One of my major musical pet peeves is the modern double album. Before the 1980s, the format was a necessity, as you can only cram so much music onto a vinyl record before the quality starts to suffer. But today, when you can fit 80 minutes onto a CD and an unlimited amount of music onto a digital release, the entire concept of the double album has become self-indulgent in and of itself. You’re telling me you have two full hours of mindblowing tunes that you just HAVE to put out right now? Sorry, I can almost guarantee that you’re full of shit. And don’t even get me started on triple albums. (I’m looking at you, Green Day.)
That said, any artist who feels the need to release a double album was certainly touched by the hand of inspiration, which means there is often a good to great one-disc record buried somewhere within the filler. And now, with the advent of playlisting, we can futz with an overlong album’s track listing to our heart’s content in an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been doing this for fun for a while, and it’s helped me develop a newfound appreciation for a variety of double albums over the years.
One of these records is Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre, the two-disc follow-up to their 2004 masterpiece, …Is a Real Boy. Released in October 2007, IDOTG is quickly nearing its 10th anniversary, and it’s a milestone that deserves celebration. The album is loaded with ideas, from the decision to include guest vocals from more than 20 of the band’s emo and pop-punk peers to the ADD structure of many of its songs, which careen from style to style yet still feel organic (see “Spay Me”). Lead singer and songwriter Max Bemis also continues to fire on all cylinders, with his intense delivery elevating his bitterly sarcastic lyrics, all while maintaining a sense of humor. It’s a thrilling listen that mostly works… but like any modern double album, it could be tighter. So, here’s my attempt at making that happen. Let me know what you think in the comments, or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. Would love to hear what you’d do differently!
- Retarded in Love
- People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist
- Died a Jew
- Sorry, Dudes. My Bad.
- In Defense of the Genre
- You’re the Wanker, If Anyone Is
- We Killed It