Buy this album, listen to this album, love this album. This is Say Anything (To be fair at this point mostly Max Bemis, though to be even fairer it started that way and really has always been) at their best. Some of the best lyrics Max Bemis has ever committed to paper. Full of angst and self loathing, he is a wordsmith unlike anyone else in the genre. This album in particular is like a journey into Max's life. It takes you through his daughter's pregnancy and you can feel what he went through writing this album. In interviews this is something he did state, but I wrote it off because most of the time when musicians try and do that they either end up too subtle or it because so obvious like a brick to the face. This album manages to straddle that line eloquently. You can just feel what he was feeling. You feel anger, you feel fear, you feel hope, you feel joy. As a whole this album is a journey into this period of his life and it comes off stronger because of that.
The instrumentals are catchy and fairly impressive. You won't be thinking about the lack of a guitar or lamenting it's absence. It's going to be interesting live to see how it's pulled off. A lot people forget early Say Anything was pretty guitar light and heavy on the synths and drums. The melodies created will stay in your head, they're just this side of poppy to make them work with the angsty lyrics. Compared to Anarchy My Dear the lyrics feel less forced. It doesn't feel like he's trying to regain the crowd that left after IARB, they come off as earnestly scathing.
This album isn't ...Is A Real Boy. I hate that I have to say that, but it needs to be said. This isn't what you're used to, it's a progression of the Say Anything sound for the better. It feels fresh and yet it feels safe. There is no other band like them out there and they've gone and proven that again. Max Bemis is a master lyricist and only gotten better with time. If you can set aside your expectations of what a Say Anything album sounds like it's highly enjoyable. I recommend it to fans of the band highly, any genre fans sound take a listen if not for the guest vocals.