In Defense of the Genre, Say Anything's 27-song, two-disc quasi-concept album — which is twice as long and nowhere near as good as its predecessor, 2004's Is a Real Boy — is about Max Bemis' struggles with drug abuse and his very public bipolarity. (He was busted in NYC last year for screaming obscenities at passing schoolchildren, spitting in random ladies' soup, etc.) It's part of his deal, his arc, his art. (The last song on the first disc is titled "Sorry, Dudes. My Bad." It is addressed to his bandmates.) This is his therapy; we are his couch. Genre, as a consequence, sounds like you'd expect it to sound: hilariously overindulgent, borderline psychotic, wholly unnecessary, occasionally sort of fantastic. Overall, the whole thing is merely OK, except for the later stages of the second disc (around when they sample someone — assuming it's Max here — vomiting), which are just fucking terrible. But that's what you get when you allow Say Anything into your world. Good music at the expense of sanity.
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