The Maine Double Feature

July 21, 2008 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

Two weeks ago, The Maine released their debut album Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.  Currently touring, The Maine are an interesting blend of pop and alternative.   Their sound is in line with that of bands like Cute Is What We Aim For, All Time Low, Something Corporate, and We The Kings.  That being said, it’s not for everyone.

The Maine‘s lead singer John O’Callaghan is thankfully less whiny than Cute Is What We Aim For‘s Shaant Hacikyan.  The vocals are driven by sincerity and stay well within Callaghan range.  Relying more on clever lyrics, the music maintains a fairly steady rhythm throughout the CD’s 12 tracks.   While this makes it easy to pick up the album from anywhere, it make it impossible to determine where you left off, or that the song has changed.

This repetition unfortunately also carries into the albums thematic elements.  Nearly every song seems to be a girl that has left him, he can’t have, or how his day was inevitably ruined by one.  Lets be honest though, this is a common theme in Emo and a lot of music today.  Songs have been about girls and love for longer than people can recount.  We can’t fault every band that makes songs about it.  The Maine is good enough to thankfully break this up with a hopeful theme to finding the right person.

Despite the repetition, this album is what Cute Is What We Aim For‘s second album should have been.  (I’ll forgo tearing into the joke that was Rotation for another day.)   The band has plenty of catchy hooks in their music, such as the chorus to Girls Do What They Want.  The chorus for Whoever She Is is also notably catchy.

So lets shift gear for a second.  Lets go back almost 8 months to December when The Maine released their EP,  The Way We Talk.   The sound to The Way We Talk is definitely better because the album doesn’t suffer from the same mainstream overproduction of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.  The sound almost seems to have been commercialized for the debut.  If you have a copy of the Warped Tour ’08 CDs, you’ll notice that The Maine sound you get is slightly different from the one on their first full length album.  Notably, the first two tracks (If I Only Had a Heart and The Way We Talk) are especially good.

For a debut, it shows that the band has potential, but they lack the musical maturity to join bands who have carved their identity deeper into the music scene.  An example of this is their current tour’s headliner, Boys Like Girls.   The problem they’re suffering is, that at the end of the album I still can’t remember half the songs I listened too.  It isn’t that the music is bad, it’s just generic.  Sometimes sounding alike is a good thing, but when every other band is playing something similar, you need more than one song to stand out if you want to make it big.

Album: The Way We Talk
Artist: The Maine
Year: 2007
Label: Fearless Records
Number of Discs: 1
Album: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
Artist: The Maine
Year: 2008
Label: Fearless Records
Number of Discs: 1

Entry filed under: Alternative, Music, Pop. Tags: , , , , , .

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