American candy for the American kids

2015 is shaping up to be an incredible year for new music. Similar to what I did for Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho, here is my track-by-track review of The Maine’s new album, American Candy, which dropped last Tuesday. It’s basically my feelings about each song (and I have a lot of feelings when it comes to The Maine. I love them so much).

Sidenote: I don’t know why so many bands are throwing the word “American” into their album titles (as a Canadian, I’m a tiny bit offended), but whatever floats their boat, I guess.
TheMaine-AmericanCandy_AlbumArt-Itunes

1) “Miles Away”

Favourite lyric: In my mind, I’m miles away.

So far, this is my favourite song off of American Candy. I mentioned it a few weeks ago when they released the lyric video, and it really does speak to me (like I said, I’ve basically decided this will be my The Maine tattoo). It’s a cute intro to the album – maybe not in-your-face, but a nice set-up for what’s to come. Sonically, it’s the next logical progression for them to make (if you listen to the deluxe/bonus songs from 2013’s Forever Halloween).

2) “Same Suit, Different Tie”

Favourite lyric: You don’t need high-priced designs to feel dressed up to the nines

I like the message in this song: you “don’t need much of anything” to be happy, to do your thing, to feel good about yourself once in a while. It works really well back-to-back with the next track, “My Hair”, since they’re both about doing what makes you happy. Plus it’s catchy and boppy and you’ll find yourself singing along in no time.

3) “My Hair”

Favourite lyric: See I don’t care if you all care, It’s on my head and it’s not your hair

This one totally has a Nick Santino/A Rocket to the Moon vibe (I would not be surprised if I learned that Nick Santino had something to do with this song). The chorus, the guitars, the repetition at the end – it would not sound out of place on Wild & Free (ARTTM’s second – and last – album, released in 2013). And I’m okay with that.

Other than that, it’s amusing that they’re basically saying “we’re going to do whatever we want – deal with it”, because if there’s one thing The Maine excels at, it’s doing whatever the frick-frack they want (please see: the last two albums, plus an acoustic EP, plus a deluxe edition, plus numerous random acoustic tracks that they’ve self-released after getting out of a major label contract).

4) “English Girls”

Favourite lyric: Smoke whatever you’ve got left, it’s getting late and we don’t have much to lose

I already talked about this when it first came out, and my feelings haven’t changed. It was the perfect first single from this album because it really gives you an idea of the overall tone.

5) “24 Floors”

Favourite lyric: You don’t want to die tonight, Take one more breath to clear your mind

This is the track that sounds like a Forever Halloween b-side. It’s a little darker than the previous songs; in fact, I didn’t realize how serious it was until I looked at the lyrics. Like a lot of The Maine’s songs, you don’t necessarily notice the subject matter right away because you’re being swept away by the instrumentation, but it’s always worth looking at the lyrics, which tend to pack quite the punch.

6) “Diet Soda Society”

Favourite lyric: Oblivion is where I’m headed, My mind is on the brink of going supernova

This is my least favourite track – which is not to say I hate it. It just doesn’t stand out to me. Oddly, it reminds me of “Kennedy Curse” on Forever Halloween; it’s a perfectly nice song, but I’m very “meh” about it. The only reason I remember it is because I had to listen to it four times before it stuck in my head long enough for me to come up with some commentary!

7) “Am I Pretty?”

Favourite lyric: Am I pretty? Do people like me yet?

While those are my favourite lyrics, I find it hysterical when John O’Callaghan says “you think I’m ugly (don’t you) and I know you hate my body” because, I mean, have you seen the man??

john oh american candy

He’s not pretty, he’s BEAUTIFUL.

ANYWAY, back to the song…

I think this is going to be my jam. It’s so fun, I love the guitar at the beginning (and of course, that “ba ba ba” part in the chorus) and I can just imagine shouting along to it. I also can’t stop dancing to it, so I know it’s going to figure heavily in any soundtrack I make this summer. It’s a little more Black & White (2010) than Pioneer (2011), but it’s still very much The Maine.

8) “(Un)Lost”

Favourite lyric: I’m unaware where I’m going, or if I’m going anywhere at all. But I know I’ll take the leap if it is worth the fall

This song keeps getting stuck in my head and I really like it. It doesn’t immediately sound like The Maine – when I woke up singing it, I had to wrack my brain trying to figure out where I had heard it. But, like “24 Floors”, it has a fairly serious message once you listen to it.

9) “American Candy”

Favourite lyric: Try to think back to a time when you loved what you loved because you loved it

At first, Ro and I worried that this would be another Forever Halloween – where the title track is mediocre compared to the rest of the album. After a second listen, this is not the case. While “American Candy” starts off slow, it picks up with a powerful chorus, and it’s sugary sweet and infectious – just like candy.

10) “Another Night on Mars”

Favourite lyric: What’s another night on Mars? With friends like ours, anywhere is home

The first time I listened to this, I immediately likened it to “We’ll All Be” from The Maine’s first album, 2008’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. I think this is very much an updated version of it; instead of reassuring that we all will “be the greatest, we all have been degraded”, it uses gang-vocals to remind us that we always have other people to support us.

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