The third album for Phoenix, AZ's Anarbor, The Words You Don't Swallow finds the one-time teen punk band maturing into a mainstream, emo-rock outfit. Having never veered too far afield of bands like Green Day and blink-182, here Anarbor are clearly picking up the massively popular emo-pop flag laid down by the dormant Fall Out Boy. These are straight-ahead rock songs with a bent toward revved-up power pop and some punk-disco-inflected choruses. In that sense, songs like "Drugstore Diet," "Let the Games Begin," and "This Can't Be Healthy" make good on angular but catchy modern rock promise Anarbor is clearly capable of. That said, other tracks like the murky "Gypsy Woman," "Going to Jail," and "Carefree Highway" end up falling somewhere in between the lazy ersatz-soul of Gavin Degraw and the jam band, hemp-necklace folk-rock of Jason Mraz. All of which is to say that Words You Don't Swallow is a bit of a transitional album that goes down easily, but for neither good nor bad does it leave much of an aftertaste.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar