The fullness of Say Anything during their “Is A Real boy” is something that other emo bands should strive to achieve. There are three or four things happening at any one time, and individuals will marvel at the multiple harmonies that little the soundscape during tracks like “Belt”. Let individuals get one thing straight; this is not the emo of acts like Bright Eyes but of acts like early Jimmy Eat World and Desert City Soundtrack.
There are singalongs and catchy hooks, but also a smart instrumentation that will allow even the most jaded music fan to dig without qualification. Throwing in a synthesizer line during “Woe”, Say Anything throw something new into the mix for practically any track on “Is A Real Boy”. The band has the audience eating out of their hand by only the first few tracks, and make a case for the entirety of “Is A Real boy” having only radio-friendly singles on it. Merely listening to “Is A Real Boy” will be enough to bring a smile to any listener’s face, and the disparate sounds achieved by Say Anything throughout this disc will ensure that this disc (and the second disc, “Was A Real Boy”) finds its way back into the CD player often throughout the disc’s life. “Yellow Cat (Slash) Red Cat” brings another distinct style to Say Anything’s repertoire, with a set of vocals sounding more entrenched like a rap track than anything else.
There are hints of a double bass drum during this track as well, which makes this a perfect example of the diversity enjoyed by Say Anything. Something else that needs to be said about Say Anything is that the band is tremendously focused on the lyric side of things. The vocals laid down on this track are the focal points for listeners; the instrumentation while being intricate and fun is a distant second to the sweet sounds of Say Anything’s vocals. “Is A Real Boy” is nearly an hour of solid emo goodness; while the band may not be the next Hawthorne Heights, they should be what hits it big next in 2006. When one considers that Say Anything can even move into a harder style with songs like “Spidersongs” (and taking acts like Rise Against and Against Me! on), one gets the idea that there is nothing that can be posed to Say Anything that the band will not be able to do.
Top Tracks: Spidersongs, Belt
Say Anything – Is A Real Boy / 2006 Doghouse / 13 Tracks / http://www.sayanythingmusic.com / http://www.doghouserecords.com / Reviewed 26 March 2006