Review: Hanson – The Walk

A few years into the indepedent world of recording, they have released several CD’s and DVD’s through their own 3CG production and record label company. Through that process, it was the extremele difficult birth of Underneath (which was basically in the finishing stages when they broke free from the record label), followed by the live CD set Live and Electric, and their own feature length documentary. This docu, about the above mentioned long process of getting Underneath released, appropiately titled Strong Enough to Break, is now part of the The Walk promo and is freely downloadable through iTunes (and it’s pretty interesting too).
Album was said to be very different from their previous material, and so it definitely is. There’s no doubt they’ve grown over the years, from the full pop Middle of Nowhere, to the pop rock of This Time Around and Underneath, still they’ve managed to create and evolve their own sound.
For this album, they dropped the highly melodic verses and instantly recognisable choruses from before. Riffs and long hooks are traded in for a steady rhythm, set all the way to the end, while the lyrics will provide the extra depth. If you liked last album’s bonus track Dream Girls, you will know what I mean, and probably like this album. Lyric-wise, they’ve veered away from writing only love songs. If you come across lines like “On the third floor of a hotel lies a pregnant flamingo dancer, in the bath tub is a razor, and she’s planning a great escape”, you know you need time to let it sink in properly.
There are a few minor points that begs for answers though. Knowing Taylor provides the most dynamic vocals, you wonder why Watch Over Me is recorded on one of Isaac’s bad voice days. Same goes for Zac on Fire on the Mountain, and several other songs in a lesser degree. While the oldest and the youngest brothers have always done a few songs on previous albums, it’s probably more noticable now that they’re going for more vocally challenging material. Also, on the few songs where they build around their own verse/chorus style (Running Man, Tearing it Down, Something Going Around), it sounds particular weak compared to their newer rhythm style (Been There Before, Georgia, Watch Over Me, I Am).
Commercial success or not, they’ll be around for quite a while, proving they do it for the music and not the money, and taking their creatively independent music always a step further. And that thought alone, will make this album all the more enjoyable.8 (UK/US Release)/8+(for the Japanese album, with two extra tracks).

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