THEORY, formerly THEORY OF A DEADMAN returns with new album Say Nothing, out now via Atlantic Records. Here’s the deal, people. I never gave this band much thought in the early years of A&GS, but right now in 2020 this record is very much a thought-provoking commentary on the world we live in and life in general. The songs seemingly leap off the page and the choruses hit in all the right places. “History of Violence” is equal parts disturbing and catchy as we cross the lyrical landscape, but the biggest gem on the record is “Affluenza.” And don’t worry, that little sonuvabitch is mentioned early. It’s such an awesome track that it damn near brought a tear to my eye. That’s a lie because it actually did.
Title track “Say Nothing” has an ambiance that cannot be duplicated, while “Strangers” is the perfect commentary on us as a society right now. We need to live like neighbors, not strangers, as the song says. I never really gave a shit about this band in the past, but these songs really turned me around. If you had asked me years ago if I’d be giving my critique on a song with the title of “Ted Bundy” I probably would have said, “Yeah, sure.” Guess what? It’s catchy as all Hell, with a hook I guarantee you’ll be singing for days. A somber piano melody accentuates ‘World Keeps Spinning” while “Quicksand” tells the tale of a girl who grew up in the system with some sad and unfortunate consequences.
“White Boy” is a contrast in terms of how we say one thing and then immediately turn around and do the other. Let’s face it, that applies to every single one of us. “We ain’t no different now, we all the same.” Truer words were never said. Meanwhile, this is the most upbeat track on the whole thing. A statement you can dance to? Opener “Black Hole In Your Heart” has a very choppy marching tone to it, and the hook is infectious while closer “It’s All Good” is basically the soundtrack to many a Saturday night o’drinkin’, mine included. This was another instant favorite as memories came flooding back, recent and from days of yore.
When all is said and done THEORY have struck gold with Say Nothing. This is an excellent record that had me enthralled from first note to last. Tyler Connolly’s passionate vocals enhance each and every song, while Dave Brenner (guitar, backing vocals), Dean Back (bass), and Joey Dandeneau (drums) provide the perfect backdrop for these stories. I can’t listen to this recording just once. It gets repeated at least three times before I can move on. A commanding statement about who and where we are as a society that isn’t afraid to bring uncomfortable issues to the conversation, THIS is an album that will long be remembered for that very reason. It’s perfect. It’s also a very strong contender for Maestro’s Album of the Year.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM