12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At once bratty and introspective, Say Anything’s Max Bemis serves up an idiosyncratic brand of melodic pop on Hebrews while retaining his bitingly satiric edge. If his band’s 2012 album Anarchy, My Dear was a provocative departure, Hebrews is a full-on challenge to anyone expecting the group to stick to familiar punk-pop formulas. Bemis drills deep down into his psyche in these songs, dissecting his motivations for living and making music with almost masochistic relish. He takes a scalpel to his own artistic pretensions (as well as show business in general) in songs like “Judas Decapitation,” “Kall Me Kubrick,” and “My Greatest Fear Is Splendid. “Lost My Touch” (featuring Christie Dupree’s honeyed vocals) offers sober thoughts on growing older and raising kids, while “Plan” speculates about the mysteries of God’s intentions toward humanity. Bemis’ dense, obsessive lyrics—delivered with an insinuating croon that modulates into an unhinged snarl—might be hard to take if Hebrews' music weren't so consistently inventive in its blend of sweeping strings, chiming keyboards, and driving rhythms.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At once bratty and introspective, Say Anything’s Max Bemis serves up an idiosyncratic brand of melodic pop on Hebrews while retaining his bitingly satiric edge. If his band’s 2012 album Anarchy, My Dear was a provocative departure, Hebrews is a full-on challenge to anyone expecting the group to stick to familiar punk-pop formulas. Bemis drills deep down into his psyche in these songs, dissecting his motivations for living and making music with almost masochistic relish. He takes a scalpel to his own artistic pretensions (as well as show business in general) in songs like “Judas Decapitation,” “Kall Me Kubrick,” and “My Greatest Fear Is Splendid. “Lost My Touch” (featuring Christie Dupree’s honeyed vocals) offers sober thoughts on growing older and raising kids, while “Plan” speculates about the mysteries of God’s intentions toward humanity. Bemis’ dense, obsessive lyrics—delivered with an insinuating croon that modulates into an unhinged snarl—might be hard to take if Hebrews' music weren't so consistently inventive in its blend of sweeping strings, chiming keyboards, and driving rhythms.

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