The Maine is a band that has explored a variety of genres and everything in between. While their 2013 album Forever Halloween showed a much moodier side of the band, American Candy is filled with sugary-sweet beachy tunes.
“Miles Away” and “English Girls” are the band’s lead singles. The former points to the Maine’s extensive experiences on tour, and the homes they have found while abroad, while the latter gives off major dance vibes and is highly reminiscent of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Black & White.
“Same Suit, Different Tie” explains that although their styles have changed over the years, underneath it all, they are still the same band that we all loved as teens. “My Hair” literally screams “screw you” to their ex record label, Warner Bros Records. John O’Callaghan sings “nobody’s gonna tell me how to wear my hair/not my momma or a big wig millionaire”. It’s clear The Maine is done with being pressured by major labels, and are going to do whatever the heck they want.
On the other hand, “24 Floors” is the darkest song on the album, and it tells the story of someone considering suicide while a voice is trying to convince them otherwise. It’s a poignant and rich piano-based song, reminiscent of “These Four Words” off Forever Halloween. “Diet Soda Society” is easily my favourite song off the album, and it speaks to the issue of losing self-awareness in an increasingly shallow society. “Am I Pretty” covers the themes of body image and desire to fit in. The bridge features O’Callaghan chanting “there’s beauty and grace in the flaws of your face”, and is sure to resonate with all listeners.
“(Un)Lost” is a beautiful, relatively slower track on the album. The standout lyric of the song says “I’m not looking to be found/just want to feel (un) lost”, and speaks to everyone who’s trying to find purpose in their life. “American Candy”, the title track, warns listeners about things in life that aren’t as sweet as they seem. The climax of the song occurs when O’Callaghan yells “I don’t fancy american candy”, and the line leaves a trail of goosebumps in its wake. American Candy closes with “Another Night On Mars”. The song echoes “We’ll All Be”, from Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and thanks the friends/fans that have welcomed the band worldwide.
It’s evident that that The Maine has found a niche in which they have created perhaps the best music so far in their career. While some tunes remind us of their earlier days, The Maine also departs from their previous endeavours with clever lyrics that speak to a variety of issues in the world. American Candy is not only the band’s reflection on itself, but also a record that immediately tells us that The Maine is here to stay.
Standout tracks: American Candy, Diet Soda Society
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Review by Chantel Lui | @arkeIIs