It's too bad that the Academy Is... have one of the more unfortunate names of the whole early-21st century Chicago emo scene, since they actually sound like they could be one of the few to outlast the rest. Their sophomore effort, Santi, picks up where the well-received Almost Here left off, but instead of just rehashing the pop sweetness that appealed to so many Warped Tour attendees (though there's plenty of that, too), the guys incorporate more grit and muscle into the mix. The record has a more varied and self-assured feel to it, and though definitely still poppy, considering Butch Walker sat in the production chair, it's almost surprising the glossy sheen isn't blinding. But that's a good thing. "Same Blood" is a peppy little number that manages to be simultaneously expansive and wholly grounded, owing much of its earnest charm (as with most of the crew's songs) to the winsome vocals of William Beckett. He's a bit more playful this time around and his confidence lends itself to the rest of the album, where songs sparkle with freshness. Cuts like the spunky "Neighbors" and alternative rock-leaning "You Might Have Noticed" show the guys mixing their youthful yearning with a more straightforward rock backbone, and a confident cool is allowed to invade the swaggering (and surprisingly well-done) "Bulls in Brooklyn." Even when the Academy Is... amble into the dancey territory of "LAX to O'Hare" -- a song that seriously evokes Communiqué -- the vaguely post-punk vibe and brittle guitars remain more fun than overdone. The thing with this Windy City crew is that it never seems like they're trying too hard or being unnatural, which makes songs that don't quite hit the mark -- as in "Sleeping with Giants (Lifetime)," where echoing guitars cut out into a fluffy chorus that kills the mood -- easier to take. An enjoyable next step for the Academy Is..., this album shows that the guys are still growing, but maybe just starting to figure themselves out.
Performance CreditsAcademy Is... Primary Artist
Rob Mathes Conductor
Butch Walker Keyboards,Background Vocals
Gavyn Wright Concert Master
Michael-Guy Chislett Guitar,Keyboards,Group Member
William Beckett Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Mike Carden Guitar,Group Member
Andy Mrotek Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
Adam T. Siska Bass Guitar,Group Member
Technical CreditsRob Mathes String Arrangements
Mark Needham Engineer
Butch Walker Producer,Audio Production
Geoff Foster Engineer
Karl Egsieker Engineer
Academy Is... Composer
William Beckett Composer
Carmey Ground Packaging Manager
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Santi based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
This was a great Cd. Usually some Cd's have a couple good songs then the reest are bad. But this Cd is worth it, u will like it from begining to end. The beats are really catchy, and there is variety which is good. BtW Santi means "thank you". and if you get to really like this band watch TAI TV on youtube
All I can say is that TAI is the best Indie/Rock band I've heard in a long time. This album is so refreshing and all of the songs are so addicting. This album is definitely a must-have. Can't wait for a third round! If I could, I would give this album a well deserved 10!