In Defense of the Genre

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In Defense of The Genre
In Defense of the Genre.jpg
Studio album by Say Anything
Released October 23, 2007
Recorded March 2006 – September 2007 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City and Seagrass Studios in California
Genre Emo, indie rock, alternative rock, pop punk, post-hardcore
Length 89:21
Label J
Producer Brad Wood
Say Anything chronology
...Is a Real Boy
(2004)...Is a Real Boy2004
In Defense of the Genre
Say Anything
(2009)Say Anything2009
Singles from In Defense of the Genre
  1. "Baby Girl, I'm a Blur"
    Released: October 2, 2007
  2. "Shiksa (Girlfriend)"
    Released: 2008
  3. "Skinny, Mean Man"
    Released: 2008
  4. "Spores"
    Released: 2008

In Defense of The Genre is the third full-length studio album by American pop-punk band Say Anything. The album artwork was provided by Jeff Smith, an artist primarily known for his work on the Bone comic series.


Writing and plans for In Defense of the Genre began in March 2006 during Say Anything's extensive touring and promotion for the reissue of their previous effort, …Is a Real Boy. The band started rehearsing and piecing together the album through pre-production the next year in January 2007, until the record was finally completed half a year later in September.[1] Max Bemis described in an interview that the record is more focused on "observations of other people", unlike ...Is a Real Boy's lyrical content revolving solely on Bemis and his problems.[2] The record "picks up in my life where [...Is a Real Boy] left off because it is very autobiographical, even more so than the last record. Musically, it's different, more mature and somewhat more cohesive and poppy, but darker in a whole different way."[3]

The album features 23 individual guest vocalists and musicians, including Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Pete Yorn, Anna Waronker, Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, Aaron Gillespie of Underoath and The Almost, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, and Hayley Williams of Paramore. Additional instrumentation was handled by DJ Swamp and Casey Prestwood, whom contributed on turntable and pedal steel guitar, respectively.[4] The December issue of Alternative Press reported that Jesse Lacey of Brand New chose not to collaborate. In December 2007, did a 3-part video series showing an in depth look at the recording of In Defense of the Genre.[5][6][7]


On September 19, 2007, fans could pre-order an autographed copy of the album with an optional Say Anything T-shirt.[8] An extra booklet was packaged with the CDs, autographed by Bemis, Alex Kent, and Jeff Turner. On the same day, "Shiksa" was posted on the group's Myspace page.[9] On October 8, "People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist" was posted on the group's PureVolume profile.[10] Two days later, "Spores" was posted on the band's Myspace page.[11] In Defense of the Genre was released on October 23 through J Records as a double disc album.[12] In October and November, the group co-headlined the Myspace Music Tour with Hellogoodbye. They were supported by Polysics[13] and Young Love.[14] "Baby Girl, I'm a Blur" was released to radio on November 6.[15]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 79%
Review scores
Source Rating (96%) link
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
Alternative Press 4.5/5 stars link
The A.V. Club (B+) link
Blender 4/5 stars link
Entertainment Weekly (A-) link
Kerrang! 4/5 stars
Spin 4/5 stars link
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars link

In Defense of the Genre was well received by most critics, averaging a 79% on Metacritic.[16] Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A-, noting that the album's "sonic twists almost always work". Alternative Press gave the album a 4.5/5 and stated that Max Bemis created an album musicians "more than twice his age could only hope to create." Blender, in a 4/5 review, called it a "mess" but an "exhilarating one."[17][18][19]

In more mixed reviews, PopMatters noted that the wide variety of styles was a "gift and curse at the same time". Rolling Stone said "When Bemis is on... his songs are tuneful and invigorating."[20][21][22]

It debuted at number 27 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 25,000 copies in its first week.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Max Bemis; all music composed by Max Bemis, Coby Linder and Alex Kent.

Disc One
No. Title Guest vocalist(s) Length
1. "Skinny, Mean Man" Pete Yorn 3:33
2. "No Soul" (contains a portion of the composition "Juicy Fruit", originally written by James Mtume; features DJ Swamp on turntables) Anna Waronker 3:36
3. "That Is Why"   4:13
4. "Surgically Removing the Tracking Device" Adam Lazzara, Fred Mascherino 2:30
5. "This Is Fucking Ecstasy" Anthony Raneri 2:39
6. "The Church Channel" Hayley Williams 3:04
7. "Shiksa (Girlfriend)" Caithlin De Marrais 3:38
8. "Baby Girl, I'm a Blur"   4:19
9. "Retarded in Love" (features Casey Prestwood on pedal steel guitar) Chris Carrabba, Michael Auerbach 3:06
10. "People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist" Trever Keith 3:28
11. "Died a Jew"   2:29
12. "An Insult to the Dead" (Additional arrangement by Joshua Sultan)   4:09
13. "Sorry, Dudes. My Bad." Chris Conley 2:43
Disc Two
No. Title Guest vocalist(s) Length
1. "Spay Me"   3:13
2. "In Defense of the Genre" Gerard Way 4:02
3. "The Truth Is, You Should Lie with Me" Joshua Sultan 2:31
4. "The Word You Wield"   3:50
5. "Vexed"   2:39
6. "About Falling" Matt Skiba, Laura Kirsch 4:13
7. "You're the Wanker, If Anyone Is" Jordan Pundik, Chad Gilbert, Aaron Gillespie 3:22
8. "Spores"   2:49
9. "We Killed It" Andy Jackson 1:53
10. "Have at Thee!"   3:03
11. "Hangover Song" Anthony Green 0:58
12. "Goodbye Young Tutor, You've Now Outgrown Me"   4:20
13. "I Used to Have a Heart"   4:17
14. "Plea" Hayley Williams and Kenny Vasoli 4:31


Album personnel[edit]

Tour personnel[edit]

  • Jake Turner – backing vocals, guitar
  • Jeff Turner – backing vocals, guitar
  • Parker Case – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals


  1. ^ "Say Anything Finish new Album". 
  2. ^ "Say Anything Eyes Early 2007 For New CD". Billboard. 
  3. ^ "Interview: Say Anything (Max Bemis) - 06.19.07". 
  4. ^ "Rock Veterans Guest On New Say Anything Album". Billboard. 
  5. ^ "ABSOLUTExclusive: Say Anything Video Series (Part 1 Of 3)". 
  6. ^ "ABSOLUTExclusive: Say Anything Video Series (Part 2 Of 3)". 
  7. ^ "ABSOLUTExclusive: Say Anything Video Series (Part 3 Of 3)". 
  8. ^ "Pre Order In Defense of The Genre!". Say Anything. 
  9. ^ "Say Anything post "Shiksa" on MySpace". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. October 2, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Say Anything post new song on Purevolume". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. October 8, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Say Anything post "Spores" on MySpace". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. October 10, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Say Anything to Release Full-Length this October". 
  13. ^ "Hellogoodbye and Say Anything to co-headline MySpace tour". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. August 29, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Young Love added to MySpace tour; date-by-date breakdown". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. September 11, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  15. ^ " Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. October 30, 2007. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews
  17. ^ "Music Review: In Defense of the Genre, by Say Anything". Entertainment Weekly. October 19, 2007. 
  18. ^ [Dec 2007 p. 189 Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews]
  19. ^ Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews
  20. ^ Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews
  21. ^ Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews
  22. ^ Say Anything: In Defense Of The Genre (2007): Reviews
  23. ^ "Underwood Leads Three Country Debuts Onto Chart". Katie Hasty. 

External links[edit]