American Candy: The Maine’s Sweet New Album
The Maine’s newest album American Candy is just as sweet as it sounds.
While the album shifts away from the darker territory of the band’s fourth album, Forever Halloween, it still showcases the band’s more mature, witty and emotional writing shown in their most recent albums. This is mixed with a pop-rock sound reminiscent of their earlier work such as Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. What you end up getting is an album where all ten tracks are great.
American Candy opens with “Miles Away,” the album’s second single. The song is familiar to others of the band’s, as the subject matter of feeling lonely is one they often explore. Yet, the upbeat music makes the single seem hopeful and easy to rock out to.
The next track “Same Suit, Different Tie,” could easily be applied to The Maine and the evolution of their music. In the past fans have been worried about the band’s shift in sound, yet through this album and this song the band reassures them, saying “different tie, but I’m wearing the same suit. It’s alright cause the old can feel brand new.”
“My Hair,” could just as easily applied to the band, as they definitely are proponents of long hair themselves (just look at Pat the drummer’s long locks). Yet, it also reiterates a common mantra expressed in The Maine’s songs about just doing what you want. Overall, don’t let anybody tell you how to wear your hair.
The album’s first single “English Girls” was well chosen, as it’s a standout track. The sound verges more on rock than pop, and one can’t help but sing along as lead singer John O’Callaghan belts out, “he said, ‘Smoke whatever you've got left, it's getting late and we don't have much to lose.’” “English Girls” without a doubt has some of the album’s catchiest lyrics.
The sugar-coated upbeat tempo of the album is halted with “24 Floors,” a powerful ballad-esq song. Yet, the serious undertone is certainly warranted as the lyrics deal with the idea of committing suicide. As the song goes on it reminds listeners that life is worth living, as O’Callaghan sings “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.”
“Am I Pretty?” delves into common insecurities. Asking, “am I pretty? Do people like me yet? Is there a party? Am I invited?” Yet, the song is reassuring and positive, as many of The Maine’s songs are. O’Callaghan chants, “there's beauty and grace in the flaws of your face.” It wouldn’t be surprising if this is the band’s attempt to make a commentary on society and it’s emphasis on beauty and what’s beautiful.
While the album’s title track “American Candy” sounds sweet, don’t let it fool you as “it’ll rot your teeth.” Definitely not the song you imagine when hearing the title, “American Candy” is more rock than pop and has some of the band’s darker undertones that were present on Forever Halloween.
“American Candy” is followed up by “Another Night on Mars,” which is a stark contrast with its lighthearted lyrics and laid back melody. The song is reminiscent of others by the band, including “We’ll All Be.” It’s the quintessential buddy song, and a tribute to all the band’s closest friends. Which makes sense, as that’s what the band is: five friends making music together. “Another Night on Mars,” is a personal favorite and definitely a feel good song.
Overall, American Candy ends up having ten great tracks, meaning you’ll never need to use the skip button. Plus, the album’s upbeat pop-rock sound and catchy lyrics make it impossible not to rock out to.
You can check out The Maine on their American Candy tour with special guests Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and The Technicolors this spring. They’ll be at the Boston House of Blues May 5th, and you can find other dates and venues here.
Favorite Tracks: “Diet Soda Society,” “Another Night On Mars,” “English Girls” Listen to the album on Spotify.