Hanson: Shout It Out

~ Thursday, 26 May 2011
Hanson. Yep the brothers from Tulsa have grown up. In reality they have never really ever gone away as this is their 8th album. Best known for their 1997 hit MMM Bop, they certainly had an ear for a catchy pop tune and it has not deserted them in the intervening years. Shout It Out is, and I didn't think I would be saying this, a mighty fine album. It is a seriously infectious slab of pop in the mould of Barenaked Ladies and has a real feel good factor about it.

I've not exactly kept up with the boys career over the years but I was stuck by just what great musicians they are. The keyboard skills of the brothers play a big part in the enjoyment of this album and is the driving force, along with vocal interaction of the siblings. Waiting For This kicks the album off in rockin' fashion but it is Thinkin' 'Bout Somethin' that really grabs the attention. It's soulful brass stabs, funky keys and heavy percussion give it a retro summery feel that is hard to resist. The balladry of Carry You There could have been written with the likes of Westlife or Backstreet Boys in mind and shows they still have one eye on the charts. Make It Out Alive brings to mind the indie pop posturing of The New Radicals, pop music that is commercial but with an undeniable hint of cool.

And I Waited is a contender for stand out track for me with a killer chorus and some fantastic drumming. This is the type of song that Maroon 5 have built their career on. Voices In The Chorus is also a highlight with bubblegum lyrics, great brass, funky guitar and an inspired piano riff. This is seriously good quality pop music. The album closes on the song that edges it as my favourite. The epic Me Myself and I is a tender ballad of piano and vocals, which at 5min 30 is the longest track on the album yet I honestly wouldn't have minded if it was twice that length. Lyrically, musically and personally the guys have grown.

It is hard to believe that it is 14 years since they first invaded our charts and it is unlikely that they will find themselves there again anytime soon given their lack of airplay here in the UK, but that is a pity as this album shows a band who have everything needed to be massive all over again. I really like this record and there is no one more surprised about that than me.


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