Review by Amanda Flynn
The well anticipated seventh album of American rock band, The Maine, has been released and its well worth to obsess over. Comprised of ten tracks, "You Are OK" is the perfect album to be playing right now. Take my word for it, this album makes you feel alive and exhilarated. Formed in 2007, The Maine is made up of members Kennedy Brock, Jared Monaco, Garrett Nickelsen, Pat Kirch, John O'Callaghan, Alex Ross, and Ryan Osterman. Starting off strong, “Slip The Noose”, is a track that holds nothing back. A story of being rescued by love is told with help of raw and vulnerable lyrics. My personal favorite line is, “Well, loneliness is hell and you're alone/ But I can tell you that it's everything you need/ Because it brought you back to me”. Along with moving lines, the overall vibe of the song is worth mentioning. The song opens with the chorus and it goes right into powerful guitar riffs. It is impossible to listen to this track without wanting to get up and dance. This is one of those songs that deserves to be turned all the way up.
After listening to this next track, your new habit might be playing “My Best Habit” all day long. The infectious melody and the high tempo of it makes it a song to remember. It is another genuine song that gets to the point about having insecurities and flaws in a relationship. Next, comes the debut single, “Numb Without You”. The main concept is all about wanting someone, even though they are bad for you. The Maine is able to create all the emotions that are attached to feeling this way with ruthless lyrics such as, “You are the violence in my veins/ You are the war inside my brain/ You are my glitter and my gloom/ I am so numb without you”. Up next is the compelling anthem, “I Feel It All Over”. It is a song that reminisces on love and the joy that comes with it. It’s all about that special feeling you get when you are in are overwhelmed in happiness with your partner. A new vibe comes along with, “Heaven, We’re Already Here”. Powerful lyrics follow such as, “And we will never be this young again/ So full of fire and rebellion/ Now shoot the night just like it's medicine” help build up the chorus. A lot of metaphors and imagery are in this track and it creates an interesting and emotional listen. The Maine slowly brings you in with next track, “Forevermore”. It is on the more mellow side and it is a good contrast from the previous songs. This song strips some of the instrumentals, leaving the focus mainly on the vocals. It was a great decision because the lyrics on this one deserve the spotlight. A story about feeling pure love from others is captured and it is truly a song that reminds you of those who are special.
Following up, is my personal favorite, the fresh and unique track, “Tears Won’t Cry (Shinju)”. Right off the bat, the guitar riff and the “Whoo!” pull you in and the rest of the song does not disappoint. This song is about disappearing with the one you love and going to your happy place. Do not be mistaken by the fun beat of this track, a dark subject matter is woven within this song, “Shinju”, actually means double suicide in Japanese. This song makes you want to blast it in your car with the windows all the way down. (I have already done this countless times..!) The next track, “One Sunset”, encompasses nostalgia to a T; This song tells a story of lust and summer love. Lyrics like, “One sunset left in England/ So go on then, trouble/ One sunset 'til I see her/ In her red sundress”, remind listeners of being infatuated with someone. The chorus brings pleasure to the ears and I’m sure it will bring a smile to your face.
With the final two tracks approaching, The Maine pulled out all the stops for a satisfying close to the album. First is, “Broken Hearts”. This optimistic track allows for a vulnerable side to the band. They make sure to make it known that it is okay to feel lost and out of place. Instead of dwelling, the lyrics suggest being hopeful; “And we are brittle, beware/ We crack, we tear/ Handle with care/ Half done entirely/ We fall apart/ Rebuild, restart”. It is worth noting that this song is more chilled out compared to the others and it is a great one to just listen to and take in. Everything finally comes full circle on the closing track, “Flowers On The Grave”. One word I would is to describe song is wholesome. The upbeat and breathtaking tune mentions concepts such as growing up, learning from the past, living in the moment, and the glory of love. With almost a ten minute run-time, the instrumentals and vocals are the best they’ve been. It starts off slow and builds up into an anthem. A transition comes in around the third minute and backup vocals are subtlety interlaced. I believe this is the time of the song that allows for reflection. All the themes that were discussed on all the previous tracks can be hinted towards by the simple, yet effective repetition of “Everything is temporary”. Another instrumental interlude follows and the meaningful refrain plays. “I was on the verge of breaking down/ Then you came around” are the straightforward lyrics that listeners are left with. Those last lines perfectly sum up the overall theme of You Are OK and bring the entire album to a perfect close.
You can very much tell that The Maine took their time with this album. Each of the tracks are well produced and they flow beautifully into one another. Every detail, small or big, were definitely looked over with care. As for someone, like myself, who is always listening to and reviewing music, it is refreshing to listen to an album like this because it feels so new and crisp. From the first listen, I could tell You Are OK would be a timeless record. The rock and alternative music scene has just been awakened by the release of You Are OK by The Maine.