They’re back. The band that brought you timeless classics like “Girls Do What They Want” and “We’ll All Be” just released their fifth studio album on March 31, 2015. It’s called “American Candy.”
The second I heard “Miles Away,” the first track, I had high expectations for the rest of the album. And those expectations were definitely met. With the upbeat and happy-go-lucky feel in the sound of “Miles Away,” there is a definite contrast from their past album “Forever Halloween.” The sound more resembles “Pioneer,” the band’s third studio album.
When I heard “English Girls,” the album’s first single, I was caught off-guard at first. But the vibe of the single was a definite indication of what the rest of the record would sound like and it did grow on me. Soon enough, I found myself playing “English Girls” on repeat while walking to class and doing homework in my bedroom in anticipation of the rest of the album being released weeks later.
Another track off the record, “My Hair,” is an ode to John O’Callaghan’s dirty, long mane. The lyrics state that he will do what he wants with his hair, “Nobody’s gonna tell me how to wear my hair.” With a cheery melody and hilarious lyrics, it’s clear the dark and morbid sound from “Forever Halloween” is gone. Although “My Hair” is a playful sly dig at fangirls who think they can dictate what O’Callaghan does with his hair, it is still chock full of catchy melodies that you will find hard to get out of your head.
It would not be an album written by The Maine without a slower ballad. “24 Floors” is that slow ballad. With the help of the piano, this one stands out among the others, as the lyrics address depression and possible suicidal thoughts.
“Diet Soda Society” is one of my favorites off the record. The opening lines – “To be honest, I am full of shit / But that’s alright / Because everyone else that I know is” – stuck out for me. Everyone is trying to live their own authentic life, but it’s a constant struggle in the sweet world and shallow civilization we live in described in the song.
The album’s title track has a slower feel that eventually builds to a powerful chorus. With it being the second-to-last track on the record, it takes almost the whole album to find out that The Maine does not fancy American candy, as the lyrics state in “American Candy.” The cautionary tale warns people of something that appears “sweet” like candy might actually be destructive.
Closing track “Another Night on Mars” is reminiscent of “We’ll All Be” off of their first studio album “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” Bringing back this old sound offers nostalgia for those die-hard fans who have been following the band since 2008. The all too familiar sounds of a bar, the crowd-sung chorus and the overlapping closing lines bring everything full circle. We’re back home where we belong.
I know I say this every time this band releases a new album and it is probably extremely cliché, but they have outdone themselves yet again. Who knew that five albums down the line they could still produce amazing music and deliver phenomenal shows all over the world?
“American Candy” has a good combination of the good things from past albums. But what sticks out the most on this record is the band’s return to their pop-rock sound that everyone loves.
Don’t miss The Maine this Wednesday, April 22 at The Rave! The show starts at 7:30 pm with bands The Technicolors, Knuckle Puck and Real Friends as openers.