The Maine

Forever Halloween

Written by: PP on 24/12/2013 15:42:57

Critical acclaim hasn't been following The Maine throughout their career, largely thanks to their move from polished pop punk to formulaic mainstream rock over the past three albums, but fourth album "Forever Halloween" is finally the record where they have nailed their sound just right. If "Pioneer" two years ago felt like a mediocre pop rock album with nothing but boring, nothingsaying ballads from start to finish, "Forever Halloween" is its polar opposite record, a quintessential example of how to write grandiose pop rock songs without sounding superfluous or shallow.

Much like Coldplay did on their brilliant "Mylo Xyloto", The Maine have gone overboard in making the songs fluffy and floaty in their soundscape, but at the same time, they have remembered to keep things upbeat enough for the songs to work. Even the balladic "White Walls" sounds great as a result, but if we scroll back to "Run" or "Love & Drugs" we'll find some infectiously catchy pop rock tracks. Later on when you get to "Happy", you're starting to recognize other Brit Rock themes, as well as references to big indie-flavored pop rock bands like The Killers in the process. A common thread in them all is that they are played with some flair and an ear for a good, catchy chorus each time. That has now always been the case with The Maine, where I've often found myself bored both with their vocalist's delivery as well as the general structure of the songs. Too safe, too mainstream, too boring, has been the story of The Maine for a few albums now. I can't put a finger on exactly what they've changed for "Forever Halloween" that I haven't already pointed out, but the collection of songs on offer here is simply far more enjoyable than anything they've put out since their pop punk oriented debut album. Maybe it's the more varied delivery of John O'Callaghan on vocals, or his ability to convert a formulaic pop rock song into something a little more interesting.

Either way, with "Forever Halloween" The Maine have finally written a mature, contemporary pop rock album. This is the album that has potential to expand them far beyond what they are today. I don't want to call it their "Parachutes", but we're pretty close to a similar level of breakthrough right here.

Download: Love & Drugs, Run, White Walls
For the fans of: Coldplay, Travis, Band Of Horses, The Killers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.06.2013
Rude Records

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