The Academy IsÃ¢â‚¬¦ happens to be one of the latest pop punk band to fall under the all powerful Pete Wentz’s wing. The story goes that Pete was so impressed by the band’s debut The Academy EP, that he convinced Fueled By Ramen to fly out and sign the band immediately. Their first full length album was a direct continuation of the EP’s sound and gave them their first bit of mainstream appeal. In between Almost Here and Santi two members were replaced, ushering in fresh blood and a fresh sound.
The band’s patented sound is forsaken as Santi features a whole new slew of influences and sounds, but sadly, a lot less hooks. While Almost Here was filled with memorable riffs and wordplay, Santi tries to troupe through a number of different sounds Ã¢â‚¬” from the deliciously off key background vocals on Ã¢â‚¬Å“We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our HandsÃ¢â‚¬ to the downright painful ballad that is Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything We Had.Ã¢â‚¬
Santi sometimes chances upon great successes: songs oozing with style and begging to have William Beckett declared the new boy wonder of pop punk. This is best seen on tracks such as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bulls in Brooklyn.Ã¢â‚¬ The song begins with Beckett’s constantly improving voice laid over a steady bass and drum, and moves into one of the more passionate choruses in The Academy IsÃ¢â‚¬¦’s catalog.
As mentioned above there are as many songs that stumble as those that succeed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“NeighborsÃ¢â‚¬ is one example of this. The song sounds better suited in a clothing store commercial, rather than on the album of a band that’s produced such gems as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Judas KissÃ¢â‚¬ and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Black Mamba.Ã¢â‚¬ While listening to the song’s mindless verses and stabs at yet another style of music, the only redeeming quality to this song is found in Beckett’s ability to maneuver his pitch at will. His vocal contribution over and over proves to be Santi‘s saving grace.
If there were two words to describe Santi, it would be Ã¢â‚¬Å“unfulfilled talent.Ã¢â‚¬ It could be the relentless touring allowed for the lyrics to lose their bite, and that the loss of LaTrace and DelPrincipe has caused the band to abandon the style of music that had been perfected in previous efforts. While there certainly are successes on Santi, the spotty lyrics and penchant for genre-hoping leave listeners with a foul taste in their mouth. The introduction in Ã¢â‚¬Å“LAX to O’HareÃ¢â‚¬ wraps up Santi nicely, telling us, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What happened next was a series of unfortunate events,Ã¢â‚¬ if only Beckett had realized how true this lyric would become.
1. Same Blood
2. Lax To O’Hare
3. We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands
4. Sleeping With Giants (Lifetime)
5. Everything We Had
6. Bulls In Brooklyn
9. Chop Chop
10. You Might Have Noticed
11. Unexpected Places