Review Summary: Unfortunately, I gotta say something
Its been three years since Theory of a Deadman
jumped off the SS Butt Rock and into the realm of bland, generic pop, churning out their last train-wreck Wake Up Call
. It was the point of no return for anyone who was still tone-deaf enough to find merit in them after they shredded away the last bastion of decency (and creativity) they had within them on Savages
, a mediocre effort in its own right that was serviceable enough background noise rock at best and molded sandwiches mixed with s**t-coated vegetables at worst. If you were still
insane enough to hold on after Wake Up Call
, you and the other two people who held on with you had a lot to be worried about leading up to Say Nothing
—if it was eleven "History of Violence"s then we would have been forced to euthanize the band. But lo and behold: surprisingly, Say Nothing
isn't complete garbage, but an incredibly dull and inoffensive pop album.
The bizarre thing about Say Nothing
musically is that Tyler Connolly actually sounds better than he has in years—clearly something within the past couple years has re-energized him, because for the first time in maybe 15 years, he's actually singing decent enough to not induce complete cringe every time he opens his mouth—that is except for "Strangers", where he (completely unironically) decides to start rapping and it is just as bad as you would expect it to be. The other bozos in the band (guitarist Dave Brenner, bassist Dean Back and drummer Joey Dandeneau) have barely dusted off their instruments, though—all the backing tracks are full of synths, drum machines, and other electronic instrumentation, as if it's become all but explicitly confirmed that they're giving up rock and becoming an EDM band instead. But because this is Theory of a Deadman we're talking about, there is no creativity to be found—"White Boy" is clearly a tryhard ripoff of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", and everything else has been so done to death that it ends up being forgettable in the long run.
The lyricism is still just as bad as you would expect: now you can hear such glorious things such as Connolly declaring "my mama's telling me its just a phase" in "World Keeps Spinning", the obligatory "baby, you know that I love you to death" in "Ted Bundy", and the entirety of "History of Violence". Production is still no bueno—the mastering in "Ted Bundy" is a crime against music, and everything else is brickwalled in an unusual way for a pop album. But at the end of the day, Say Nothing
is nothing more than mindless pop; if you're into that sort of thing or if you just want background noise, then its actually a serviceable album, and the surprisingly improved vocals are absolutely a welcome surprise. If they work out the rest of the kinks, then maybe—just maybe—they'll put out a 3-star pop album, but for now we have surprising sprinkles of musical improvement from Nickelback's demo mode.