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Review: Say Anything - ...Is A Real Boy

Concept albums are funny old things. Most of them don’t work; usually it’s just too ambitious to either pull off or it ends up completely missing the point the record was perhaps trying to convey. Say Anything don’t have that problem at all. ‘…is a real boy’ is a concept album dripping in irony. It’s primarily a parody of a punk rock band (which is actually Say Anything) and a complete ripping of the ‘scene’ and everything that surrounds it.

That’s not to say you need to ignore the songs themselves, because ultimately if the songs are crap then the idea behind them is irrelevant. Opening with a spoken word 30-second intro, ‘Belt’ is choppy and melodic, but by the time ‘Woe’ takes hold we’re in the path of Max Bernis’ razor-sharp tongue. “And this girl who I met whose pride makes her hard to forget, She took pity on me (horizontally) but most likely because of my band,� he sings – bringing the ‘groupie’ term to the forefront. ‘The Writhing South’ sounds like early Weezer, while ‘The Futile’ hammers into the real emo bands with some rather cutting lyrics. The line “Love! I shall not love, yet I’ll still sing about it. I hope it covers the ocean in slime, the drama and drool. I’m leaking the blood of a fool,� reminds me of Senses Fail. Maybe it was written with them in mind?!

And so we go on. ‘An Orgy Of Critics’ is harsher musically, while in ‘Every Man Has a Molly’ the singer urges fans to buy his merch because he suffered heartbreak when his former girlfriend split up with him because of his lyrics. As they do. By the time we make the finale, ‘Admit It!’ a spoken word diatribe on the sheep in the scene, you’re left scratching your head at a piece of genius. It’s so good, so brutally honest and so…well…spot on, that I’ve added every word here for you to read.

“ADMIT IT! Despite your pseudo-bohemian appearance that vaguely set your doctrine of beliefs, you know nothing of art or sex that you couldn't read in any trendy new york underground fashion magazine...Proto-typical non-conformist. You are a vacuous soldier of the thrift store gastapo. You adhere to a set of standards and tastes that appear to be determined by an unseen panel of hipster judges-BULLSHIT-giving your thumbs up and thumbs down to incoming and outgoing trends and styles of music and art. Go analog baby, you're so post-modern. You're diving face forward into an antiquated past, it's disgusting! It's offensive! go stick your nose in it! Yeah, what do you have to say for yourself? You spend your time sitting in circles with your friends, partipicating to each other, forever competing for that one moment of self agrandizing glory in which you hog the intellectual spotlight, holding dominion over the entire SHALLOW....POINTLESS...conversation. Oh we're not worthy. When you walk by a group of quote-unquote normal people you chuckle to yourself, patting yourself on the back as you scoff. It's the same superority complex shared by the high school jocks who made your life a living hell, makes you a slave to the competitive capitalist dogma you spend every moment of your waking life BITCHING about! Yeah, what do you have to say for yourself? You're free to whine. It will not get you far. I do just fine, my car and my guitar. I'm proud of my life and the things that I have done, proud of myself and the loner I've become. Well let me tell you this, I am shamelessly self involved. I spend hours in front of the mirror to make my hair elegantly disheveled. I worry about how this album will sell because I believe it will determine the amount of SEX I will have in the future. I self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to help treat my extreme social anxiety problem. You are a FAKER! You are a FRAUD! You're living a LIE! You don't impress me! You don't intimidate me! ADMIT IT! Why don't you bow down, lie on the ground, then walk this fucking plank! I'm proud of my life and the things that I have done, proud of myself and the loner I've become. You're free to whine. It will not get you far. I do just fine, my car and my guitar, and I am done with this. I wanna taste the breeze of every great city, my car and my guitar. You're urgently unfulfilled, when I'm dead I'll rest.�

I don’t think I need to say any more. Just listen…

Doghouse Records


Posted by Paul on 28/08/04

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