The Maine are one of those bands that I just can’t classify genre wise, however, they’re also one of those bands that I don’t understand why haven’t broken into mainstream music. I would love to see them do so, but they feel like a well kept secret that I can’t keep for too much longer. American Candy just might be the album that helps The Maine breakthrough any surrounding stereotypes and launch them into a new realm of music. One thing is clear: they aren’t that Warped Tour band with the badly straightened hair and one widely recognized song (“Into Your Arms”) anymore. They haven’t been that for a long time, but people may finally start to recognize this now.
One of my favorite things about The Maine is how their sound progresses, without sounding artificial. All of their albums are different, but you can still tell it’s them. They have an original, signature sound. American Candy, in particular, showcases what they do best: catchy, sing along melodies with the occasional song that’ll really hit home for the listener. This album has an ethereal feeling that hasn’t been done by them before.
The first track of the album, “Miles Away,” isn’t necessarily the strongest album opener when comparing it to openers such as Pioneer’s “Identify,” however it opens the vibe of the album. Standing alone, without comparing it to past albums, it’s the perfect fit for this record and is a track that’s an easy to nod along to. The same goes for the following tracks, “Same Suit, Different Tie,” and “My Hair.” They are organic and not contrived, which is something that The Maine does best, because they are one of the most real bands in the industry these days.
“English Girls,” the leading single off the album, has a Third Eye Blind, late 90′s sound that still sounds fresh and new. If you’re not grooving or dancing along by now, then this album probably isn’t for you.
By track five, the pace of the album slows down slightly. “24 Floors,” is a lonely, uplifting track. Because we can all feel despondent, whether we are 24 floors up in a hotel room or alone in our bedrooms. This track is one that I think fans of the band will really hold on to and identify with.
“Diet Soda Society” sounds like a reject off of Pioneer, because although sounding similar to the tone of their third album, it is the missing piece for this album. “Am I Pretty” throws in some catchy guitar riffs. “(Un)lost” is the finest example of John O’Callaghan’s lyricism on this album, and probably my favorite track as it’s incredibly relatable.
“American Candy” conceptually ties together and defines the album, and is a quintessential song for the band. The album closer, “Another Night on Mars,” ends the album in traditional The Maine fashion - an uplifting, feel good song to leave you in a good mood. It’s like the more matured version track of “We’ll All Be…” with more lyrical simplicity.
This album stands alone as the fifth chapter of The Maine’s album progression; an adventure that just keeps getting better. Whether you’ve been a fan for years or just found this album, you’ll be able to indulge in the sweetness but see past all the illusions that we’re faced with every day. This is American Candy, and it’s giving everyone who listens a sweet tooth.
Tracks to download: “(Un)lost,” “English Girls,” “24 Floors”