Where do I begin with Say Anything? Max Bemis and Co. went from being in the green graces of the alternative scene by mixing in delightfully anthematic lyrics (more like poems) and some amazingly catchy riffs. Their first album …Is A Real Boy and their follow-up In The Defense Of The Genre were two amazing two-disc sets filled with some truly genre-defying songs.
Then, for some reason, they kind of dropped off the map. They released the self-titled album a couple of years ago, but it didn’t bring them the kind of success that either of the other two albums did. There was no big single (“Hate Everyone” was the only one to come out of it), and the album as a whole just didn’t have the strength that either one of their previous albums did. So, after a label and line-up change, Bemis is back with Anarchy, My Dear; yet another great alternative album sure to make their long time fans incredibly happy.
The album starts with two great singles. “Burn A Miracle” is a rambunctious opener with a rather riotous chorus. Their self-titled song “Say Anything” might as well be called “Walk Through Hell 2,” (my favorite) as they both share some awesome lines about love in some rather creative ways (“If Satan showed up with a gun/threatened “be disloyal or I shoot”/I’d take it in the kneecaps/rather than to be that guy to you). “Admit It Again” is probably the funniest song on the album calling out everyone from their “fans,” to Rihanna, to people who measures their self-worth off of Facebook. “Peace Out” is a rather downer of a ballad, saying that when everything ends, he will be fine, while you do whatever you do.
Going back to the producer of their first record, Anarchy sounds like …Is A Real Boy in every positive way possible. It has a hip-hop feel track (“Overbiter”), it’s dark-to-light tracks (“The Stephen Hawking”), and plenty of angst for everyone. Just like their previous albums, Max’s lyrics is what makes each song awesome. You can just sit and try to listen to everything that Bemis is singing on each track, and you are guaranteed to go back an listen to it again after completion. But that’s what makes a good Say Anything record, it’s replayability. Each song can be put on a mixtape and be a stand-out track, if there isn’t another Say Anything track on it.
Would I have preferred this to be two albums long? Yes and no. As much as I appreciate having so much material in one place, Anarchy just felt right. They haven’t been around a long time, but I hope people take some time and rediscover their back catalogs after listening to this album. Is this album their best yet? Personally, no, I enjoyed In The Defense just a little bit more (when I mean little, I mean REALLY little). But is this something casual fans should skip? Absolutely not.
Final Grade: A-
Go Download: “Say Anything”