The Maine

American Candy

Written by: TL on 17/09/2015 20:04:23

Arizona's The Maine is one of those bands that, unbeknownst to most Europeans, has been growing steadily in the united states, maintaining a steady line-up ever since their 2008 album "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" and arriving this March at their fifth album "American Candy". It's an aptly named and illustrated album because just like the bubblegum on the cover, the music on "American Candy" is in a word, light, both in terms of sound and content. The group delivers on here a streamlined and sunny pop-rock that would hardly shock a mother walking in on her teenage daughter, rather she would probably ask what it is, so she herself could put it on in the car and sing along on her way to work.

The style feels like the 2015 version of the big eras of Matchbox Twenty or Goo Goo Dolls, with singer John O'Callaghan hugging the spotlight with his raspy, carefree delivery. Behind him the band supplies the kind of seamlessly catchy progressions that feel predictable on casual listens, yet prove to have the flairs and professional sounding arrangements on closer inspection, that are likely penned by people who know more about music and production than your favourite basement-circuit band ever will. Speaking of the content, the opening trio of songs underline just how carefree - there's that word again - the band's universe is. "Miles Away" dreams of a west coast vacation, while "Same Suit, Different Tie" reminds you that you can look good without splashing on new clothes all the time, and "My Hair" encourages the listener to let theirs grow out - coincidentally channeling a very laid-back and Lydia-ish vibe while it's at it.

All three songs are as immediately catchy as you would expect from a seasoned group of pop musicians, which makes them decent listens for hangouts with friends where the mood is light. The fourth track "English Girls" takes the cake as the album highlight though, both via simply having the catchiest sound, but also via inducing a dash of danger in its corny seduction lyrics: "Well she said, English girls they just like sex, I couldn't believe when he said, I've got news for you, American boys do too". Other than that, the album's later half does not quite channel similar hit potential, yet the closing track "Another Night On Mars" makes an impression, circling around how it does not matter where you are so long as you have good people around you - while repeating its chorus more than enough times to put it in your head whether you like it or not.

All in all, "American Candy" is as much a pop record as a rock- one, but to its credit, it does not pretend to be otherwise. The lyrics can definitely invite some facepalming over the trivial subject matter, but at least they're not delivered with a fake suggestion of heart on sleeve anxiety, the way some pop-rock bands do it. You get the impression right away that "American Candy" is not going to treat you to any deeper experiences or epiphanies, and as such it's bound to probably be a pretty short-lived pleasure. But it's good for occasions where you want to set a relaxed mood, and you can imagine it works wonders in the live setting, where fans can groove about and sing along casually while pretending for a while that they're back on that trip where the weather was great and they had a fling with that one attractive somebody.

Download: English Girls; Same Suit, Different Stripes; Another Night On Mars
For The Fans Of: Matchbox Twenty, Goo Goo Dolls, The All-American Rejects, Lovedrug

Release date 31.03.2015
Big Picnic

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