that would be appropriate to be the last song here, and one of the best on the album.
...Is A Real Boy
is remarkably consistent for its somewhat lengthy run time, with not one bad song, however some longer tracks like "The Writhing South" don't have much replay value. Regardless, ...Is A Real Boy
is pop-punk perfection from lyrical and songwriting angles. Max Bemis croons with such a naturally kind of certainty that it's nearly impossible to fault his somewhat raw singing abilities. It's his delivery that shines. A piece of everyone can be found in the words he sings. Max Bemis ***ing gets it.