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ATP! Album Review: The Maine - Forever Halloween

It seems like just yesterday that The Maine was releasing pop/rock tracks that lamented that girls did what they wanted, and boys did what they can. In fact, it’s amazing to think that it’s been five years since the Arizona natives released their first full-length, especially given they’ve evolved more than some bands do in double that amount of time. But now, with their fourth studio album Forever Halloween, The Maine continues on their journey from their humble, pop/rock beginnings to full-fledged alt-rock, the likes in which haven’t graced airwaves since the ‘90s.

Spending a month recording in Nashville, the quintet has managed to create the perfect follow-up to 2011’s Pioneer, not recreating the sound they discovered on that release, but evolving it. Critics may have loved the new sound on Pioneer, but Forever Halloween will have them singing the praises.

Spread throughout is the perfect mix of high and low. Whether that means they’re summing up the generation of 20-somethings that have grown up with this band, stating that they have “champagne taste, but not enough money for the real thing” (‘Love & Drugs’) or a goodbye to a city that “is something, just isn’t me,” (‘Birthday In Los Angeles’) the band keeps the album well paced, and there isn’t a bad track to be found.

There is, however a standout. The must-hear track of Forever Halloween is ‘These Four Words.’ Accompanied by nothing but a piano, frontman John O'Callaghan sings about four words, as opposed to the three we are so accustomed to musicians singing about. Not “I love you,” but “I don’t love you.” The result is nothing short of haunting, and if there is ever a song that proves how much this band has grown, it is this one.

From start to finish, this album breathes everything The Maine has envisioned, and for that, it is a perfect album. It is unapologetic in being exactly what they wanted. Not what fans may want, not what labels may want, and not what radio may want. This is The Maine. This is what The Maine wants, and for what it’s worth, we believe it to be, hands down, the best effort the band has put out to date. So good, in fact, that we're unsure of how they could possibly top it in the future. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, because for right now, we're okay with it being forever Halloween.


Victoria Patneaude

Forever Halloween will be released on June 4 via Eighty One Twenty Three in the US and independently via Rude Records in Europe, UK, Southeast Asia, Australia and Japan.

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