Sound — 8
The band's self titled album gives the Say Anything sound that their fans are accustomed to hearing. Lead singer Max Bemis and guitarist Jake Turner's voices compliment each other beautifully, as well as the female backup vocal parts by Max's wife, Sherry. Some of the songs follow the basic song format, namingly Hate Everyone, Property, and Less Cute; but they make a somewhat throwback to their non-structured songs like Resounding and Where The Hurt Is with Mara And Me, all its missing is the long instrumental breaks. Theres a variance in the instruments used, such as the strings used in Do Better, and the keyboards in Crush'd. The solo's are all noticeably different, although they mostly use the same effects. On few occasions (Property and Mara And Me), Bemis takes time to just talk a few lines, which has a nice effect.
Lyrics — 9
If there's one main theme of this album, it would be death and religion. With the exception of maybe two songs, every song makes some reference to religion (a common theme in Say Anything's lyrics, but more pronounced in this album). There are three songs about death; Fed To Death, Cemetery, and Death For My Birthday, and all have a passive view of death; irresponsibility for one's death, dying with someone you love, and looking forward to death respectively. Two other types of songs on this album are the anti-everything songs (Hate Everyone, Mara And Me, and Young Dumb And Stung), and the songs about girls (Eloise, Crush'd, and to a lesser extent, Cemetery). If you're a Say Anything fan, Cemetery is the next I Want To Know Your Plans/By Tonight. On the downside, the songs Property and Hate Everyone are lacking on the lyrical side. Really catchy and poppy, but feels too generic to sound honest. Seeing as how Hate Everyone is the first single, I can see Property being the next, seeing as how its so basic the general public would enjoy it. That being said, there is no where else that you can hear lines like "though I suffer from dyslexia, and mild manorexia" and "you're in my body, thats where I think about you". Say Anything is a unique lyrical experience.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to other albums, I would put Say Anything's latest effort between In Defense of the Genre and ...Is a Real Boy, with the latter being their best work. The best songs are most definitely Cemetery and Ahh...Men, because they sound so honest in their lyrics and are present in classic Say Anything fashion. What I like most about this album is that its not all about Bemis this time around (like IDOTG), and more about things that anyone listening could relate to. What isn't so good is the public friendly cannon fodder that is Hate Everyone, but thats my opinion. In the end, if you like lyrics that are just as raw as the music thats accompanying it, you'll like this album.