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Sophomore Slump? -- Santi

Posted by: Thomas Nassiff (04/23/10)
Do you think The Academy Is...'s Santi is a sophomore slump or comeback of the year? We've pitted two staff members against each other to debate its merits on whether it will live on as a worthy successor or fall into the dreaded sophomore slump category. Read the justification for each in the replies and feel free to post your own thoughts.
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 169.
05:28 AM on 04/23/10
#2
Thomas Nassiff
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Pro This is why Butch Walker is one of the most sought-after producers in music.

While scene kids across the globe gush and swoon over The Academy Is...'s debut full-length Almost Here, the disc most worthy of gushing and swooning is their sophomore follow-up Santi. A monumental step forward from Almost Here, the disc married pop sweetness with propulsive alt.-rock energy. "Same Blood," is far-reaching and charming enough to sound mature, while "You Might Have Noticed," elaborates on the harmonic complex constructed on the debut. Moreover, the cocky and crisp "Bulls in Brooklyn," has a sense of urgency and excitement that was never chased down on any of the band's prior efforts and hasn't been replicated since.

And while the disc certainly has a few missteps - the dance-inspired "Lax to O'Hare," comes to mind –– the winning sentiment of aural monsters like "Sleeping with Giants (Lifetime)," and "We've Got a Big Mess On Our Hands," have a swagger and precision that's far too hard to pass up. In the end, Butch Walker's foresight and William Beckett's self-absorbed insight mesh well on an effort that still stands as one of the scene's more overlooked and noteworthy efforts.

Bring on the haters.

Con One man's progression is another man's regression.

The Academy Is... had a good thing going when they released Almost Here. Short, sugar-sweet pop-rock songs with clever one-liners were enough to win over the hearts of plenty of girls in the ninth grade, as I remember. If it's not broken, why fix it? Santi is the result of The Academy Is... trying to stay relevant by changing their sound ever so slightly to come across as a deeper, more layered band. Songs like "Sleeping With Giants", "Bulls in Brooklyn", "Seed", and "Chop Chop", efforts to stray away from the wonderfully repetitive sound we heard on Almost Here, prove to be ill-advised clunkers in the band's catalog. The album has no real flow to it and aside from a few catchy singles, was enough to make the band relatively irrelevant by the time all those girls got to junior year.

I'll be the first to admit that "Same Blood", "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands", and "Neighbors" are all wonderful in their own respects; in fact, "Neighbors" might be their best song. But these prove to be the exception and not the norm on this record, which features plenty of filler throughout the course of its 40 minute run time. The problem that The Academy Is... had is that they tried to progress and failed. They could have written another Almost Here and used the natural progression that would have accompanied two years of success and stayed in the game. It was the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, and instead of winning the game with a base hit, The Academy Is... went for a grand slam and struck out.
05:31 AM on 04/23/10
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Thomas Nassiff
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Head over to the poll to cast your vote, but discuss it here!
05:32 AM on 04/23/10
#4
Intotheunkn0wn
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i think i have to agree more with the arguments of the con. I was a huge fan of Almost Here but Santi was definitely "less sugary" and i agree, sought to be a littler deeper and layered. I do enjoy both albums, but

sophomore slump
05:38 AM on 04/23/10
#5
Pawan1993
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Agree with con. I had a feeling of nostalgia with Almost Here. That feelings just not as strong with Santi I guess. Kinda like the new FOB while good, it just doesn't hit the nail on the head.
05:45 AM on 04/23/10
#6
the seventeenth
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slump, but enjoyable none-the-less.
05:46 AM on 04/23/10
#7
gr33ndayfr3ak
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While Almost Here is one of my all-time favorites, I don't think Santi is a sophomore slump at all. Sure it had a couple snoozers, but overall it showed a good progression within the band (if only that progression had continued for more than an album..). Plus, 'Neighbors' is definitely one of their best songs.
05:46 AM on 04/23/10
#8
zachff
is Dalton Russell
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Sophomore Slump, with capital letters and sugar on top and an exclamation mark, etc.

It's very funny to think that the two bands on FBR that people saw as successors/bands that could surpass Fall Out Boy both overreached on their second full length albums. It was as if The Academy Is... identified all the things that people loved about Almost Here and said, "Fuck it, let's make an album without any of these elements."
05:47 AM on 04/23/10
#9
zachff
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While Almost Here is one of my all-time favorites, I don't think Santi is a sophomore slump at all. Sure it had a couple snoozers, but overall it showed a good progression within the band (if only that progression had continued for more than an album..). Plus, 'Neighbors' is definitely one of their best songs.
Progression towards...? The horrendous Fast Time at Barrington High aka High School Musical 4 Soundtrack?
05:51 AM on 04/23/10
yniq
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Santi is definitely my favorite TAI album. And I'm just speaking my mind, I don't think much about all those critic-related-stuff when I listen to it and I love it. It's definitely different from Almost Here, but I think it's not a bad thing. When I listen to albums I almost always end up only listening to 3-5 songs after a while, but I still enjoy every single song off Santi.
05:52 AM on 04/23/10
Burn_Burn_Burn
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I absolutely adore this album..
Almost Here actually had been the first album I had heard from them, so I was judging it according to that. Santi still remains my favorite album by them.
I don't know what it is about it..but this album really defines TAI for me..while Almost Here leaned in a more cookie-cutter direction (though I still adore it) and Fast Times leaned in a more pop rock direction. This album represents sifting for diamonds at a quarry..through all of the hard work to find good music, you find a beautiful, dirty diamond. This album has bollocks without feeling phony.
Also, all of the songs that the "con" opinion didn't like have some of my favorite lyrics on the whole record..perhaps it was the sound they didn't like.
This record proved that The Academy Is... could write raunchy, filthy pop music without going as far as Fast Times or as simple as Almost Here.
Comeback of the year.
And still my favorite album by TAI.
(feel free to argue this and quote me!
05:55 AM on 04/23/10
James RE Hughey
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I hated Fast Times, but the more I listen the more it has grown on me. It is less singing as if still in high school and more remembering the days of. Almost Here was made up of great songs, but the production was weak and sounded like there was a gap between the band and the singer. Santi bridged the gap and in trying to do so made an album that is probably too busy at times, BUT in the end it is neither slump nor comeback and instead a solid album... unfortunately Fast Times just took them out of people's radar.
05:55 AM on 04/23/10
Thomas Nassiff
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Progression towards...? The horrendous Fast Time at Barrington High aka High School Musical 4 Soundtrack?
I lol'ed.
05:55 AM on 04/23/10
deezee
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Santi was amazing! I think the album was ahead of it's time...
05:56 AM on 04/23/10
gr33ndayfr3ak
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Progression towards...? The horrendous Fast Time at Barrington High aka High School Musical 4 Soundtrack?

Quote:
While Almost Here is one of my all-time favorites, I don't think Santi is a sophomore slump at all. Sure it had a couple snoozers, but overall it showed a good progression within the band (if only that progression had continued for more than an album..). Plus, 'Neighbors' is definitely one of their best songs.

^^
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