Album Review: The Maine – Lovely, Little, Lonely

 

The Maine

The Maine
Lovely, Little, Lonely
8123
2017

“Here’s to now and nothing else” because The Maine’s 6th studio album, Lovely, Little, Lonely, is officially out! Ever since the band left Fearless Records and started 8123, independently producing their own music, they have continued to impress and grow their extremely dedicated and loyal fan base with each and every release, and LLL is certainly no exception to that.

If there’s one piece of advice to offer when listening to the album for the first time (if you haven’t already) it would be this – don’t simply press play and listen to it in passing as something in the background. Grab your headphones, find a nice spot to settle into, and give LLL your full-undivided attention for the full 12 tracks. Yes, it is an album that can make for great background music while mindlessly driving around or whatever else you use music to fill space during, and that’s certainly a fine thing to do, however you’re not going to garner the emotional appeal and gain the full appreciation of the album that it deserves by doing that. So lock yourself away and give a full, uninterrupted 35 minutes over to The Maine and let their music do what it continues to do best– make you feel a little more human.

From the very first song on the album, ‘Don’t Come Down,’ LLL is instantly recognizable as being work from The Maine for all of the right reasons. Upbeat rock with light yet well-written lyrics assure that the band has done it once again. From the very first guitar strums you can tell this is another one of The Maine’s perfect ‘driving with the windows down on a summer night’ kind of songs that leaves you more than ready to dive into the rest of the album. ‘Don’t Come Down’ is one of those tracks that is perfect for introducing an album and pulling the listener in, making them want more. The song has traces of The Maine’s last album, released in 2015, American Candy, with elements of this new sound that the band has encompassed in LLL, the perfect way to ease fans into new material. If you love The Maine for what they are, their unmistakable upbeat rock sound and John O’s way with words and skill at crafting strikingly honest yet comforting lyrics, this album is going to be everything you could have wanted out of new material from The Maine.

A few songs into the album is ‘Taxi’ which has claimed the title of my favorite on the album. Falling as the 5th track on LLL following ‘Don’t Come Down’, ‘Bad Behavior’, ‘Lovely’, and ‘Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu’, the song brings the album to a bit of a slower pace after the exciting and fast upbeat sounds of the first 4 tracks that introduce the album. This is also the first song on LLL to feature those honest heartbreaking lyrics that John O is known for that somehow simultaneously act as a reassurance and comfort to listeners. The beginning of the track perfectly introduces the idea of loneliness that appears to be the major theme of the album:

“And in the backseat
When you asked me “Is the sadness everlasting?”
I pulled you closer, looked at you and said “Love, I think it is”
And it creeps on in
To the calmness of yourself
Yeah, it creeps on in
Until it hurts like hell
And you know I never knew how much I was getting into
No, I never knew how much I was getting into”

Even though it is slowed down, the upbeat and happy feel of the music that we see on this album still persists within this song making it easy to skip over the depth of the lyrics if you’re not fully listening. In the second verse we are given these comforting lyrics that act as a followup to the idea of loneliness being unavoidable:

“I can’t say that I can make you feel
Complete or free from your worry
But believe me when I tell you
“Babe, you’ll never be lonely”
You’ll never be lonely
You’ll never be lonely
Don’t you understand?
You won’t be alone again”

With all of these factors combined, the uplifting music with sad lyrics followed by a offering of reassurance, this song is the perfect respentation of the era The Maine are in right now. It’s a theme that is consistent in the band’s last album, American Candy, as well; this idea that ‘yeah, things suck right now and you’re going to feel lonely and lost sometimes but everyone does and you’re not alone in this’. It is exactly what The Maine’s music is to me and because of that is why this song takes the title as my favorite on the album.

The album gets it’s name from three of its shorter tracks ‘Lovely’, ‘Little’, and ‘Lonely’ that act as interludes on the album. ‘Lovely’ and ‘Little’ are both more on the instrumental side of things with a very short lived, dreamy sound to them. The songs seemingly act as an intro that blends into the next song or simply an album divider more so than being classified as an actual song. These tracks have a similar effect that songs such as ‘The 1975’, ‘An Encounter’, and ‘12’ do on The 1975’s self titled album in bringing an added level of depth. This is something that can be a rare feature in music that finds itself more on the pop side of the alternative rock/emo genre. While still on the shorter side, ‘Lonely’ is the one that varies a little bit from this, being the soft ballad on the album that can’t be described any more accurately than simply saying it sounds exactly like what loneliness feels like. Which is fitting considering the title and a perfect bridge into the final song of the album.

‘How Do You Feel’ is the ending track of LLL and, much like ‘Don’t Come Down’, is very appropriate placed on the album. The song is a wrap up of the music styling that sums up LLL and is a final testament to embrace every and all feelings that come along in life that are brought up on the album and know you’re not alone in feeling the way that you do. It’s honest and comforting while still being one of those songs fitting for driving with the windows down on a summer night. So in other words, classic The Maine.

The Maine continues to wow fans with every new thing the band puts out, offering a very important attribute in their music that can be a rarity among bands found within this genre: consistency. While Forever Halloween doesn’t sound like American Candy and American Candy doesn’t sound like Lovely, Little, Lonely, all three of their latest albums share one very important linking characteristic: they all sound like The Maine. Following an album that had the kind of response that American Candy did you place high expectations on whatever comes next from the band and its easy to be let down because of that. However, The Maine continues to prove time and time again that they are more than capable of not only meeting but also exceeding those expectations placed on their music by the people who continue to support them the most.

Lovely, Little, Lonely is unmistakably The Maine for every reason we as fans love them. And because of that, it is an album that I have no doubt will go down as one of their best yet. So here’s to The Maine and everyone over at 8123 for yet another remarkable album release.

You can support The Maine and buy the physical copy of Lovely, Little, Lonely here: http://bit.ly/2mNrLvk

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