Tempe, Arizona rockers The Maine are set to release their highly-anticipated fourth album ‘Forever Halloween’ on June 4th. We here at HonestReviewsCorner got our hands on an exclusive copy, and are eager to share our first impressions with viewers.
Though the album is titled ‘Forever Halloween’ which may lead listeners to imagine something along the lines of a Tim Burton-inspired soundtrack, this is certainly not the case. Though the album does have elements of minor key tonality woven into the fabric of the music itself, it certainly does not adhere exclusively to it’s namesake.
The album kicks off with ‘Take What You Can Carry’ combining a dark, almost brooding feel in the verses with an upbeat, jolly chorus, which provides an excellent platform for both comparison and contrast within a single track, all while executed in a manner that works.
There is also the lead single ‘Happy’ which is a philosophical soul-searching of sorts, the never-ending quest for happiness and it’s altogether elusive nature, told with the help of an unmistakeable hook and infectious, sing-along chorus.
Near midway through the album, you come across the resident acoustic ballad: ‘Birthday In Los Angeles.’ This track offers a nice change of pace stylistically, in that it is entirely stripped down, a far cry from the guitar-heavy tracks that come before it. A tender, vulnerable lament to the city of Los Angeles, an honest view (unmarred by the glitz and glam) of the struggles that come with the territory.
‘Sad Songs’ has an old-time quality that makes it instantly timeless, contrasting sharply with the chorus, which gives it a modern feel. There is a balance of opposites resurfacing here which seems to be a common theme, and these contrasts add another facet to the work as a whole. Definitely a stand-out track.
‘These Four Words’ offers another moment of vulnerability much like ‘Birthday In Los Angeles.’ Where ‘These Four Words’ differs however, is that it’s a piano-driven ballad, and, instead of lamenting a city, we find vocalist John O’Callaghan lamenting his falling out of love, and the weight of that realization falls upon him like his fingers upon the keys.
The album concludes with it’s title track: ‘Forever Halloween.’ A fitting end to the album, this track has an epic feel that puts it in a category all it’s own. From the Hallows Eve-inspired chorus arrangement to the solo that finishes out the track, it is certainly the culmination of the journey, and in that regard (both as the title and ending track of the album) it does not disappoint.
While The Maine don’t break any new ground with ‘Forever Halloween’ they don’t disappoint either. What they do, they do well, successfully carving out a niche for themselves and sticking to their strengths. ‘Forever Halloween’ plays to those strengths, and is likely to appease the existing fan-base (and may even generate new ones) whether they advocate Hallows Eve eternal or otherwise.