Say Anything has been chugging along for years, putting out albums that each have their own signature sound. Each one has been very different from the last, but one element that ties them all together is the hint of theatrical elements that make many tracks instant sing-alongs. For Say Anything’s seventh album, Hebrews, released on June 10, 2014, the band stopped simply hinting at theatrics and went for a full-blown orchestral style.

It was safe to say that fans were nervous when the band announced that Hebrews would not feature any guitars and would instead feature an orchestral backing. However, as Say Anything has proven again and again, major changes do not always warrant a decrease in quality. In this twelve-track album with an abundance of contributing artists, frontman Max Bemis gets up-close and personal in every song.

1. "John McClane" (featuring Chris Conley and Matt Pryor) (10/10)

This opening track is the perfect opening to an album that many fans were nervous to hear. It starts slow with the vivid self-deprecation Max Bemis is known for, and it builds into an epic sing-along that is characteristic of the band.

2. "Six Six Six" (featuring Sherri DuPree-Bemis, Andy Hull, and Jon Simmons) (9/10)

The first single released in April is a great taste of the entire record. It is fast-paced and feels grand in scale, and although it drew criticism for sounding a bit canned, it shows the well-roundedness of Say Anything. Bemis’s lyrics are very autobiographical in this song, slightly uncharacteristic of the band’s past singles, which are a bit more open to interpretation.

3. "Judas Decapitation" (featuring Gareth and Kim Campesinos) (7/10)

It can be thought of as an “Admit It!!!” part three, a sequel to the past two songs made about annoying naysayers in the Say Anything fanbase and music industry. This song is nothing more than Bemis calling out the fair-weather fans who want the band to keep making …Is a Real Boy over and over again, despite the band’s growth, and the attitude in this song is very poignant.

4. "Kall Me Kubrick" (featuring Chauntelle DuPree-D’Agostino) (7/10)

Fast-paced and laced with harsh vocals, this is a great track to get riled up with, though when compared with the rest of the album, it seems to fall back between the cracks.

5. "My Greatest Fear is Splendid" (featuring Keith Buckley) (8.5/10)

From the getgo, this is definitely a Say Anything song – a catchy hook that sounds like it could fit right into a movie, and hilarious lyrics that detail Bemis’s fears about his future. It speeds up about a minute into the song, picking up even more to become even catchier.

6. "Hebrews" (featuring Brian Sella) (9/10)

Starting with a straight-up groove, this is definitely a standout track and could be a single. It morphs into a fast-paced chorus and gets even faster in the bridge, where The Front Bottoms’ frontman Brian Sella sings along until the song ends a bit too early.

7. "Push" (featuring Aaron Weiss) (10/10)

This is my personal favorite song on Hebrews. It’s long yet it doesn’t drag on, it’s inspiring but not cheesy, and the bridge is where it really comes to life. Bemis’s vocals are incredibly emotional, and Aaron Weiss’s contribution is the best of anybody else’s; he meshes well with the music and the lyrics.

8. "The Shape of Love to Come" (featuring Sherri DuPree-Bemis) (6/10)

At about five minutes, honestly, this song drags on a bit. It is very heartfelt, especially considering that Bemis’s wife is the contributing artist for the song, though it is quite personal, which dulls down some of the relatable qualities.

9. "Boyd" (featuring Sherri DuPree-Bemis) (8.5/10)

Say Anything dabbled in “screamo” on their album In Defense of the Genre for the song “We Killed It,” and this song almost feels like a Broadway musical decided to take a stab at the genre. It’s a total jam, and the breakdown on the bridge is a well-done musical experimentation for Say Anything.

10. "A Look" (featuring Bob Nanna and Stacy King) (8/10)

As a long-time Braid and Hey Mercedes fan, I was beyond excited to hear this song when I saw that Bob Nanna was contributing to it, but after hearing it, I was a bit disappointed. His part seemed like barely anything, although Stacy King’s backup vocals are great; she harmonizes well with the music. It’s a very dance-able song.

11. "Lost My Touch" (featuring Christy DuPree and Jeremy Bolm) (7/10)

Though the melody of this song is easily mellow, the lyrics seem a bit forced in their self-deprecation, unlike “Judas Decapitation,” where the music fits well with the angry lyrics. This time, it seems passive-aggressive, and almost slightly annoying, though it is easy to understand where Bemis is coming from, considering his fickle fanbase.

12. "Nibble Nibble" (featuring Tom DeLonge and Sherri DuPree-Bemis) (7/10)

This song has definitely been a fan favorite, considering the fact that pop-punk legend Tom DeLonge sings on it. The music is catchy and electronic in the beginning, and then it lifts into a rocking chorus. It doesn’t feel like an appropriate closing song, however.


Say Anything’s seventh album has definitely shown the band’s growth as people and as musicians, namely Max Bemis’s struggle with change and happiness. Although their venture into full-blown theatrical sing-alongs has been a long time coming, the very personal lyrics make it a bit more difficult for any fan to relate, unlike their previous anthems such as “Hate Everyone,” and “Woe.” As a whole, though, Hebrews is not an album to pass up.

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