Say Anything - Oliver Appropriate
Review by Stewart Gray
In a very real way, this album sounds amazing. Max Bemis wrote some amazing hooks that are both exciting and satisfying. And he put them in the capable hands of producer Will Yip whose contributions to this record are remarkable. The anthemic ballads on Oliver Appropriate are soaring but accessible, punctuated by sensitive acoustic tracks that lack none of Bemis’ gusto and imaginative storytelling.
In order to fully appreciate the lyrical content of this record (and honestly all of the Say Anything records to date), it is necessary to read Max Bemis’s farewell manifesto. (Read here) Oliver Appropriate marks the end of what he calls “The Say Anything Myth”, the storyline that follows the life of an emo/punk singer, now revealed to be ‘Oliver’, a fictional character that Max has been playing for the past fourteen years. In this final chapter of the story, the listener is privy to the events and inner monologue of the last two days of Oliver’s life. A mellow-dramatic and tragic tale of self-realization and pain. It’s not a happy ending.
In Bemis’s own words “Say Anything is a writer’s band.” The narrative elements of Oliver Appropriate are the obvious focus of the record. The poetry and storytelling that this band is known for are on full display in their own unique way. It’s an immersive listen that requires research and investment. January is definitely too early to make Album of the Year proclamations but this album is so unique and made with such intention it will demand consideration.
LISTEN TO: “Greased” or “Sediment”
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