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Can I Say

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (118 ratings)
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Can I Say album cover
01
Values Here
2:23
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02
One to Two
2:15
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03
Circles
2:46
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Thin Line
2:30
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Justification
2:51
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06
What Now?
2:16
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I've Heard
1:43
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Under Your Influence
2:36
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Can I Say
1:59
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Never Go Back
2:52
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11
Another Wrong
2:19
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12
My Dog's a Cat
2:18
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13
I've Heard [Live]
2:19
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Another Wrong [Live]
2:22
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Trying [Live]
2:09
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Justification [Live]
3:58
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 16   Total Length: 39:36

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 0

Mark Jenkins

Contributor

04.22.11
Dag Nasty, Can I Say
Label: Dischord Records

Maybe this band was too bratty to be "emo," but guitarist-songwriter Brian Baker's post-Minor Threat outfit built the template for much subsequent pop-punk. In part because Dave Smalley's vocals are more urgent than those of his successor, this debut is the better of the quartet's two Dischord albums. (A third was released on another label before Baker, now of Bad Religion, took a shot at major-label metal). With their immediacy tempered by simple, rousing… read more »

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The Missing Link

markhighwire

Brian Baker is a guitar stud, and his post-Minor Threat band, Dag Nasty delivered the goods on their first 3 records. Can I Say rocks, and functions as a key link between the DC hardcore sound and the more melodic punk pop sound that would emerge in the late 80s.

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Required Listening

justiss4hire

This is a timeless classic from beginning to end. Where's my stick?

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Brings Me Back

kweise25

Me and my friends lived for any music that came out on Dischord records. This a hardcore classic!

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no bones to pick, but Smalley not 1st singer

Dvoodoo

I have no bones to pick with this album, and knew this band personally and always appreciated their sense of humor as well as sincerity. They took criticism, but provided a much needed forward motion in DC in the mid 80's with the fusion of pop punk/hardcore/metal & early emo influences, achieving considerable commercial success at the time. The Emusic description claims that Dave Smalley was the original vocalist and in the interest of accuracy must state that is simply a misnomer. The actual first vocalist of Dag Nasty was a cool cat named Sean Brown ( later of Swiz, and whom is seen interviewed in the film Afro-Punk), Smalley was a Boston import.

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Funny

Bah

The first review here states that "Baker's roots in Minor Threat are clear throughout," but uh, he's not playing bass here. Nice try. Research things before jumping to conclusion. Great album tho. One of my top five of all time.

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rocks

quiz

Entire album rocks. If you like this you also like Government Issue, Unity, and other pre emo bands that could actually play, sign and write. Good stuff.

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A must have

usedwigs

A seminal album from a band that did more than their part to create a new subcategory of punk back in the 80s. Melodic yet sharp, super-clean and crisp production and featuring some of punk rock's all-time great musicians. Dave Smalley is one of the best frontmen ever and a helluva nice guy and Brian Baker is simply a legend. Besides, Bad Religion, check out his work with the Meatmen. Incredible!

They Say All Music Guide

The only actual album released with original vocalist Smalley up front until Four on the Floor years later, Can I Say in ways helps mark a turning point between hardcore’s straight-ahead origins and a more accessible — but just enough — approach that would eventually prime punk’s breakthrough in the mid-’90s. Baker’s roots in Minor Threat are clear throughout, but at the same time the production, assisted by Ian MacKaye, is actually stronger and crisper than much of that band’s work. Call it time or better facilities, but Dag Nasty rocks in a full, smack-out-of-the-speakers way with unbridled energy. Smalley, meanwhile, has a vocal delivery halfway between strident pronouncement and anguished reflection — it’s not emo in the original sense of the term (or alternately, the late ’90s watering down of same), but it’s a careful balance just the same. He’s not per se a great vocalist, but he does make a commanding frontman, while his lyrics grapple with personal politics in a winning, thoughtful way. The sentiments may not be original, but he phrases them well, never losing sight of the fact that he’s singing them and not reciting modern poetry or the like. When the band as a whole just cranks the amps and runs straight ahead with the usual crunch, things are energetic enough without being distinguished. But when Baker tries for something more honestly anthemic, the rhythm section follows along well, while Smalley matches the rise perfectly. Check out “Circles,” which starts normally enough before shifting into more affecting musical gears a minute in, or the fine “Never Go Back.” There’s some good if rough call-and-response vocals on “What Now?,” the rhythm section in general does the needed job throughout the album, and in the end it all succeeds pretty damn well. – Ned Raggett

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