Say Anything

In Defense Of The Genre

Written by: TL on 23/01/2008 02:05:33

Okay guys I hope you\'re ready, because I\'m finally going to do it. I\'m going to finally review the double album \"In Defense Of The Genre\" that Say Anything released last year, and please please pray for me, because it\'s one hell of an undertaking. The obvious reason for the vastness of the task being the vastness of the release itself, which, at 27 tracks, can easiest be characterized as the album on which Say Anything attempts to do everything.

What was distinct about Say Anything on \"... Is A Real Boy\" is still here. Max Bemis is still spitting lyrics at us with overwhelming honesty and bitterness, while at the same time keeping his tongue in his cheek and taking a piss on the notion that he might sound a tad arrogant at some times. The song title \"People Like You Is Why People Like Me Exist\" says it all I think. The melodies and catchyness is also still in there, although not in as dominating a role as before, as it seems trendy poppunk keyboards and raw guitars aren\'t enough anymore. Added to the mix is now technobeats on the excellent single \"Baby Girl I\'m A Blur\", pianos, choirs and a host of guest singers have also been thrown into the melting pot and the result seems like utter chaos a long way down the road. Actually after I don\'t know how many listens it still feels like chaos.

Now in order to not make this review rival Harry Potter for length, I\'m gonna go straight ahead and tell you what seems to be the problem for \"In Defense Of The Genre\", namely that there is simply too much going on. While the chaos and constant change of pace and style is fascinating to begin with, it doesn\'t really add up to something truly memorable all of the time and when you\'ve felt it necessary to have 27 tracks on your album, you better have a good reason for it. In all fairness, every track is distinct and up to the quality the band is usually capable of, but songs like \"Baby Girl, I\'m A Blur\", \"People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist\" and \"You\'re The Wanker, If Anyone Is\" stand out immediately in your memory over others, and this leads you to question if it wouldn\'t have served some of the songs better if they\'d been perfected a bit more and not left to drown in the double album. Too few listeners are going to have the patience and perserverance to get to know everything on this album intimately. Not that I actually think Max and the guys give a damn.

Nevertheless, despite the overwhelming character of this album, there\'s no escaping the fact that you\'ll be hard pressed to find anything as in your face lyrically, and as quirky and intimidating musically these days. I know I\'ll be listening to this album for a loooong time yet, as there\'s simply so many small details and big words to wrap my head around, and that\'s really the saving grace for Say Anything. That while they might define the direct opposite of \"focus\" on \"In Defense Of The Genre\", they have enough attitude and originality to still make you feel that this record is something you should be interested in. When they learn to concentrate trust me, we\'ll have a fuckin\' masterpiece on our hands, and till then, rest asured the genre is well defended (whatever genre it is we\'re talking about), and have fun seeing if you can spot Hayley Williams, Gerrard Way, Adam Lazzara, Chris Carabba, Anthony Green, Aaron Gillespie and wikipedia knows who else on your way through this record..

For the fans of: Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, The Junior Varsity

Download: \"Baby Girl, I\'m A Blur\", \"People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist\", \"You\'re The Wanker, If Anyone Is\"
Listen: MySpace
Buy: iTunes

Release Date 23.10.07
J Records

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