Album Review: The Maine – “American Candy”

The Maine has come a long way since the days of gracing the screens of MTV with “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” (2008). After exploring darker territory, especially with “Forever Halloween” (2013), they return to a pop sound (while still holding onto rock ‘n’ roll) with their fifth and latest album “American Candy.”

There are not many albums out there that you can listen to it in their entirety without having to skip a song. “American Candy” is one of the few, the select, the great.

The album kicks off with “Miles Away,” the second single released, mixing together old and new styles. The track is a great representation of the feel good, upbeat mantra of the album.

The Maine is a band that has grown up and matured with its fans. Every album has captured the experiences both listeners and the band can relate to from heartbreaks and celebrating friendships to simply finding yourself and growing up.

It is clear that even the band is aware of its transition, but reassures it has stayed true to itself throughout the years in the album’s second track “Same Suit, Different Tie” as frontman John O’Callaghan sings, “The old can feel brand new, I feel so fresh, I feel so new (and improved).”

I can’t think of many bands in this generation that can make five albums let alone five impressive albums. Each song is a musical masterpiece with well-crafted lyrics and instrumentals. The album could not have come out at a better time; it is the perfect spring/summertime soundtrack to blast in the car with the windows rolled down.

“Am I Pretty” highlights all the insecurities we’ve felt at some point in our life by asking the questions: “Am I pretty? Do people like me? Is there a party? Am I invited?” The song ends with the reminder, “There’s beauty and grace in the flaws of your face,” which O’Callaghan chants.

Aside from the foot-tapping, hip-swaying, blissful tunes, there is one song that is sure to hit listeners hard. The ballad, “24 floors,” is a dark tale, reminding us all of the sacredness of life: “You don’t wanna die tonight, take one more breath to clear your mind, every moment’s relevant, bittersweet and delicate, tomorrow may not come again.” After bringing down the mood, the band picks it right back up where it left off.

A personal favorite of mine is the album’s title track. It is one of the strongest songs overall and really stands out from the rest with O’Callaghan’s clever incorporation of candy-themed vocabulary.

They end the album with “Another Night on Mars,” which to anyone who is familiar with the band will recognize is a throwback to “We’ll All Be” from their first album. An anthem to good times with great friends: “What’s another night on Mars, with friends like ours, anywhere is home.”

The Maine knows what they want and how to get there, continually showing us that they really can do no wrong.

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