Say Anything, 'Say Anything' (J)

Critical Mass
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by David Peisner

"I can't define myself through irony and self-deprecation," Max Bemis sings on "Mara and Me," a wonderful spazz-pop waltz from his band's latest album. Oh, sure you can, dude. Say Anything's fourth full-length is an exercise in acute self-awareness: The pop-punk hookfest "Hate Everyone" satirizes misanthropy while bathing in it, and the earnest electro-pop love ballad "Crush'd" cops to dyslexia, "mild manorexia," and "a disturbing Oedipal complex." The music doesn't always keep up with Bemis' self-absorbed lyrical jujitsu, but there's definite charm in the struggle.

WATCH: Max Bemis from Say Anything acoustic at SPIN's NYC office

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