By Say Anything
Charisma, the attribute any individual needs to become a truly great personality. When you look through the annals of time at the so called legends of music they all exuded confidence and had the ability to attract the attention of the public with maximum ease and naturally keep them coming back for more.
Where do Say Anything fit into this I hear you cry, well for me this debut effort from Max Bemis' band is the most charismatic album I've ever had the pleasure of listening to over and over and over again. It just begs to be played, and this isn't just one track, just like a tombola at Hugh Hefnas house, pick any number and you're guaranteed brilliance.
"...Is a Real Boy' cannot just be seen as one of the top debut albums of 2004 it's a serious contender for one of the albums of the year full stop. And the promise and potential shown throughout is very exciting indeed. If that is, the band can hold together that long. Rumours of band splits and vocalist Max Bemis' frequent trips to the mental institution (seriously!) are a daily occurrence but that makes the unadulterated success of this album all the more tasty. It could be said Max Bemis really is Say Anything, he is the focal point, the centrepiece of his own overcomplicated but very intelligent brain and at the tender age of 20 that's a brilliant burden to carry. The lyrics are magnificent, very akin to Brandnew's Jesse Lacey, very tongue in cheek, tres intelligent and naturally for what is in theory an emo record, songs about girls. Musically Say Anything are kindred spirits with the Get Up Kids and Saves The Day etc. of this world, every song varies greatly in its arrangement and unpredictability, the conclusions of songs often varying greatly from their birth but all sharing one thing in common: a raucous, infectious chorus.
Specific highlights are impossible to choose but 'Belt' should be first on your agenda with its gang warfare mentality and hyper sing a long chorus, if you like that your assured to love the rest. 'Every Man Has A Molly' has to be up there with the elite of break up revenge songs, 'I Want To Know Your Plans' is a beautiful semi-acoustic number and closer semi-spoken word rant against scenesters brings to an end an impeccable album. I could easily single out every track and tell you what's to love about it but that's part of the fun for your good self.
So I'll close with this. There were few albums released this year superior as an album to Say Anythings "...Is a Real Boy". I'm aware this review sounds more like a plug, and for that I apologise, but words cannot explain my adoration for what Say Anything have produced here. Unmatched, unadulterated pure charisma in circular shiny disc form. I thank you.