Say Anything
I Don't Think It Is


3.5
great

Review

by Atari STAFF
February 5th, 2016 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: taking a detour from the hype train

In most cases, the masses are already forming an opinion of an album before its physical release date. With the release of a few singles, as well as a glance at the tracklisting and cover art, you already know what you 'think' you should expect from (insert band name here’s) new album. The problem is, while these preexisting expectations can stir up excitement, they often act as a hindrance to the final product. Maybe we shouldn’t be judging an album based on something as seemingly inconsequential as the accompanying artwork, but we’ve all done it; guilty as charged. With Say Anything’s new album, however, their leader has made a bold move and decided to steer clear from the typical hype train. The result is one of the wackiest, downright chaotic releases of the band’s career.

Although Max Bemis aims to put all apprehension regarding his new album to rest this time around, he’s certainly no stranger to hype. With Anarchy, My Dear we were promised Is A Real Boy, Part 2, yet the general consensus was NOT good, and that’s putting it lightly. The follow-up, Hebrews, received better reception, but was also plagued by negative responses to unrealistic presumptions. Long before the album was released we knew there would be a plethora of guest musicians, no guitars, and of course the name of every schizophrenic song. Granted, Bemis usually doesn’t do himself any favors by trying to “sell” the album ahead of its release date. Thus, his decision to avoid the hype this time around is a welcome surprise. The beauty of an album like I Don’t Think It Is lies in the fact that it could quite literally sound like anything, and nobody could grumble based solely on expectations; it’s quite refreshing, really.

Without giving too much away, I Don’t Think It Is holds its own as one of Say Anything’s rawest and most authentic offerings. Bemis wasn’t setting out to please anybody; he simply made music, and this is it. Upon dropping the album out of nowhere, Bemis admitted he had no plans on how it would turn out --improvisation was a key factor here. As such, the album sounds awfully noisy and abrasive from the get-go. With an intentionally rough production job and Bemis shouting like a maniac in nearly every track, it feels considerably more genuine than his recent affairs. That’s not to say he’s the only musician here worth mentioning, however. Darren King of Mutemath makes a notable contribution here, adding his creative drumming and various electronic effects to the mix. Between King’s unique touch to the project and the addition of several guest vocalists, the album contains no shortage of intrigue.

Perhaps it’s a telling sign that Bemis is at his very best when he just goes through the motions, rather than dressing up every song with a crisp presentation. I Don’t Think It Is may be far from perfect, but that’s sort of the point. While not as initially rewarding as his typical work, the constant energy mixed with the ‘rough around the edges’ approach will keep you coming back for more. In a way, Say Anything’s latest surprise release is more compelling for what it represents than the actual music it contains. Despite my best efforts, I can’t remember the last time I threw on a record knowing what was contained within was a complete mystery. And you know what" I had a pretty good time not giving a damn.



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user ratings (188)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
ncguitar (1.5)
As likable as the artwork...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2016


16142 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

first.

SonofSnow
February 5th 2016


1734 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I Don't Think It's Good at All.



This is shockingly bad at every level. I'm not one to be utterly repulsed at a record. I've enjoyed most of Say Anything's discography (even Hebrews) aside from Anarchy My Dear, and this is abhorrent in comparison.



The lo-fi mix is a direct contrast to the songs themselves and leads into a borderline painful listening experience.



Only redeemable song here is 17 and coked up.

Pheromone
February 5th 2016


7031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this; I think the roughness & lazy vibe it gives off really adds to the brilliance of it. I can see how people dislike it but I genuinely think this should be admired as what it is. Maybe it's also to do with the fact I'm not a big Say Anything listener that this appeared to me so much.

Reminds me of Pinkertons style of lyricism at times but I don't think that's a bad thing with this.

Digging: Yanka Dyagileva - ???????!

Pheromone
February 5th 2016


7031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review also, Agee 100%

EverLastAll
February 5th 2016


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My first impression is that I love some songs and hate others. Damn Max, you at least sure aren't letting things get stale.



I'm going to need to sit on this for a bit to find out how I really feel about it. It took me a couple listens through to determine that I hated Anarchy and loved Hebrews.

BlacKapes
February 6th 2016


1961 Comments


i could record myself taking a shit and it would sound better than this album

Cygnatti
February 6th 2016


32816 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm guessing the album title is a response to Is This It by The Strokes?

Piglet
February 6th 2016


7846 Comments


still better than sia's album cover

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 6th 2016


31078 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I was pretty indifferent towards this at first, but it is just interesting enough to keep me coming back. I don't know what it is, it's just fun.

Digging: Bad Books - III

SimpleM
February 6th 2016


121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its not better than hebrews but its a fun record

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 6th 2016


6704 Comments


album is the shits tbh, good thing Weatherbox exists

Spec
February 6th 2016


35694 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Fucking terrible.

Tunaboy45
February 6th 2016


16750 Comments


Hanson should make a comeback right about now to review this.

Digging: The National - I Am Easy to Find

Pangea
February 6th 2016


3046 Comments


"still better than sia's album cover"

Nah this one is way worse

Digging: Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari

Cygnatti
February 6th 2016


32816 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yeah it's awful. compliments the music i guess.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2016


31544 Comments


before i give this a chance, what was your read on anarchy my dear and hebrews?

oisincoleman64
February 6th 2016


2298 Comments


This is pretty good but I'd take the first three albums over this any day

Ebola
February 6th 2016


3589 Comments


dat album art

Digging: Allfather - And All Will Be Desolation

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2016


24651 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought anarchy was pretty average, but not quite as bad as it was made out to be. Hebrews was a solid 3-3.5 imo. This and Hebrews are as different as night and day, though

Digging: The Dangerous Summer - Mother Nature

JigglyPDiddy
February 6th 2016


3431 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gotta listen to this. Dude on the cover looks like Filthy Frank.



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