Allison Weiss’ Say What You Mean is a bright and sparky collection of music that is passionately based on feelings and steals the heart throughout, with lyrics so many can relate to and melodies that are easy to love.
The earlier tracks on the album seem to be the best, with the first – Making It Up – being a very high-paced track that attracts attention. It is a little reminiscent of early Avril Lavigne, with a pop sound made edgy through being mixed with rock. What I particularly love about this song, and indeed with others on the album, is that it conveys powerful feelings yet remains great fun to listen to and never slips into ‘moaning’ territory!
My personal favourite track from Say What You Mean is the second: One Way Love. It is incredibly upbeat and punchy, and is so much fun. I couldn’t help dancing, and listened to it so many times in a very short period. Combined with lyrics composed from feelings that are so easy to empathise with, these elements make this song a complete winner. Hats off to Weiss’ writing here!
The album continues with Nothing Left: a catchy, bubbly track that remains upbeat but is a little gentler than the previous two. Next up is I Was an Island, which is a slower track with somewhat less sparkle, though it is enjoyable and builds into a full, rich sound.
Say What You Mean’s break from the buoyant does not last long, however, as it gets to How to Be Alone: a simple but fun melody with instant appeal and again, very well-written lyrics that can be so well understood. Don’t Go comes up next and carries on with the upbeat feel. It does not catch on as a particular favourite straight away, but once listened to around three times is not easily forgotten and is easily loved.
So far I have had such high praise for how cheerful and lively this album is. However, I also appreciate a sweet and gentle track, which Weiss has provided with Wait for Me. It is clearly full of feeling and has the essence of a fairytale fantasy that I have a certain soft spot for. For those who enjoy a much softer and sweeter sound, Wait for Me is perfect.
Following on from Wait for Me is another punchy song called Hole in Your Heart that is a little similar in its essence to something from Paramore. There is an underlying toughness to it that sets it apart from the songs preceding it on the album. The title track, Say What You Mean, brings back some of the sweet spark from the first few tracks but does retain the strength from Hole in Your Heart. It is this fusion that gives it such appeal, along with an incredibly loveable and memorable chorus that once again reminds me of Paramore in some respects.
Finally, the album comes to I’ll be Okay. This song is the slowest and most repetitive of the collection, and while sweet and quite beautiful, it is not necessarily how I would have wanted the album to end. It does, however, have a finality to it, but I was left just a little disappointed because it doesn’t have the same appeal as any other song on the album. For others, perhaps fans of a quieter sound, this could be the perfect ending. For me though, I wish the album had ended on more of a high: something more suited to the outstanding tracks that it provides earlier on.
Allison Weiss has created a fantastic album full of loveable music that is sparky and tough, and mixes between upbeat and gentle with a bias towards the livelier songs, something I think is a particular strength. There is a lot to adore about Say What You Mean, and some stand-out tracks like One Way Love make it a great and memorable album.
Say What You Mean by Allison Weiss is out on 16th April 2013 via No Sleep Records.