If there’s one thing that The Maine deliver consistently, it’s cutting-edge, chorus-heavy pop-rock. Over a ten year long journey of refining and moulding their sound, they’ve simultaneously developed a die-hard fan base and found fantastic success as a certain favourite in their scene, only exemplified with recent much-adored releases ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ and ‘American Candy’.
Both of those records are put to the sword on ‘You Are OK’, their seventh full-length, as the five-piece again show their strengthened song writing capabilities and further musical maturity across a record that’s sonically explorative and equally joyous in its results.
‘Slip The Noose’ dives into frantic driven guitars and is our first taste of the typical catchiness expected from the group, before ‘My Best Habit’ takes its foot off of the gas a little bit in terms of energy, but similarly carries one of the record’s most memorable choruses. Single ‘Numb Without You’, which was for many their first taste of the album is, in hindsight, a good reflection of this album’s consistency and ingenuity to find new, fresh sounds, with electro-strings blending orchestral with pop-rock.
‘Heaven, We’re Already Here’ has an almost emo feel to it, as John O’Callaghan croons “Adjust the review, crack the windows, shut the goddamn door / Our great unknown, the open road”, harking back to Adam Lazzara‘s rising crescendo on ‘MakeDamnSure’ (a definite compliment). It shows the band’s ability to mix their sound up here, all while still retaining their trademark style.
‘Forevermore’ offers a nice break in the record, as O’Callaghan‘s voice is joined by only a strummed acoustic guitar and dash of reverb. It’s like a little live performance track, even while the guitar makes it feel like it could’ve been a more energetic, fully instrument-including track.
‘Broken Parts’ begins the softened end to ‘You Are OK’, before the nine-minute closer of ‘Flowers On The Grave’ concludes it dramatically in cinematic fashion, like a song with numerous parts, and weaving in and out of different moments like some sort of musical pretzel.
Think of ‘You Are OK’ as a really good piece of cake – the first few bites are deliciously fantastic, and even as you’ve nearly polished the slice off, you still find every bite is one to savour. Each track finds its way to being infectiously sugar sweet in tone, offering expansive and snappy tracks throughout. While ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ was a very hard record to follow, ‘You Are OK’ is a solid effort and a high-quality release from the group.