On Disc: Say Anything

Album: In Defense of the Genre

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

In Defense of the Genre by Say Anything

Say Anything
In Defense of the Genre
J Records

3 stars

October 2007 saw the long awaited new release from Max Bemis’ Broadway/ emo-punk band Say Anything.

The album’s title, In Defense of the Genre, is a blunt call to arms for the widely despised emo scene. Throughout the album, Bemis rounds up enough studio cameos to make Neverending White Lights blush.

Everyone from the scene shows up; from Paramore’s Hayley Williams, to Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie, to the closest thing to a household name in emo, Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara.

Ironically, Say Anything is easily one of the most defiant bands of the genre and incorporates an array of musical styles and an abundance of comedy.

On In Defense of the Genre, the lyrics are more at the forefront than ever. Say Anything bursts with pride both in being Jewish and being an honourary member of the emo scene. The musical backdrop is essentially loud music in a light context, jumping back and forth between pop, emo, Broadway and metal.

While the album is extremely enjoyable through all 27 tracks, there is a certain something lacking compared to previous albums.

The irresistible keyboard riff of “Wow, I Can be Sexual Too” and the catchiness of “Belt” and “Alive with the Glory of Love” are few and far between on this album.

So while it’s an exceptional chronicle of the emo scene and a fun experience from start to finish, the album relies a little too much on aesthetics " particularly in its astounding abundance of guest voices.

Nevertheless, it’s fun as hell.

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