Gone are the days when there were simple genre categories like rock, pop, or country to choose from. Now there’s everything from alternative rock, contemporary country, electro-pop, and neofolk, to dubstep and techno. Many, if not all of these new genres have sprung to existence from artists taking the liberty to mash several genres together, forming a unique sound fitting to their personal liking. Enter Allison Weiss and her sophomore album, Say What You Mean. If indie-folk-pop-punk isn’t already a genre, Weiss has certainly paved the way for that to be possible with her eclectic mix of folksy vocals, pop punk rhythms, and electronic-driven beats.
Say What You Mean drives home what Weiss says about her music on her website: “I’ve got a lot to say to people and the only way I know how to do it is through pop songs.” Through this medium, she certainly seems to have a lot to say about the ugly side of love. Themes of bitterness over a relationship gone wrong run rampant throughout the album, with songs like “Hole In Your Heart” (as if the title wasn’t a dead giveaway) fearlessly showcasing this theme. This pop punk-rooted track is the essence of a begrudged ex, declaiming, “I should have known, should have seen from the start, maybe it’s the hole in your heart.”
Though the subject matter may get a bit repetitive at times, Weiss stays true to what she means to say, the honesty pertinent in her voice. However, songs like “Wait For Me” are a welcome respite for those who find the lyrical content to be slightly on the overbearing side. “Wait For Me” is a hopeful tune about the beginnings of something good following a slew of bad, with lyrics such as “I forgot what it’s like to look the things you want right between the eyes.” This track begins with simply an acoustic guitar and Weiss’ vocals. A gorgeous string section rises during the first chorus and continues throughout the rest of the song, which also serves as a nice break from a slightly monotonous song style.
Weiss is smart in the way she’s constructed this album. She’s careful to keep the listener’s attention with songs that are over in a YouTube minute (most songs barely make it over the three-minute mark). She knows what people want to hear, and that isn’t always the song version of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Say What You Mean is definitely a go-to break up album, but it also beckons feelings of discovery. It’s as if the listener can tell that Weiss, though sure-sounding in her songs, is still a young adult trying to find her way through the messy,and often disappointing seas of life. Say What You Mean is sure to resonate with practically everyone, as no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ve almost certainly had your heart broken.
by idobi contributing writer Taylor Lima