American CandyThe Maine Label: 8123 Released: 03.31.15 Review by Matt Vogel | March 31, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Behind all the sugar and all the sweetness surrounding American Candy, The Maine just gave a huge fuck you to any critics while simultaneously awarding diehard fans with a highly anticipated, saccharine collection of savory pop-rock songs, fueled by nostalgia and injected with an assortment of fresh, revitalized flavors.
Itâ€™s no secret fans of the Arizona quintet have been questioning whatâ€™s next, with some even criticizing the bandâ€™s latest efforts and their seemingly abrupt departure from the more pop-punk laden days of Canâ€™t Stop, Wonâ€™t Stop (2009). But after barrelling through major record label qualms surrounding their sophomore release Black and White (2010) and pioneering their way through two independently released albums, Pioneer (2011) and Forever Halloween (2013), which ventured further off the beaten path, even The Maineâ€™s truest fans questioned whether or not the band had indefinitely parted ways with their early pop-rock days and transitioned entirely to the likes of alternative rock.
But â€œEnglish Girlsâ€ and â€œMiles Awayâ€ couldnâ€™t have been better choices for American Candyâ€™s first two releases, as they successfully highlight the bandâ€™s return to their more upbeat, energized pop-rock roots. Itâ€™s affirmation The Maine never left, and they arenâ€™t going anywhere.
Sure, maybe the guys are wearing a different tie, but theyâ€™re wearing the same suitâ€“and theyâ€™re in the exact same skin they were in six years ago when they played â€œGirls Do What They Wantâ€ on stage for the very first time. As vocalist John Oâ€™Callaghan sings â€œThe old can feel brand new / I feel so fresh / I feel so new (and improved)â€ in the albumâ€™s second track â€œSame Suit, Different Tie,â€ itâ€™s evident even the band recognize their transition but maintain theyâ€™ve been themselves throughout their much talked about progression over the years. The highlight? The recordâ€™s title track oozing with quintessential catchy pop styles and lyrics thatâ€™ll be stuck in your head for days.
Ultimately, The Maine give authority the middle finger in â€œMy Hairâ€ by asserting that theyâ€™re basically going to do whatever the hell they please, and in ten tracks, the band seem to give an apparent â€˜I donâ€™t give a ripâ€™ attitude toward any accusations that they may have changed, been inauthentic, or deliberately altered their sound to please a certain crowd. But, what The Maine have done in American Candy is prove that they still kick assâ€“and they kick it pretty damn hard.
Buy It, Stream It, or Skip It? Buy it because this is one sugar rush you wonâ€™t want to come down from.